Research & Economic Development


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Title of Invention

Brief Description

Application Area
Multipurpose Autonomous Robot with Application to Autonomous Detection and Extinction of Small Indoor Fires

This robot performs autonomous indoor fire detection and extinction in cluttered and unknown environments. Using two dissimilar rotating sensors the robot scans the environment, builds a map in real time, then plans its optimal path.

A dedicated decision system takes the information from the cameras and the navigation sensors and is designed to confirm the presence of a fire--providing the fire's location to the control system. Once close to the fire, the robot parks itself and activates the onboard fire extinguisher. The robot is also equipped with a wireless communication system to alert appropriate security personnel.
Integrated Multichannel Digital Stethoscope

This multichannel stethoscope is capable of taking simultaneous measurements of sound in up to fifteen different locations of the human body with the ability to measure lung sound as well as heart beat sound. The Clinical device then performs multichannel analog to digital data conversion storing Diagnostics the collected data on board without the need of a personal computer or a lap top.

Clinical Diagnostics
A low-Cr Fe-Co-Ni base allow interconnect for reduced-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have attracted attention due to the perceived benefits of environmentally bengign power generation with high efficiency and fuel flexibility. Major hurdles preventing further SOFC commercial introduction are the stack cost and durability related to stack and cell materials such as those used for interconnect.

A low-Cr Fe-Co-Ni base alloy has been developed that demonstrates a close match in coefficient of thermal expansion with adjacent cell components; good oxidation resistance; and low oxide scale area specific resistance. Additionally the oxide contains less Cr than other Cr-based alloys and much less Ni, thus providing a cost-effective alternative for reduced temperature SOFC interconnect applications.
Superhydrophobic Surface Development by Contact Line Manipulation

A methodology has been developed to facilitate the design of a superdydrophobic surface from a biocompatible and potentially hydrophilic material.

The current methodology facilitates the design of surfaces that manifest a high contact angle for a sessile liquid drop on any material. The methodology relates to manipulating the three-phase contact line topology on the surface. In addition, the same methodology can be used to move drops over small distances for sample positioning applications in Bio-MEMS devices. This technology will also find application in a myriad of other future applications.

Compliant, Parallel-Gravity Suspension System for a Tracked, Climbing Robot

A compliant, parallel-gravity suspension system for a tracked, climbing robot has been developed. This prototype has a flexible guide that constrains the motion of the track, providing a direct contact between the magnet tractive forces and the robot dynamics. This concept overcomes the difficulties in negotiating surface irregularities with a rigid suspension, as well as eliminates the singularities that exist in the free-track suspension. The guided track model contains a flexible track guides, suspended from the robot chassis with appropriate springs, and located between the track drive wheels. The goal of this suspension is to guarantee contact of the upper drive wheel with the climbing surface during the climbing cycle. The system is designed to have compliance about one dimension and relative stiffness in the plane of the climbing surface. Forces between the climbing surface and the robot body are made through the point contact at the lower drive wheel, and through a spring or series of springs connecting the flexible track guide to the chassis. This generates the restoring torque needed to counteract the gravitational torque, allowing the robot to climb successfully.
MyHealth Track

MyHealthTrack is software and associated processes utilizing microprocessor embedded "smart cards," card readers and when available, Internet connectivity to perform HIPAA compliant, enhanced, real time, medical disease management and medical services payment functions to improve medical treatment outcomes and cost effectiveness. This is accomplished by securely communication and transferring data to and from health services providers, and if available, their databases, and to read and write data to a web database; as well as read and write data to the smart card itself and associated databases. MyHealth Track also provides secure two-way authenticated access to Personal Health Information (PHI) by the use of bio-metric information stored on the card an by use of PIN by the authorized health services provide. The system also provides for specific levels of information access by agents of the services provider; and tracks, chronologically and by provider, access to PHI, therefore rendering the system HIPAA compliant. The system provides for collection, storage and monitoring of treatment planning and compliance with such ordered treatment in a real time environment. Information Technology
Elimination of Bleeding by Rotation for Autogenous Shrinkage in Cement-Based Materials

This invention rotates four autogenous shrinkage samples to eliminate bleeding. Eliminating bleeding allows accurate early-age measures of shrinkage. This has application in civil engineering materials such as cement and concrete. Materials
A System for Monitoring and Evaluating Greensand Molds

This invention comprises a device and related methods for detecting problems with production of a greensand mold by measuring the capacitance and resistance of a greensand mold. The measured capacitance and resistance of a greensand mold can vary depending on the conditions under which the mold was formed and transported and correspond to certain characteristics of the mold particularly moisture content, void space volume, and compaction. This invention can include measures of the capacitance or resistance, or both, of a greensand mold in a production line after the mold is made but prior to the pouring station. Also, the measurements may be taken in or at the mold machine, at the pouring station, or as close to the pouring station as practical in order to capture any Materials problems or imperfections in the mold caused by transport of the mold on the production line. Measurements can be accurately taken far enough away to make a decision to pass/fail the mold and bypass or remove the mold in a timely fashion. Additionally, the invention recognizes unusual shifts in a mold's electrical properties compared to a particular number of recently tested molds. The electrical measurements for the mold being tested are compared to the electrical measurements determined for the previous number of molds, and if there is significant deviation, the mold is determined to be defective. This has potential use in the casting and automotive industries. Materials
Apparatus and Method for Lung Tumor Screening Using Respiratory Sound Data

This invention is based on the fact that the presence of airways obstruction and/or airways compression due to a lung tumor has two effects. First, it affects the energy of the lung sound at different lung locations. Second, it affects the speed of airflow between the trachea and other lung locations. This invention uses respiratory medical indices to screen for the presence of lung tumor. Then a computer based device measures the energy of the lung sounds. Results are compared to indices enabling detection of lung abnormalities, such as tumors. Clinical Diagnostics
An Alloy-Impregnated Ceramic Anode for SOFC Operating on Hydrocarbon Fuels

This ceramic may be used as the anode backbone for solid oxide fuel cells. The ceramic is durable an is particularly appropriate for use in SOFCs operating on hydrocarbon fuels.

Intelligent and Integrated Multipurpose Phasor Measurement Unit for Real Time Monitoring and Control

Phasor measurement tools are a vital component in smart grid technology for electricity generation and distribution.

This invention improves upon existing phasor measurement units (PMUs) in the following areas:

  1. Local Processing Capable. Instead of communicating raw measurement to data concentrators, the new PMUs will process the data locally. Only relevant warning signals may be communicated to the control room in the presence of an abnormal trend. Data may be requested by the operator at any time. This will reduce the communication bandwidth required by the proposed technology.
  2. Distributed Protection Capable. Equipped with the local processing capability and the required intelligence the new PMUs will have the ability to take control actions either automatically or after approval of the operator in the case of an emergency. This is possible when the PMUs are equipped with the required computational power and sufficient intelligence to properly analyze real time measurements and make decisions about turning On/Off appropriate protection relays.
  3. Distributed Load Management Capable. The new PMUs will be able to switch On/Off relevant loads after ensuring that the decision is safe using real time measurements. This feature is especially critical for charging/discharging (G2v/V2g) plug in hybrid vehicles and dealing with secondary loads during peak load and/or emergency conditions.
  4. Advanced Control Strategies Capable. Given the available computational power of the new PMUs, any voltage control strategy can be implemented and executed locally to ensure stable operation at the local level.
  5. Two-way Communication Capable. The new PMUs will have universal two-way communication capability to communicate via wireless, Internet, cellular towers, and/or satellites. The two-way communication is important to allow information to be communicated to the control room as well as receiving commands from the control room.
  6. Adaptive Hardware/Software Capable. This option will allow the new PMU to communicate with different vendors' protection and control hardware.
  7. Affordable. After development, the new PMUs will cost a fraction of the cost of PMUs currently available in the market.
Reactive Power Ground Plane Transmission

This invention is a novel method of transmitting electrical power through the ground plane of two electrical bodies without the use of any other connection except the ground. The ground connection is normally defined as the point in a circuit where the electrical flow of charge returns. The ground plane is defined as a conductive or semi-conductive object that is used as the ground connection. In this invention, the ground plane is used as both the transmitting and returning path, simultaneously. Real power is first converted into reactive power at the transmitting circuit. The reactive power is then transmitted across the ground plane to a receiving circuit where it is converted back to real power to operate loads. The ground plane can be a wire, plate, or any other conductive or semi-conductive object. Under proper situations, the Earth itself may be used as a ground connection in which the electrical power transmitted from the source may drive a load located anywhere on the Earth's surface. Energy
Free Range Eagle Interchange

The FRE Interchange was developed by serving all traditionally left-turning movements at diamond interchanges with downstream U-turn locations on the arterial roadway. By allowing interstate off-ramp traffic to enter the arterial facility via an exclusive lane, no traffic control devices are needed at the ramp terminals. By providing a sufficient weaving zone distance, various route destinations can be accomplished through lane-changing or weaving. Downstream, the interior lane becomes an exclusive U-turn lane, while the exterior lane proceeds along the arterial. Traffic control devices were eliminated at the U-turn location by providing an additional lane for the u-turning traffic to parallel the arterial traffic. Again, a sufficient distance of weaving zone is implemented to allow for lane-changing. The previously added U-turn lane continues across the interchange while the more exterior lane becomes the interchange on-ramp. Transportation
Online differential sand compaction sensor

The developed sensor is used to monitor the effectiveness of sand compaction online. The sensor's response measures the changes in sand compaction, which is affected by all the mechanics of the vibrations system such as motor an linkage wear, changes in the sand properties such as fine content and loss on ignition percentage, and environmental changes such as temperature and humidity. This differential compaction sensor can achieve the following:

  1. monitor the repeatability of the filing process,
  2. measure the effectiveness of a compaction recipe versus another,
  3. measure the effective compaction time, i.e., time after which sand stops compacting.
Nanoparticle template composite gel separations

The subject invention incorporates thermoresponsive microparticles into a gel-based system which impacts morphology of the gel and the resulting separation characteristics. In contrast to existing, commercially available technologies, the gel morphology is tunable, which means that the characteristics can be altered as necessary to improve separation of proteins, nucleic acids, and other molecules. As such, this invention has the potential for significant impact within (but not limited to) the field of medical diagnostics where early and more accurate detection of markers of disease might lead to improved patient outcomes. Clinical Diagnostics
Wind aeolipile

The present invention describes a novel method of wind turbine that does not require the use of blades. The advantage to this invention is its ability to negate Betz law and to provide a platform for the amplification of wind speed through the use of extended outlet thrust nozzles. By amplifying the wind speed, the velocity is increased yielding a cubic increase in torque instead of the standard linear increase. Generally, air is directed into the main conduit from an enlarged inlet. The air will become slightly compressed as it is forced down the thrust nozzles, leaving the outlets at right angles to the inlet. The thrust nozzles are extensions of the main conduit that act to increase the speed of the air by gradually tapering the outlet nozzle. Rotational torque is created about the center axis as the air ejects from the outlets. Energy
AIMTEC: "Adaptive Interactive Monitor for Therapeutic Educational Communication"

This is a device and associated program for the purpose of building communication and life skills in children with special needs, such as Autism, ASD, POD-NO, ADD, and ADHD. The basic components include a CPU, touch-screen, flat-panel TV, camera, microphone, and speakers. The design allows for advancement with the child's learning to later include but not be limited to keyboard, mouse or trackball, graphics tablet and a handheld device for portable communications. The system could also have a wireless communication device between system and the parent, so that the child can communicate needs or wants to the parents anywhere in the home. Education
Wearable electronic tracking device to prevent unlawful drivers from driving

After multiple offenses such as driving under the influence or violating traffic regulations, many people end up with their driver's license revoked. Unfortunately, a large percent of them continue to drive without a valid license, violating their sentence and endangering the public. To ensure sentence compliance and public safety, a new electronic monitoring device has been invented to catch such violators. The wearable device acquires information from an array of sensors including vehicle speed and position from a built-in GPS. All the information is processed and correlated in real time to determine whether the person wearing the device is driving a vehicle. Once it confirms with high confidence that the person is driving, it alerts the appropriate authority using its two-way communication capability. Public Safety
Metallic nanoparticle templated composite gels for separations

The current state of the art for slab gel electrophoresis involves the use of gels with fixed gel composition throughout (e.g., 8%, 10% and 12% Tris-Glycine) and gradient compositions such as the 4-20% variety. Stacking gels poured on top of the fixed composition gels are also routinely used to improve the separation. The present invention represents advances in the current state of the art for slab gels used in electrophoresis. Specifically, a new class of nano-templated hydrogels consisting of polyacrylamide (PAM) and containing metallic nanoparticles has been developed that affects crosslinking within the gel, thus extending the separation regime. The present invention also provides a method for preparation of such gels. Clinical Diagnostics
Heterogeneous Maximal Service Scheduling Technique

In real-time single processor systems, task scheduling is crucial, because it ensures that tasks meet their deadlines. In real-time, late actions can have severe consequences! In heterogeneous real-time systems, each task has different restrictions or deadlines.

This new HMS technique has the following merits:

  1. Heterogeneous High-quality. It will have variable quality enhancement levels for heterogeneous multi-rate input processes.
  2. Opportunistic. It will produce an opportunistic scheduling to support heterogeneous processes. High rate processes will receive relatively more service than low rate processes.
  3. Dynamic. It continuously calculates the optimal schedule for input processes.
  4. Affordable. It will effectively use a single processor to schedule heterogeneous multi-rate input processes.
  5. High Capacity. It can schedule more heterogeneous input processes than exiting scheduling techniques.
  6. Low Power Consumption. It reduces dynamic power consumption by avoiding excessive high service rates for slow processes.
Computer Engineering
Blind Spectrum Sensing Based on Feature Extraction

Spectrum sensing is the major challenge in cognitive radio (CR). Many non-blind algorithms and blind algorithms have been proposed. A novel blind spectrum sensing algorithms based on feature extraction is proposed.

Simulation results show that features can be extracted in fast fading channels and the technology provides outstanding performance in static channel. This invention provides a method for classifying a received signal. The method includes determining at least one covariance matrix of signal values of the received signal, and determining at least one eigenvector of the corresponding covariance matrix. At least one function is determined from at least one eigenvector of the corresponding covariance matrix. Dependent from the values of the functions, the received signal is classified into certain signal classes or into noise class.

Motorized Plane Board Pediatric assistive device for early intervention to develop upper body muscles in parallel with sensory motor skills. The board uses adjustable resistance paddle levers to achieve motion. Using adjustable resistance, the paddle levers have the capability of adjustment as needed by the user. Pediatric Assistive Devices
Mechanically Enhanced Separation of Products in Biodiesel Synthesis Processing Time for Separation is Reduced Via the Presence or Introduction of a Mechanical Mesh During the Beginning of Reaction. Biofuels; Sustainable Energy
Compact 3 DOF Parallel Architecture Gimbal to Pointing Application The invention offers a compact gimbal device that will significantly enhance the capabilities of spacecraft. The gimbal device provides three degrees of freedom, two in orientation and a third in translation. The two rotational degrees of freedom enable complete pointing of a vector normal to the distal plate over a hemispherical workspace (or larger), with no included singularities. Satellite; CubeSats

Immediate Results Medical Tankless Toilet

Tank-less hot/cold, high/low pressure splash-less urine/stool crusher (breaks down), separator. Medical Device

A Process for Using Tetrahymena Strains and Marine Ciliated Protozoa for Triglyceride (Biodiesel Precursor) Production

  1. A protocol for culturing various strains of Tetrahymena, in organic waste to yield high concentrations of neutral lipids.
  2. A process in which the cells basically harvest themselves with little to no energy input into the system.
  3. A process for breaking the cells to release the lipids from the cells without any mechanical or chemical input.

Shrinkage Reducing Admixtures for Portland Cement Concrete Alylamine and oxyalkylamine chemicals for which either closed- or open-system shrinkage reducing activity is demonstrate or expected in Portland cement concrete. Concrete Admixtures