Sometimes it’s in going backward that we move forward. At least that’s what Kyle Thompson, Flint Yoder, and José Terrazas may have thought when they designed a multi-user, open-source system that can host vintage arcade games such as Tetris and Snake. The system includes a controller; a super-bright RGB display designed to fit behind frosted glass to create an aesthetically pleasing piece of functional art; and handpicked joysticks meant to mimic the experience of gaming in a retro arcade. Continue reading
It can be traumatic enough when someone needs a prosthetic device, but it can be doubly so when that person is faced with the price tag. And then the expensive prosthetic may not even give the person enough functionality to make it worth it. “The current price of prosthetics goes in the thousands, and they are all semi-functional,” said Aleksandar Bogdanovic, a graduating senior in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Continue reading
Until recently, radiation dose calculations primarily focused on human tolerance, but research shows that nonhuman organisms may be more sensitive to radiation than humans. In the past few years, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has been developing a set of Reference Animals and Plants to assess radiation effects on nonhuman species. Casey King, Mario Gomez, Thomas Iverson, and Junwei Jia in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics focused their senior project on developing dose conversion factors for honeybees (genus Apis). Continue reading
Flow-induced vibrations can have devastating consequences. For example, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington collapsed when strong winds induced vibrations that matched the natural frequency of the bridge. In California, Edison International decided to permanently shut down the nearly new San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station after vibrations in the steam generator caused alloy tubes to rub against each other, resulting in leakage and unsafe operating conditions. Continue reading
Drivers distracted by the gadgets on their cars cause thousands of deaths each year. To address the problem, Steven Reid, David Taylor, Ryan Kalb, and Patrick Simonson set out to design an automobile dashboard that minimizes distractions by simplifying the interface and narrowing the driver’s focus to the steering wheel and the dashboard in front of it. Their interface won an honorable mention in Intel’s 2012 Cornell Cup competition.
“We want to reinvent the driver experience,” said Reid. “Safer, more efficient, but still have that rich, interactive experience — that’s what people are used to. We’re trying to build that in, but not make it distracting.” Continue reading