The cost of care and compensation of military personnel with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) exceeds $300 million annually: the largest defense-related disability expenditure. Existing noise reduction devices (earmuffs, earplugs, and commercial active noise reduction headsets) do not adequately provide the broadband noise reduction necessary to prevent NIHL. Over the course of several years, this E-Team devised, tested and commercialized a novel, high performance active noise reduction system for communication and hearing protection headsets through feedforward adaptive least mean square (LMS) control.
Mass-produced DNA is used in a number of industries, including nanotechnology applications, gene therapy, and as standards in diagnostic tests. However, existing DNA production technology is slow, inefficient, personnel-intensive, and provides opportunities for human error and cross contamination of products. In response to the need for better, faster DNA production, this E-Team developed the Triathlon Thermal Cycler, a continuous, rapid thermal cycler that replicates DNA 150% more efficiently than the traditional thermal cycler and can potentially produce DNA 800% more efficiently due to its scalability.
The original E-Team consisted of Derek Gregg and Justin Swick, two IST undergraduates in the College of Science. After incorporating as Vandalia Research in March 2004, the company now has five employees, with Derek handling business development, Justin handling research and manufacturing design, a full-time lab technician on hand, and two Marshall professors, Dr. Elizabeth Murray and Dr. Michael Norton, on the management team. They secured an exclusive licensing agreement with Marshall for use of the cycler, and recently completed their first round of significant funding, securing almost $1 million from local West Virginia angel investors.
This E-Team designed an environmentally friendly manual lawnmower, the Kwik Kut. Kwik Kut is a low energy, efficient, torque prime mover with an intelligent blade cleaning system. It trims and cuts grass simultaneously, requires only a 10% variation of force (opposed to traditional reel mowers' 100%), uses variable gear ratios to deal with unlimited grass height, and provides an easy system to replace blades.
MedfoLink is a new software technology designed to solve the issues surrounding medical records. The majority of medical records remain on paper, raising issues of patient privacy, potential loss of patient history, and performance limitations that hinder existing medical language processing technologies. MedfoLink is a java technology that uses medical language processing and the Unified Medical Language Source to enable a computer to accurately record and interpret data from patient records. Benefits of the system include: security to ensure patient privacy, consolidated patient histories, and the elimination of clerical errors.
The team completed and tested a beta version of the software in order to secure government and private funding.
The Know Wear E-Team developed an innovative, portable device for athletes incorporating GPS and accelerometer technology. The system is designed to complement biofeedback systems such as heart rate monitors, giving the user detailed statistics on his or her performance based on motion. The data is transferable to a computer, which analyzes the readings according to various sports.
Several companies currently provide detailed analyses of an athlete's performance, but none without bulky, cumbersome equipment. Know Wear's system appeals to athletes wishing to measure their performance with a highly portable device. The team is marketing its product toward professional athletes and home users alike.
A large segment of popular consumer electronic devices (personal computers, cellular phones, personal digital assistants, etc.) have microprocessors acting as brains. These microprocessors consume a large amount of power and must be actively cooled in order to function reliably. The currently available heat sinking equipment needed to cool the electronics is bulky, inefficient, and costly. The TMT MicroSink E-Team developed low cost, high performance heat removal technology that blows air through a microscale heat sink without the use of moving parts, allowing large amounts of heat to be removed cheaply and efficiently. The new technology enables the development of chip-coolers that are considerably smaller, lighter, and quieter than currently available heat sink-fan combinations.
The E-Team included two doctoral students specializing in physics, mechanical engineering, and energy engineering. A faculty advisor with expertise in mechanical engineering supported the students along with two industry experts.
The Software for Automated Mold Design E-Team aimed to reduce development time and product cost of current mold design methods with software that automates the mold design process.
The software automatically designs molds for complex objects such as automotive parts, toys, plastic consumer goods, and scanned objects. The product automates part design, process planning, price quotation, and mold design for scanned irregular shapes. These innovative features significantly reduce the time, expertise, and costs traditionally associated with mold design.
The E-Team consisted of two graduate students and a professor from the mechanical engineering department. Six industry experts supported the team.
This E-Team developed GASDAY, a rolling eight-day natural gas load forecasting service for large and midsized local distribution companies (LDCs). The team's objective was to scale the GASDAY service to provide affordable accessibility to small municipal gas utilities. Smaller-sized LDCs would enjoy the benefits of this industry-leading load forecasting package built specifically for their customer base. The service increases a forecaster's understanding of and confidence in the gas load forecast.
The E-Team included two graduate students specializing in computing and marketing and two undergraduate students majoring in computer engineering and electrical engineering. Two professors of engineering and one industry expert supported the students. Visit the project's website here.
Reef aquariums aim to create thriving ecosystems by growing and reproducing corals and invertebrates. To aid in that process the EcoTech Marine E-Team developed the Easy-Ionizer, a device that simplifies reef-keeping by using automation to create a stable marine environment.
In order to properly care for fish and other aquatic organisms contained within a reef aquarium, proper and stable water chemistry is required. Typical daily chores of maintaining a reef aquarium include topping off the tank with fresh water and supplementing calcium and alkalinity. The Easy-Ionizer automatically combines the multiple chores of freshwater top off and calcium and alkalinity supplementation, consolidating two otherwise expensive products into one package.
The E-Team included ten undergraduate students. Two faculty advisors with expertise in business economics and geo-environmental engineering supported the students along with several industry experts
Update: The EcoTech team has gone on to form a successful aquarium products company. Visit their website here.
EcoTech's products are now sold in 450 stores and 35 distributors across the US. The company has developed two more propeller pumps and an LED light for reef aquariums. EcoTech generated $15M in revenue in 2011, has 42 full time staff and a 4,000 square foot work space.
Many people wake up to sleep inertia, a groggy condition that negatively affects temper, basic mechanics, and reflexes. While a night's sleep consists of three phases (light, deep and REM sleep), recent studies indicate sleepers suffer from the worst sleep inertia when woken from deep sleep, and the least when woken from light sleep.
Taking advantage of this information, the Axon Potential E-Team developed a smart alarm clock that wakes the user only during light sleep by monitoring eye movements. After setting the latest possible wake-up time, the user goes to bed wearing an eye movement-monitoring band around his or her forehead. The band wirelessly transmits the user's sleep information to the alarm clock for analysis. The device sets a wakeup window based on the information and triggers the alarm only when eye movements indicate the person is in a light stage of sleep.
The E-Team consisted of six undergraduates with majors in cognitive neuroscience, computer science, public and private sector organizations, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Four professors with expertise in psychiatry and human behavior, engineering, technology planning, and marketing guided the students.
Update: The team, now incorporated as Zeo, enjoyed several start-up successes. The company raised two rounds of funding as it completed prototyping and preparing for a product launch. Most recently, Zeo was chosen from among forty-five other companies as the winner of the 2006 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, receiving over $55,000 in cash and services. The company also formed a strong board and group of advisors, including Harvard sleep scientists, the former president of Bose, and several others. Zeo's novel alarm clock has been featured in a number of media, including the Boston Globe, BBC, NPR, New Scientist Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Providence Journal, Yahoo! News and several others. See www.myzeo.com for more information.