Focus on Technology

Wednesday afternoons during Cincinnati Edition, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.

Annette Stowasser

To the non-scientist, the Sunburst Diving Beetle doesn't look any different than your average beetle. But put it under a microscope and examine the complexity of its eyes. You will see bifocal eyes-six sets of them.


The space superpowers of China, Russia and the United States, as well as aspiring spacefaring nations such as Iran and North Korea, all have the capability to disrupt the global satellite operations that govern many aspects of life. GPS navigation, international phone calls, financial transactions, weather prediction and nuclear missile launch surveillance could all be affected.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Festo, a German automation company with plans to move its logistics center to Mason by the spring of 2016, is busy showing off its research and development to area students.

Mason and University of Cincinnati students got a look at Festo's Bionic Learning Network where UAVs emulate nature to improve automation.

Before applying the principles behind its SmartBird, Festo needed helium to move robotics through the air.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A roomful of patients have blank stares as they eye medical students and professionals inside a $3.3 million simulation laboratory now open at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Joe Glisson hates unnecessary steps. Last fall the Cincinnati Fire Lt. was getting frustrated by the moment when collecting leaves in the very small leaf blower bag attachment and then having to transfer them to a much larger yard waste bag.

At his Springfield Township home Glisson demonstrated how cumbersome it can be to have to fill up one bag and dump it into another.

He now has a solution to the problem. His invention is called "The Eliminator."

The ultimate in environmentally friendly housing might be a structure made partially of water. There is such a house in Kecskemet, Hungary. That's near where the architect who designed it grew up.

Matyas Gutai, PhD  got his inspiration to build the structure from open air hot baths in Tokyo, where despite the cold temperature outside, it was kept comfortably warm inside.

MN8 FoxFire

Zachary Green, CEO of MN8 FoxFire, and a Wyoming volunteer firefighter, has found new uses for "glow-in-the-dark" technology and is marketing them nationally and internationally.

He uses photoluminescence technology to light up firefighter helmets, safety signs and floor markings that show a safe way out of a workspace when the electricity goes out.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Tucked away inside the Milford City Building is a small technology company that is helping ALS patients and other people with the inability to move and communicate around the world.

Control Bionics is the combined venture of James Schorey and former CNN news anchor Peter Ford. Schorey designed the sensor used in the NeuroSwitch and Ford adapted it to people with only the slightest of movement.

How it works

Mylah's Facebook page

Six-year-old Mylah Bryant has a blood disease (aplastic anemia) that required chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Not only did doctors discuss making her well, they asked her parents if they wanted to preserve tissue so she could reproduce years later without the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

Wikipedia Commons / Steve Jurvetson derivative work: Mariordo

Just as Uber and Google ramp up testing for driverless cars on public streets, Mercedes-Benz and BMW announced at the Frankfort Auto Show they will develop autonomous cars. Other car manufacturers are already doing research in the robot car market, projected to be worth $42 billion by 2025.