This E-Team developed a unique security system that allows a person who is permitted entry through a door to have access without requiring the use of a key, card, or other device. The device is a small mountable electronic chip or substrate that can be placed on the back of a watch or other personal item. The chip communicates with the base station lock to unlock the door.
Three undergraduate students were on this E-Team, with skills in electrical engineering, manufacturing, object-oriented solutions, advanced product development and testing, and understanding of interfacing and systems integration. Three faculty advisors in electrical and industrial engineering assisted the team.
This E-Team studied the wire machining technologies for advanced engineering materials. The traditional inner diamond saw blade for slicing the single crystal silicon ingot to thin wafers has reached its technical limits. The free-abrasive wire saw machining process has been developed to address the needs to slice large size, twelve-inch or bigger in diameter, silicon wafers. One of the recent developments in wire saw wafer slicing technology is the thin, fixed-abrasive diamond wire. This new type of wire has not only improved the material removal rate in wire saw machining but also expanded the type of work-material from silicon to ceramics, composites, eastomers, and other non-electrically conductive ceramic materials. Three new wire saw machining configurations, 2-axis wire contour sawing, 4-axis wire contour sawing, and cylindrical wire sawing, were proposed. Similar to the wire EDM process for electrically conductive materials, these new wire saw machining methods can provide a flexible and cost-effective method to machine non-electrically conductive materials to complicated shapes.
This E-Team designed, built, and field-tested a flexible protein modeling system to be used in conjunction with physical, three-dimensional models of proteins. These physical models are produced using rapid prototyping technology at the Center for BioMolecular Modeling at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The addition of a flexible modeling component to these otherwise static models enhanced the interactive nature of these instructional aids.
This grant further developed the first of three models of the"Guardian 2000 Monitoring system," a cutting edge invention designed to monitor the location of children, Alzheimer patients and other valued people and material items. The E-Team consisted of highly qualified faculty advisors (from both technical and business disciplines from two universities), technical and business experts/mentors, engineering and business students to insure success in bringing this device to the market.
The system was prototyped in a NCIIA-supported class; the grant supported a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary team of students from ETSU and LMU in developing production prototypes, business and marketing plans, and patents.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2000 - $10,300
This E-Team designed and developed a flexible bolt. The bolt can be used for attaching misaligned parts and non-parallel parts, as well as for selective compliance devices. The product prototype was used for studying the effectiveness of the design, as well as for patenting and market search and development.
The E-Team consisted of a graduate ME and undergraduate ME student working with Dr. Saeed Niku. The work plan involved further design work, finite element analysis and creation of proof of concept prototypes in addition to initiating patenting and contracting with WISC for a market assessment study. The E-Team marketed the product through the university's tech transfer foundation.
A running shoe exceeds its useful life and should be replaced when it no longer provides adequate cushioning. One of the major problems runners have is impact-related injury due to worn out shoes. The IMPACT Indicator is a monitor incorporated into a shoe that calculates the use of the shoe and displays its remaining life. The IMPACT Indicator prevents impact-related injuries that arise from using a shoe after it has worn out. The current model uses sensors on the toe and heel of the shoe, and a touch of a button indicates how much life is left in the shoe.
Both the consumer and the manufacturer benefit from the Indicator. The device can help reduce the number of injuries to runners and encourage consumers to purchase more shoes. The athletic shoe market is $14.7 billion annually, with the running shoe market comprising 16%.
The E-Team includes a graduate Product Design student at Stanford and an MBA student at the University of Texas at Austin. The team has support from a Product Design faculty member and two industry mentors, including a board certified sports medicine doctor.
The Turbohead is a re-engineered turbocharger configuration designed so that the entire mechanism resides inside the head of an engine. This design is cost effective in terms of manufacturing and installation, produces a more efficient and powerful turbo system, and eliminates many of the wear problems existing products have. The Turbohead also creates a larger potential market for turbochargers, as they are normally a specialty item. The team has completed initial feasibility testing and a patent search.
They plan to take their idea to the market by prototyping and testing their design and filing a patent. The team draws on RPI's resources to help start up a business: the Entrepreneurs Club, an Inventor's Studio, and the Rensselaer Technology Park.
Students in the team are mechanical engineering majors, with one major doubling in management. The project idea began in the NCIIA-funded course Inventor's Studio.
The Eye-Lock is a better bicycle lock. With the touch of a button, Eye-Lock enables the automatic unlocking of a bicycle and recoiling of the lock cable. The lock is controlled by an encoded infrared transmitter/receiver, and one click eliminates the usual fumbling with a tiny key into an awkwardly located lock opening.
The idea for the Eye-Lock originated in an engineering and entrepreneurship course. Three mechanical engineers from the course team decided to continue the project.
A "big wall climb" is rock climber terminology for ascending a rock face either for multiple days or for such a long distance that a haul bag is required to carry extra gear. The SUPERHAUL product enables rock climbers to carry heavy supplies and equipment quickly and efficiently when making big wall climbs. Saving time and energy are integral to completing a big wall climb safely. The product is a small, self-contained unit that provides all of the functions of existing products but with greater ease.
The market potential for the product is mainly for avid rock climbers. The product also has applications for search and rescue crews who must haul people and materials up steep inclines, as well as construction crews who must move objects to high, hard-to-access locations.
Four mechanical engineering students work on the SUPERHAUL. The team intends to include a business student from the CU School of Business to strengthen the team in marketing and business plan development. The team plans to prototype the design, patent it, perform a market assessment and create a business plan.
This E-Team developed a syringe disposal system for use by mass inoculation programs, particularly in the third world. Current disposal systems often do not protect users from accidental needle pricks, and the containers are too easy to open, resulting in dangerous reuse of needles. The container will be lightweight, puncture resistant, and very difficult to open once the needles are disposed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) would be the primary user of this technology. The long-term objective of the team is to form a company that will license or produce products that will improve healthcare safety worldwide.
The E-Team is made up of graduate and undergraduate students studying chemical engineering, engineering science, and biomedical engineering.