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.

Made in Space

Building a house on Mars and other out of this world ideas are already in development on earth at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and other small companies like Made in Space.

In December, 2014, on the International Space Station, astronaut Barry Wilmore opened up a 3D printer, launched a year earlier, and pulled out a part designed by Made in Space, a ratchet wrench. NASA demonstrates how it works back on earth.

Pacifics Facebook page

A California umpire had one less thing to do July 28 and 29  as a computer called the balls and strikes for an independent baseball league.

The  so-called "Robo Ump"  is a system of three cameras placed strategically on the field and microcomputers in a nearby van, made by Sportvision.

Cincinnati Zoo (taken by a drone)

The Cincinnati Zoo is in the midst of a massive project to make hippos feel welcome and give them a clean place to live.

The clean part sounds easier than it actually is because the dirty little secret about hippopotamuses is they poop a lot. Two of them defecate nearly 1,000 pounds a day. In essence Mark Fisher, vice president of the zoo's facilities, says he has to build a massive toilet that is nice and clean so visitors can view the hippos in an underwater tank.

wikimedia commons

The legalized marijuana market could be worth at least 36 billion dollars annually by 2020, bigger than the NFL, by some estimates. For that reason technology companies are wasting no time entering both the medical and recreational use arena.

iFetch

Many of veterinarian Dr. Bob Biederman's clientele are millennials and Gen Xers who live downtown. Often  they are the first to buy new pet technology.

Tim Zarki / University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati calls its research on smart windows which simultaneously controls shade and privacy electronically at a low-cost "breakthrough." 

The patent-pending research from UC and its partners, Hewlett Packard and EMD/Merck Research Labs, is a roll-on coating made up of a honeycomb of electrodes.

Mayfield Clinic

University of Cincinnati biomedical engineers, neurologists and Mayfield Clinic brain surgeons are in the process of creating a sound map for the abnormal brain.

Deep inside the head, groups of neurons make sounds. The doctors will use the sounds to figure out what the problem areas are and how to better treat abnormalities in the brain.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Inside a nondescript Loveland building, AMP Electric Vehicles is putting the finishing touches on the electric delivery trucks it’s building for United Parcel Service.  The U.S. Post Office might be the next customer.

UPS has ordered 18 of them for its Houston market and AMP CEO Steve Burns is trying to convince them to buy more of the electric trucks.

The electric truck

University of Cincinnati

First, an elementary lesson in solvents. They are used in a lot of things including drugs, tires, plastics and more. Most people believe solvents are necessary to mix certain chemical elements together.

Flexible doesn't have to mean flimsy. Think of a tree bending in a wind gust or a bird flying into a headwind. Soon Air Force planes will be outfitted with wing flaps that morph to make them more fuel efficient and quieter.

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