SPIE Professional January 2011
The team that developed the Argus II retinal implant has been recognized with a Popular Mechanics 2010 Breakthrough Award.
The Argus II retinal implant, which also won an R&D 100 Editors’ Choice Award in 2009, is designed to restore vision to people who are blind because of degenerative retinal diseases such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. There are millions of people in the world with degenerative retinal diseases.
The device takes images from an external video camera and sends electric signals to an array implanted in the eye, bypassing damaged photoreceptors to kick-start retinal cells that are still viable.
Six U.S. national labs, four universities, and a commercial partner are continuing to develop technologies that will enable third- and fourth-generation models of the retinal implant that could provide enough resolution to read 24-point font and recognize faces.
Photograph courtesy of Elinor Carucci
Tester donates solar panels
TÜV Rheinland PTL, a provider of safety and performance testing and market certification for the photovoltaic and solar thermal marketplace, has donated more than 50 solar panels for an Arizona water reclamation facility.
The town of Chino Valley is just the latest of numerous organizations in Arizona that have benefitted from TÜV’s solar panel donation program. TÜV has been recycling modules from its facilities for 12 years because they no longer have commercial value after testing. Per an agreement between TÜV and the manufacturers, the tested panels are donated for educational or nonprofit purposes, primarily to expand awareness and share the benefits of renewable energy.
Chino Valley’s water reclamation facility uses microfiltration processes and tertiary treatment to produce class A+ effluent for replenishing the groundwater aquifer.
The town plans to expand its promotion of clean and renewable energy with the solar panels.
SPIE Smart Structures
Organizers of the Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) conference at SPIE Smart Structures and Non-Destructive Evaluation in San Diego (USA) will hold an EAP-in-Action session 7 March.
This session, chaired by SPIE Fellow Yoseph Bar-Cohen, will highlight the latest capabilities and applications of EAP materials where the attendees are shown demonstrations of these materials in action. Also, the attendees interact directly with technology developers and are given "hands-on" experience with this emerging technology.
Thomas Sugar, the Arizona State University associate professor who has created a mechanical ankle that uses artificial intelligence to store and release energy in the joint like a spring, will give a keynote talk during the session.
The symposium, held 6-10 March, is a multidisciplinary forum that seeks to advance research in adaptive structures and mechanisms, smart sensors, NDE, civil infrastructure, aerospace systems, energy harvesting, and more.
More than 950 presentations will be made in these areas:
Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Nano-, Bio-, Info-Tech Sensors and Systems
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems
Smart Sensor Phenomena, Technology, Networks, and Systems
Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security
Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems
Special Session on Wind Energy Applications
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