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

    4

    Virginia Tries to Take Credit for Maryland Crabs

    Written by Rachel Monroe

    Monday, Jul 27, 2015 10:23pm

    1

    More Chaps Pit Beef Locations Coming Soon

    Written by Stephen Babcock

    Monday, Jul 27, 2015 1:15pm

    Recent Comments

    Kurt J
    Hogan Closes Baltimore City Jail, Effective Immediately

    "Hard to see how you could oppose Hogan's decision, Time for a much more independent...

    Kurt J
    Virginia Tries to Take Credit for Maryland Crabs

    "90% of the crabs eaten in Maryland are brought in from out of state, so you could live in...

    Millicent
    Virginia Tries to Take Credit for Maryland Crabs

    "Hear, hear!! Maryland crabs for everyone! (and great title, btw)

    Millicent
    Baltimore Protests Spur Discussions on Sentencing Reform

    "Wow, common sense on the rise -- love it!!

    Millicent
    Hogan Closes Baltimore City Jail, Effective Immediately

    "I gotta say, sounds like strong leadership to me. For the Maryland General Assembly to...