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

    13

    OxyClean and Oxycontin: The Mothership Visits Boston

    Written by Marion Winik

    Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 9:26am

    3

    Mixed Reactions to NY Times Baltimore Story

    Written by Rachel Monroe

    Monday, Jul 06, 2015 8:49am

    2

    Sheila Dixon Will Challenge SRB in 2016 Mayor's Race

    Written by Stephen Babcock

    Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 2:26pm

    1

    Baltimore Mayor Fires Back at Huckabee After Remark

    Written by Robert OBrien

    Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 1:13pm

    Recent Comments

    Darragh Brady
    Mixed Reactions to NY Times Baltimore Story

    "I am not born and bred in Baltimore- I spent all of my formative years in NYC- I moved...

    Kat Hudson
    Mixed Reactions to NY Times Baltimore Story

    "I had pretty mixed feelings about the essay. Some of it rings very true to me, as I, too,...

    Bill Mcallen
    Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Is Killing Baltimoreans

    "As they say. Pick your poison.

    anon.e.mouse
    Mixed Reactions to NY Times Baltimore Story

    "Did not like it at all. Talk about snarky. His ideas of ambition are not everyone's idea,...

    Deb
    Sheila Dixon Will Challenge SRB in 2016 Mayor’s Race

    "Sheila has always cared about our communities. She took a political hit and handled it...