Case Studies-CTTEC - Carnegie Mellon University


Start-ups: GigaPan Systems

GigaPan Systems was established in 2008 as a commercial spin-off of a successful collaboration between the researchers at NASA and Carnegie Mellon University that developed the breakthrough GigaPan technology for creating high-resolution panoramic images. GigaPan Systems was founded to bring this powerful, high-resolution imaging capability to a broad audience.

The GigaPan System allows experienced and novice photographers to create high-resolution panorama images more easily than ever before and the resulting GigaPan images offer viewers a new, unique perspective on the world. The GigaPan System is the first solution that offers everything needed to take high-resolution panoramic images in a single system: the robotic GigaPan Imager attachment for most digital cameras; the GigaPan Stitcher software that automatically combines the thousands of images taken into a single image, and the GigaPan Viewer on the site that enables the unique mega-high resolution viewing experience.

The GigaPan System was originally used as part of a cultural exchange program, Global Connection Project, a collaboration of scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, Google Inc., and the National Geographic Society which aims to help connect communities and peoples around the globe through images. Many of these images are available for viewing online with the unique GigaPan viewer at the GigaPan sharing community, The GigaPan System makes it easy and fun for both experienced and novice photographers to get the bigger picture and share these high resolution images with others. GigaPan images are fun to share with family and friends near or far. For students and researchers, GigaPan images are a great way to present high-impact, visual information. GigaPan images also have tremendous power for business. For example in tourism and real estate, companies can use beautiful GigaPan images of their locations to allow customers to explore them online. GigaPan images are already used by the following:

  • Google Earth

To learn more about GigaPan Systems

To learn more about the original GigaPan Project



License: Worldheart

Founded in 1996, WorldHeart is a public company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah (USA), with additional offices located in Oakland, California (USA), and in Herkenbosch (The Netherlands). Its registered office is Delaware, USA. Its stock trades on the NASDAQ National Market (ticker symbol: WHRT).

WorldHeart's mechanical circulatory support devices assist the failing heart to pump blood. These pumps are also called VADs (Ventricular Assist Devices). WorldHeart's VADs are used to support the left ventricle, which takes oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to and through the tissues and organs. As a result of this heavy and constant demand, the left ventricle does most of the pumping work and therefore fails more often. Long-term support of the left ventricle alone is estimates to serve more than 80% of eligible patients. In this application, these devices are called LVADs (Left Ventricular Assist Devices).

In November of 2009, Worldheart finalized assignment and exclusive license agreements with LaunchPoint Technologies Inc., (LPT) Goleta, California, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for its next-generation minimally invasive blood pump, the MiVAD. The MiVAD(TM) is designed to provide partial cardiac support between 2-4 liters per minute to less sick heart failure patients than those served by existing full-support Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs).

The MiVAD design is based on the Pediaflow(TM) LVAD design and intellectual property. The PediaFlow LVAD, a miniaturized implantable fully magnetically levitated blood pump, is intended for neonates and has evolved significantly through design and development. The latest version of the PediaFlow pump is approximately the size of a AA battery and was successfully evaluated in a multi-month animal trial this summer. The Pediaflow LVAD development has been led by the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has been primarily funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute with supplemental funding and technology contributions from WorldHeart. WorldHeart, CMU and LPT are members of the development consortium. The work completed on this device is the foundation for the MiVAD. Additionally, the MiVAD will incorporate existing intellectual property as well as internal and external design features from the Levacor(TM) LVAD.

To learn more about Worldheart


Emerging Technologies - Braille Writing Tutor

More than 90% of the world's 161 million blind and/or visually impaired people are living in developing countries. Despite the importance of literacy to employment, social well-being, and health, the literacy rate of this population is estimated at under 3%.  This research project is designed to develop assistive technology to address this critical problem. The project's scope was to design, implement, and test an adaptive Braille writing tutor for the Mathru School for the Blind in Bangalore, India.

The resulting invention teaches blind children in third world countries read and write Braille in much less time and with higher learning rates. A robust, low-power Braille writing tutor – consisting of a digital stylus that interfaces to a computer, PDA, or SimPuter – uses text-to-speech software to speak sentences to the student. As the student writes each letter on the stylus, it provides immediate audio feedback by repeating the written letters and words and correcting mistakes.

Sponsors for the program include the V-Unit Program, TechBridge World and a Carnegie Mellon University-University of Pittsburgh-National Science Foundation IGERT Program in Assistive Technology

About TechBridgeWorld: TechBridge World innovates and implements technology solutions to meet sustainable development needs around the world. Through strong collaborations with partners in developing communities, we explore and enhance the role of technology globally, focusing on two main principles: sharing expertise to create innovative and locally suitable solutions, and empowerment of indigenous populations to create sustainable solutions. Through these efforts TechBridgeWorld creates technology accessible and relevant to all.

To learn more about the Braille Writing Tutor

To learn more about the Tech Bridge World