This grant supports the development of a safety lighting system for bicycles that uses electroluminescent strips on the frame and wheels of the cycle to create a highly visible, easily recognizable shape. The PI is recruiting two mechanical engineering undergraduates to work intensively on the project, developing refined prototypes, filing patents and preparing the product for commercialization.
The team has recruited the CEO of the company making the EL panels and components as a mentor. He is enthusiastic about the project, and close collaboration is planned. Prior to submitting a grant proposal to NCIIA, substantial background work established the technical feasibility of the project, determining costs and market opportunities. The product works as well as or better than existing technologies.
The ever increasing demands of the world population on ocean resources has resulted in severe overfishing in many parts of the world. Worldwide fisheries cannot meet the needs of the growing human population without the supplementation of aquaculture, but currently available aquaculture cages are heavy and expensive, requiring a lot of labor to transport and assemble. This E-Team developed a novel open ocean aquaculture (OOA) cage that uses pressurized flexible tubes to replace the rigid members of a typical OOA cage. The flexible tubes are pressurized when filled with water; the hose members become extremely stiff and are capable of supporting a tremendous amount of force. Once the water is removed, the members regain flexibility and can be easily transported.
The E-Team consisted of a senior mechanical engineering student, one business student, two faculty members from the UF Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, a faculty member with expertise in business, and one industry advisor.
This E-Team is concentrating on the problem of the perishability of food and pharmaceutical items. Currently there are two methods of ensuring food/pharmaceutical safety: human predication of expiration, and chemical tags that change color upon product expiration. The E-Team aims to combat the deficiencies of these methods by developing a Time-Temperature Integrator (TTI) tag which, in a 1x2 inch housing, incorporates a temperature measure, a microprocessor, and an RF transceiver. Instead of using the color-change method, these tags record the temperature and time at thirty-second intervals. A calculation of shelf-life is then made based upon a proprietary algorithm that takes into account the current time/temperature and the optimal shelf-life of perishables under those specific conditions. A report of time, temperature and freshness is then sent to a wireless device.