Drone and rover tag teams could help solve the world’s deadly land mine problem

Under Emerging TechDigital Trends interviewed Craig Putnam, associate director of robotics engineering, about the student-led project that is developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone. The goal is to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year. Putnam told Digital Trends, “the goal was to come up with a system that was as low cost as reasonably possible so that it could be afforded by some remote village that has a problem with land mines in the area.”

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Rover-Drone Combo Hope to Spot and Destroy Landmines

BBC News profiled WPI landmine-related research in this segment. “I believe we’re probably the first that’s been doing the robot drone duo in the context of looking for landmines. Initially, it was just the aerial part then we worked on the rover. Now we’re trying to bring it all together,” Craig Putnam, associate director, robotics engineering, told the BBC. The student teams are developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year.

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Icelandic National Broadcasting Service Interviews WPI Undergraduate Students Doing Project Work in Iceland

RUV theIcelandic National Broadcasting Service, interviewed WPI undergraduate students Kyle France, Veronica Melican, Sam Moran, and Suverino Frith from the university’s Iceland Project Center about their recommendations to improve bus service (6:47 mark). 

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WPI Students Developing Robot that can Find and Detonate Landmines

Boston 25 news broadcasted a segment on WPI students, under the guidance of Craig Putnam, senior instructor, computer science, developing an autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone that work together to search for and detonate landmines.

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‘I know I can do it’: WPI student looks forward to an engineering-related career — despite blindness

In a front-page article, The Boston Globe profiled WPI student  Jack Duffy-Protentis. “The sky’s the limit for Jack,’’ his mother told The Globe. “He’s innovative. He’s all personality. The experience at WPI made me realize that it’s not a disability for Jack. He’s differently abled, that’s all.’’​

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How to Help First-Year Students Tackle Project-Based Learning

WPI was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Ed's Teaching Newsletter. Beth McMurtrie, the Chronicle writer, attended a presentation by Geoffrey Pfeifer, associate teaching professor of philosophy and international and global studies, and Derren Rosbach, associate teaching professor of environmental studies, as part of WPI’s 2019 Institute for Project-Based Learning. She wrote about designing project-centered courses for first-year students.

 

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Iceland TV News Features WPI Project Center

In Iceland Project Center news, TV news station RUV interviewed Professors and project advisors Fred Looft (16:10, 17:46 marks) and Ingrid Shockey (16:57 mark) about the work students will be undertaking there related to transportation congestion.  “They’ll be conducting surveys. I’m sure you’ll see our students around town,” Shockey told RUV.

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Citizen scientists help create heat map of Worcester

WPI’s effort to help Worcester determine the city’s hottest areas was detailed in thisTelegram &  Gazette article. “Excessive heat is a public health threat, especially to people we’d describe as vulnerable,” said   Associate Professor, IGSD, Seth Tuler, who is working on the project. He also noted that he hoped the project would provide “a more fine-grained understanding” of how that health threat is distributed across Worcester. WPI’s Global Lab was a project funder, the article added.

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WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Lab Featured on WBZ Radio

WBZ Radio featured WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Lab, interviewing students and describing the research done there. “WPI boasts the largest fire lab in academia nationwide. They put the lab to good use doing a number of controlled burns over the course of the year,” WBZ reported.

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Tracking Massachusetts' Disappearing Whip-Poor-Wills

 

WGBH’s Morning Edition” profiled bird research by Associate Teaching Professor Marja Bakerman, “Tracking Massachusetts’ Disappearing Whip-Poor-Wills”. The research project, a collaboration between WPI and Mass Wildlife, features catching and putting GPS tags on the birds to collect data on their travels,” the report stated.  

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From Albania to Singapore, U.S. Students Look for Tailored Experiences Abroad

The New York Times featured WPI’s study abroad program, including students in Albania, Singapore and Kyoto, in this article. “This is about solving an open-ended problem in an entirely different culture, in an entirely different location without friends and family,” President Leshin told The Times, which referred to study abroad as a “boots-on-the-ground” experience with challenge and purpose.

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High-Impact Practices Work

Inside Higher Ed featured this op-ed by Richard Vaz, director, Center for Project-Based Learning. “The benefits of having students tackle authentic problems are powerful. Problems that communities or organizations face are almost always interdisciplinary and require consideration of a range of stakeholders’ perspectives,” he wrote.

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Looking Back on This Year's Classroom Experiments

Inside Higher Ed interviewed WPI Librarian Anna Gold, and Lori Ostapowic-Critz, associate director, library academic strategies, for this article. Gold noted that WPI’s Shuster Lab for Digital Scholarship (centered on project-based learning) is a popular home for informal and course-related digital scholarship.

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Stigma Free Worcester App

Worcester News Tonight covered the Stigma Free app, designed by WPI students, which will help people battling addiction and other struggles anonymously. The City of Worcester and WPI students teamed up to get the app off the ground. 

 

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Sinking city: how Venice is managing Europe's worst tourism crisis

Fabio Carrera, teaching professor and director of the Venice Project Center for 30 years, was interviewed for a lengthy feature story in The Guardian (UK) about the negative impact of tourism on Venice. In this article, Carrera, who tracks tourism flow and believes Venice’s maximum capacity for tourists per day should be better managed, noted that “no other city faces a bigger tourism challenge.”  

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Worcester Red Sox and WPI Team Up for New Ballpark

NBC Boston reported on WPI announcing its partnership with the Worcester Red Sox whereby the university will be the official academic technology advisor to the team, helping the club design and develop what will be known as Polar Park. It is expected to open in 2021.

 

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Transforming Higher Education through Project-Based Learning

For nearly 50 years, WPI has been helping students become effective collaborators, innovators, and global citizens through project-based learning.

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WPI Sports Shoe Sole to One Day Help Athletes Decrease the Risk of ACL Tears

WCVB's The Cutting Edge covered WPI's sports shoe sole, which was designed by Chris Brown, professor of mechanical engineering, and a team of students, to reduce the incidence of non-contact knee and ankle injuries in organized sports.

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As Venice Natives Vanish, Life Drains From an Ancient Market

The Wall Street Journal cites data collected by Fabio Carrera, global studies teaching professor, in an article about Venice, Italy’s declining residential and tourist population.

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WPI team developing athletic shoe to reduce ACL knee injuries

WPI students Julia Dunn ’19, Josephine Bowen ’20, graduate student Jimmy Muller, and Professor Chris Brown are featured in the Telegram & Gazette about an athletic shoe designed to reduce knee and ankle injuries.  

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