california institute of technology

Bubble Imaging Technology

California Institute of Technology, 2000 - $14,000

This E-Team received NCIIA funding to continue work and refine prototypes on a previously funded project. The team explored various approaches to creating bubble images, and settled on a cost-effective technique that they prototyped. Patents were filed, and the developed a business plan. They developed strategic marketing relationships for a Bubble Clock as their first product.

Bubble Imaging Technology (BIT)

California Institute of Technology, 1999 - $18,250

Bubble Imaging Technology (BIT) is a new, patent-pending technology used to create alphanumeric digits and/or graphics in a fluid medium. Based on the technology created by inventor Frederick Romberg, this E-Team designed prototypes and developed marketing opportunities for BIT. Two prototypes, a large commercial display board and a small desktop clock, were built.

The team included five members with skills in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, marketing, and finance. The team developed a business plan, prepared a market analysis, and completed the patenting process.

Intelligent Mobility: Re-Cycling to Build Wheelchairs

California Institute of Technology, 2007 - $19,000

There are approximately twenty million people in the developing world who require a wheelchair to be mobile, but only one percent of those people actually have their own chairs. Even these chairs are second-hand most of the time and aren't suited to the rugged, off-road terrain often found in developing countries. As a result, many disabled people rely on their family members for support or resort to begging in order to live.To combat the problem, this team has founded a non-profit, Intelligent Mobility, to produce and distribute safe, durable, and affordable wheelchairs made primarily from old bicycles. The pedal axles on the bike are converted to rear-wheel axles on the chair, the pedals themselves are used for both the footrests and front caster assembly, the x-brace is cut from the metal on the back end of the bike frame, and the handle bars are used as push handles. The team believes this design makes for a less expensive, more durable, and more appropriate wheelchair for the developing world. It also takes less time to make than a standard wheelchair--about one-sixth of the current production time.

Intelligent Mobility moves forward

See this E-Team on NBC. Click here for the video.

Former E-Team Intelligent Mobility International, a non-profit that produces and distributes safe, durable, and affordable wheelchairs made from old bicycles for customers in Guatemala, has been in the news of late.

In April, IMI particpated on the "Extremely Affordable Health Innovations" panel at the World Health Care Congress. Download the podcast interview with IMI, recorded at the WHCC.

Since IMI received an E-Team grant in 2007, the organization has partnered with Transitions Foundation, a Guatemalan disabilities association that mainly employs wheelchair-bound workers, to build and sell wheelchairs in the market. The advantage of IMI's design is simple - wheelchairs made from bike parts are sturdy, cheap, and easy to repair. Last year, IMI was recognized by Popular Mechanics as one of its 'Top 10 New World-Changing Innovations of the Year.'


Equigene Research

California Institute of Technology, 2002 - $12,100

The Equigene Research E-Team used racehorses to identify the genes involved in athletic performance and disease susceptibility. Working with industry advisors, the E-Team, consisting of two PhD candidates in Biology, created a database of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) strongly associated with superior and/or diseased cardiovascular function in thoroughbreds. The team genetically evaluated horses for their racing and breeding potential, propensity for injury, and susceptibility to illness. Using proprietary methods to create DNA tests that allow precise determination of clients' horses’ genetic composition, the team advised horse owners, breeders, and trainers on how to best manage their stock.

Mark I

California Institute of Technology, 1998 - $20,000

This E-Team developed a compact, powerful electromagnetic tool that can be used for removing dents from auto bodies quickly and efficiently without damaging painted surfaces. The technology is competitive with standard methods of dent removal but does less damage to the paint on the car. The concept originated from an experiment a student did to remove a dent from his car with a natural magnet.

The team identified a market of more than 26,000 auto body repair shops nationwide, as well as secondary markets of car dealerships, rental car dealerships, do-it-yourself consumers, and metal garage door repair professionals.

The E-Team drew from students in engineering, applied science, physics, economics, mathematics, computation and neural systems, and electrical engineering at Caltech, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Los Angeles. The team also included technical advisors and a financial advisor.

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