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Robohand Wins Top Mechanical Engineering Award

RoboHand

An improved robotic hand created by Virginia Tech undergraduates captured the top prize in the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition. The hand, called RAPHaEL 2 (Robotic Air-Powered Hand with Elastic Ligaments), is an intelligent device that relies on a feedback loop to continually sense changes in the position and pressure of its fingers. [EurekAlert]

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Poo Power!

iStock_000006961047X small

Efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs are giving rise to . . . poo power! That’s right – for the past few years engineers have been implementing new ways to convert waste products into usable biofuels. The process involves a series of chemical reactions know as anaerobic digestion, which ultimately produces a biogas composed largely of methane and carbon dioxide.

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The Cancer-Fighting Crusader

University of Virginia biomedical engineer Kevin Janes investigates how cells “make decisions” for good or ill. His research could lead to new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat cancers.

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This Won’t Hurt a Bit

Ellis Meng is working hard to save people’s sight using a method that gets away from painful, risky injections.

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Flying Solo

In 2007, Barrington Irving became the first African-American to fly a plane around the world solo — and also, at 23, reportedly the youngest.

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