Focus on Technology

Monday 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.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Breweries around the country are outdoing one another when it comes to going green.  No longer is giving spent grain to farmers the sole solution.   Companies are now looking at the entire sustainable picture, investing in expensive energy systems and changing ingredients.

WBUR details a few examples in "Survival of the Greenest Beer?"

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati, an advertising hub, is well positioned to be a "relevant player "  when it comes to multi-platform storytelling involving technology, according to John Hendricks, director of creative technology for Possible, a worldwide advertising agency with offices in Cincinnati.

Eliot F. Gomez

University of Cincinnati graduate Eliot Gomez, now doing research in Sweden at  Linköping University, has demonstrated with other scientists the world's first electronic plant. In the future this technology could possibly power small electronic devices or delay blooming if there was a frost.

Here's how he put "wires" into a rose while being careful not to clog the plant or kill it:

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

International conservationists, desperate to save endangered species, have turned to technology in the hope it will make a difference  before it's too late.

Protect is beginning to implant tiny cameras in the horns of rhinos. The rhinos also wear a bright turquoise radio collar equipped with a heart-rate monitor. If a poacher approaches the animal's heart rate will jump. That triggers an alarm and sends GPS coordinates to rangers who come quickly in a truck or by a helicopter. Here is video from the embedded camera:

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.

NASA

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.

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