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May 16, 2018

The SeatBOT: automating quality assurance

Up, down, forward, back, straight or tilted or down, push button or lever — car seats have a whole range of motions that have to work. A team from Humber College helped to build a system to let auto manufacturers test that range robotically. The Humber team – faculty members Neal Mohammed and Mohammad Al-Rady, and electromechanical engineering technology students Theodor Willert and Joshua Donnelly-Robertson – worked with industry partner 416 Automation Inc. to build SeatBOT, which eliminates the need for a person to do the functional and electrical tests automotive seats require. SeatBOT can automatically test buckles on seatbelts,... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A voyage to the bottom of the sea — by sonar

Understanding the ocean, its creatures and possibilities requires understanding where it ends: the ocean floor. But mapping that remote territory is by no means easy. A team from Nova Scotia Community College recently worked with industry partners to evaluate a new approach to imaging the bottom of the sea. The partners were evaluating R2Sonic multibeam echosounders, an improved method of sonar backscatter imaging that greatly increases the information returned by sonar surveys of the ocean floor. Types of data that can be derived from a multibeam echosounder survey include water depth, which can be used to show the elevation of... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Integrating kosher and food-safety guidelines

While there is much overlap between kosher and food safety programs, they have been kept markedly separate. Until now — thanks to the Kashruth Council of Canada and Niagara College’s joint project to develop an efficient way to integrate kosher certification with food safety planning. The council, a not-for-profit organization, is Canada’s largest certifier of kosher food. Its inspectors are responsible for determining that products made at more than 1,000 facilities across Canada and around the world meet the standards of Jewish dietary laws. At the same time, most of the world’s leading food retailers and manufacturers participate in the... Read more
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April 20, 2018

Not paving, but paradise — creating an organic garden

White Oaks Resort and Spa in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, wanted to convert 1,152 square feet of its property from grass into a sustainable garden. The area abuts a road and is exposed to high winds, car residue and pollution. Michael Wakil, White Oaks’s chief development officer, said the original plan was to extend the resort’s parking lot but he just couldn’t go through with it. “I realized when you look out, it would just be asphalt. There’s the parking that’s already here, then a roadway and then [another] parking lot. That’s a lot of asphalt,” he said. “It’s... Read more
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April 19, 2018

The unbreakable stone age

The ancient Japanese vase had survived much in its 6,000 years — but withstanding researchers’ probing hands was probably asking too much. That led its owner to Mohawk College with a question: could the college produce an exact replica of the neolithic pottery on a 3D printer in its Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre? Mohawk saw an opportunity in the project beyond the straightforward challenge of creating a 3D printed reproduction of a neolithic vase from Japan’s “Jomon” period. It was also a chance to develop and refine the potential of additive manufacturing as a tool for historical preservation. To do... Read more
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April 19, 2018

An animated conversation — with no words

The global marketplace presents many challenges to Canadian companies. How, for example, do you boil complex molecular science down for the layman — without using any words? The sales and marketing team at CSL Silicones Inc., a Guelph-based manufacturer of silicone coatings, lubricants, compounds and adhesives, used presentations with two-dimensional images to demonstrate how the coating functions — a fairly standard approach. But the company needed to find a way to communicate with a global audience —regardless of language or technical expertise. It wanted explanations that transcended language, designed for visual learners. They brought that challenge to a research team... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Making power wheelchairs smarter

Many people who use power wheelchairs have poor manual dexterity because of spinal cord, stroke or head injuries, or because of degenerative diseases. Even getting in and out of an accessible vehicle can be time-consuming, and sometimes dangerous, for them. Other tasks — such as taking a shower — require an attendant to drive the wheelchair away. SmartChair gives people who use wheelchairs more freedom and self-reliance while significantly improving their safety and mobility. SmartChair is a control system which can easily be integrated with any existing power wheelchair. The goal of the project is to give users added independence... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Building a wall to keep memories in their place

Hospital stays are hard on people struggling with impaired memory. Disoriented by unfamiliar surroundings and stripped of their usual activities, elderly patients may see their mental abilities decline even as their physical problems are being treated. To prevent deterioration in patients with memory problems, Woodstock General Hospital partnered with Fanshawe College to design and install a “cognition wall” in its complex continuing care unit. The CogWall, as it’s called, is divided into four sections, each featuring familiar objects against a background photo. The idea is that in each section the background photo and the familiar items displayed in front of... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Technology better suited to assessing Parkinson’s disease

Precisely measuring the severity of tremors suffered by people with Parkinson’s Disease is difficult but vital when it comes to determining the correct dosage of Levodopa, a drug therapy for patients with Parkinson's. Fanshawe College was proud to partner with Movement Disorder Diagnostic Technologies Inc. (MDDT) to create a prototype of a motion-capture suit and tremor arm sleeve to help with diagnosing and monitoring Parkinson's patients. Movement Disorder Diagnostic Technologies is a London-based medical device company using technology to advance care for people whose lives are being limited by tremors. It collaborated with Fanshawe's School of Design to create a... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Low-radiation X-rays offer powerful insights

Liz Lorusso, a professor at Fanshawe College School of Health Sciences, is being hailed internationally for her research on reducing radiation dose levels in X-rays. Lorusso worked with London area hospitals, capturing images using varying levels of X-ray radiation on mannequins with human bone anatomy. The results were astounding, showing today's advanced digital imaging technology does not require the same quantity of radiation as film-based X-rays do. "People are exposed to radiation through general X-ray imaging all the time, but using digital imaging we proved we could save patient dose by 50 to 75 per cent — without compromising diagnostic... Read more
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