The DRC is a competition of robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters.

0911 darpa ls3 robotWill you be there when the robots face off? Twenty-five of the top robotics organizations in the world will gather to compete for $3.5 million in prizes as they attempt a simulated disaster-response course. The event is free to attend and open to the public. It takes place at Fairplex (home of the LA County Fair) in Pomona, California, just east of downtown Los Angeles.

It was designed to be extremely difficult. Participating teams, representing some of the most advanced robotics research and development organizations in the world, are collaborating and innovating on a very short timeline to develop the hardware, software, sensors, and human-machine control interfaces that will enable their robots to complete a series of challenge tasks selected by DARPA for their relevance to disaster response.

This past fall, Ph.D. student Anthony Spears’ studies with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Georgia Tech took him to one of the most remote places on earth.

deep robot

Spears spent October and November in Antarctica as part of Georgia Tech’s Sub-Ice Marine and PLanetary-analog Ecosystems (SIMPLE) team. The SIMPLE team is made up of researchers from ECE, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), and the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, as well as other research institutions across the United States. Their research involves the design, development, and testing of an autonomous underwater vehicle for use in polar regions.

The team’s focus is on the formation and evolution of icy ocean environments that mimic the conditions on Jupiter’s innermost moon, Europa. Their findings will help determine if Europa could support life and inform future exploration to the icy moon.

Thanks to Georgia Tech students!

drinking water ewb uganda dec 2014 oTwo years of nights and weekends devoted to planning and design. Two years of writing reports, making presentations and getting official approval. Two years of raising money. Two trips to the remote community of Oloo, Uganda.

An Engineers Without Borders-Georgia Tech team traveled to Oloo, Uganda, in December to install a new hand-pump and well for the community. The travel group, from left to right: Colin Kelsall, Jessie Spruill and Meghan Reid.

And it all came down to this: connecting a chain to a hand pump and drawing up clean water for a village in desperate need of it.

 In December 2007, the Grand Challenges subcommittee of the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) published a report, “Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination.” The subcommittee identified 5 “Grand Challenges”. We have reproduced the challenges as quoted from the report’s Executive Summary.

Because these challenges inspire and compel our work, we feel they are important to share with you on our web site:

rainbowcatch.jpgUB engineers have created a more efficient way to catch rainbows, an advancement in photonics that could lead to technological breakthroughs in solar energy, stealth technology and other areas of research.

Qiaoqiang Gan, assistant professor of electrical engineering, and a team of graduate students described their work in a paper called “Rainbow Trapping in Hyperbolic Metamaterial Waveguide,” published Feb. 13 in the online journal Scientific Reports.

They developed a “hyperbolic metamaterial waveguide,” which is essentially an advanced microchip made of alternate ultra-thin films of metal and semiconductors and/or insulators. The waveguide halts and ultimately absorbs each frequency of light at slightly different places in a vertical direction to catch a “rainbow” of wavelengths.

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This news service is provided by Good Samaritan Institute, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

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