NEWER POST

Style at the Station, May 10th: A Guilt-Free Shopping Celebration at Green...

OLDER POST

Stoop Stories Operates at Hopkins Friday!

Featured, Schools

Johns Hopkins APL Names Best Inventions of 2011

0 Written by: | Thursday, May 03, 2012 10:31am

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab is sort of like a playroom for really smart people, but instead of Legos they use microminature motors and undersea acoustic technologies. This is physics in action, folks, and it’s dramatic.

Last year, 460 scientists at the APL disclosed 259 inventions — an all time high! — but only two get honored at the Invention of the Year Award Reception (yes, trophies were provided).

The top invention of 2011 was the Ultra-Compact Multitasking Motor Controller, which is — well, it’s kind of exactly what it sounds like. By “ultra-compact,” the device’s inventors (Harry Eaton and Douglas Wenstrand) mean “the size of a dime.” Which is, indeed, ultra-compact. The controller is designed to coordinate movement in a state-of-the-art prosthetic arm, which features movements so nuanced that each individual finger can move independently. Previously, most similar controllers were three times the size of this one — and it’s able to coordinate with the 10 motors within the prosthetic arm, to boot.

The day’s other honors, the Government Purpose Innovation Award, went to the Constrained Probability of False Alarm Classification (CPFAC), which (to be honest) sounds less immediately cool, but is probably very useful.  Essentially CPFAC is a way for the Navy to eliminate clutter (ie, shipwrecks, shipping traffic, enormous squid) from sonar target detection and classification systems. This makes false alarms less likely.

According to Jerry Krill, assistant director for science and technology at APL, “Inventions are a key indicator of how innovative an organization is. The number of APL intellectual property disclosures reached an all-time high last year—an 84 percent increase—which is a tribute to our staff’s focus on innovation.”

Leave a Reply



NEWER POST

Style at the Station, May 10th: A Guilt-Free Shopping Celebration at Green...

OLDER POST

Stoop Stories Operates at Hopkins Friday!

Most Comments This Week

59

2

Baltimore, Heaven for House-Flippers

Written by Rachel Monroe

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 10:25am

2

What Guy Fieri Thinks About Baltimore

Written by Rachel Monroe

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 10:53am

1

Architectural Antiques: Shopping at Housewerks

Written by Meg Fielding

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 10:24am

Recent Comments

Steve
This Week’s Ticket Winner to the Baltimore Seafood Festival is…

"Seafood festival and free tickets to boot ... count me in!

curiousnick
Ocean City Decides to Implement Convoluted Smoking ‘Ban’

"Rehoboth and Dewey now have completely smoke free beaches, which seems to work

410REDZZ
Nat Geo Is About to Make Baltimore Look Pretty Terrible

"Baltimore is awesome if your scared of Baltimore it's your own fault. Baltimore is like...

anon.e.mouse
Nat Geo Is About to Make Baltimore Look Pretty Terrible

"Psssst Drew... just to catch you up on current events, Sheila Dixon's not the mayor...

Betty
Nat Geo Is About to Make Baltimore Look Pretty Terrible

"I don't believe in talking nasty to folks. Drew, you sound like you are full of anger,...

 

 

 

 

Find Doctors on ZocDoc