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WPI Digital Health Innovations

Worcester News Tonight featured the news of PracticePoint at WPI’s Gateway Park being named the site of the first so-called “sandbox” by Gov. Baker who was on campus yesterday to announce the new grant program. “It’s going to be about engineering and data science, and those are two areas where WPI is a national leader,” Gov. Baker said (8:45 mark). President Laurie Leshin added, “There’s so much innovation happening right here in the heart of the commonwealth, right here in Worcester. It’s fantastic to see the state recognizing that.”

Movers and Shakers

Gregory Fischer, William Smith Dean’s Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering, was noted in the Worcester Business Journal on his being elected a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.

College Town: WPI Professor Elected a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors

This week’s College Town in the Telegram & Gazette led off with Gregory Fischer, William Smith Dean’s Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering, being elected a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors. The article noted some of Fischer’s work, including development of an MRI-compatible robotic system, which will enable more effective treatment of metastatic brain tumors.

New Robotic System Aims to Destroy Brain Tumors

WPI researchers led by Gregory S. Fischer, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics engineering, were featured in Machine Design. They, along with Albany Medical College and corporate partners, received a five-year, $3.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing an innovative medical robotic system. 

Robotic system targets brain tumors with high-intensity ultrasound

Physics World reported on WPI researchers led by Gregory S. Fischer, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics engineering, and Albany Medical College, along with corporate partners, receiving a five-year, $3.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing an innovative robotic system. Operating within an MRI scanner, it can deliver a minimally invasive probe into the brain to destroy metastatic brain tumors with high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound under real-time guidance.

WPI receives $3.5M to develop robotic system to eliminate brain tumors

The Worcester Business Journal reported on research led by Gregory S. Fischer, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics engineering, and Albany Medical College, along with corporate partners, receiving a five-year, $3.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing an innovative robotic system to treat brain tumors.

WPI Alumni-Led Team Wins 2018 Battlebots World Championship

Charter TV3 Worcester News Tonight is the latest media outlet to report on a WPI alumni-led team winning the 2018 BattleBots World Championship. The station aired an interview with Bite Force team captain Paul Ventimiglia ’12. 

Sailing Away: Behind WPI’s Victorious SailBot 2018 Pursuit

WPI’s sailing prowess was highlighted in Robotics Business Review, " Sailing Away: Behind WPI's Victorious Sailbot 2018 Pursuit." “For the second year in a row, a team from Worcester Polytechnic Institute won the event,” the article stated.  

This Robot Will Hunt Lionfish to Save Coral Reefs

Popular Mechanics wrote about undergraduate students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute building an autonomous underwater robot that could help reduce the threat posed by an invasive species of fish. 

Craig Putnam Speaks to WBUR About the Lionfish Robot

Craig Putnam, senior instructor in computer science and associate director of the Robotics Engineering Program, was interviewed on WBUR radio about undergraduate students building an autonomous underwater robot that could help reduce the threat posed by an invasive species of fish.  

How to Get Siri and Alexa to Understand What You are Saying

Lifehacker.com interviewed robotics engineering research professor, Candace Sidner, for this article. Sidner offered insight into why voice assistants can sometimes be frustrating. “They are essentially programmed to do certain kinds of things, so they are breaking down utterances presented to them and then doing a search on the web.” 

Face to Face With Autism

Gregory Fischer, mechanical and robotics engineering professor, and Laurie Dickstein-Fischer, professor of education at Salem State University, were interviewed for this article. The feature story focused on the potential of robots, including the Fischers’ PABI (Penguin for Autism Behavioral Intervention), to help therapists treat adults and children with autism.

Cutting Edge: PABI

WCVB TV 5’s Chronicle aired a story about PABI, a sophisticated and loveable robotic penguin developed by WPI and Salem State University that could change the way behavioral therapies are provided to children with autism. PABI is the brainchild of WPI mechanical and robotics engineering professor Gregory Fischer and Salem State University School of Education professor Laurie Dickstein-Fischer. 

Haptic Glove Creates Realistic Force Response

Referring to him as a “leader in haptic technology,” the American Society of Mechanical Engineers featured Cagdas Onal, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, in the article.  “Many potential applications exist, including prosthetic/orthotic devices, wearable technologies, robotic collaborators/assistants, elder care, and systems that augment human performance,” Onal said.

A Future Finally Free of Cell Phone Chargers Gets a Little Closer

USA Today interviewed Alexander Wyglinski, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, for the lead article in its Tech section. Commenting on sound waves generated by technology able to generate enough power to keep multiple devices running, Wyglinski said, “in general, just like with any other signal, there’s an issue with it getting weaker the farther away it travels from the transmission source.” 

Industrial robots are security weak link

Mike Gennert, director of WPI’s Robotics Engineering program, discusses some of the challenges faced by companies and IT departments using industrial robots. 

New WPI Center Aims To Accelerate Smart Medical Device Production
  • WPI received a $5 million state grant for a new healthcare research and product development initiative. The new center, PracticePoint at WPI, will be established at the college's Gateway Park. 
With robots on the job, it won't be IT as usual

Michael Gennert, professor and director, robotics engineering, was quoted in this article. "It’s very much a different mindset than traditional IT,” he said. “Robots affect the real world. That brings issues IT managers have not had to confront.”

WNT WPI Robotics Competition

Worcester News Tonight aired a story on its Thursday night newscasts about the FIRST robotics district competition being held at WPI yesterday and today, which will feature 40 teams from all six New England states. Ken Stafford, WPI robotics professor and robotics resource center director, was interviewed for the segment and said the competition “has all the elements of an exciting NBA tournament with the thinking elements of math, science and engineering.” 

WPI Robotics - Finalist in NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge

Channel 5, the ABC affiliate in Boston, broadcast a story about the WPI robotics team being named a finalist in NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge. 

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