Learning-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University


2009 Highlights

Internship Program Stages Third QoLT Foundry Opportunity Meeting

foundry interns photoOn July 2, 2009 the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center’s Foundry staged its third opportunity meeting in which interns presented business models resulting from the Foundry Process.  The QoLT Foundry was established to accelerate the commercialization of research from the QoLT ERC. After nearly eight weeks of research, validation and preparation, technology opportunities were presented by the Foundry’s 2009 Summer interns.  The Foundry’s internship program, in its second year, has grown from four students to eight.  This year’s team  drew from business, law and engineering and included four University of Pittsburgh masters students, three Carnegie Mellon University masters students, and an undergraduate from Georgia Tech.  Through this unique opportunity, the team presented to an audience of local technology based economic development  partners, investors, entrepreneurs and QoLT industry partners. This effort has already led to several individual follow-on meetings.  Opportunities presented included VibeAttire, Lean& Zoom, Inhabited Web, Scratch Input, Whosat? and PicChooser (visit www.qolt.org/QoLTFoundry/opportunities.html for more information on these technologies).

The Foundry’s comprehensive process has been crafted and implemented to identify, qualify and advance technologies to a point much further along the commercialization path than customary for academic research – even ERC research – implementing a “push-pull” strategy of rapidly developing these technologies into readily fundable local companies with scalable products.  Although QoLT’s primary charter is to create disruptive technologies for the benefit of people with reduced functional capabilities due to aging or disability, the potential applications for these universally designed QoLT products are much broader, enabling the exploitation of larger mainstream markets. In addition to the commercialization effort, the QoLT Foundry activities are proving to be a great vehicle to attract new members. Prospective members are able to see concrete evidence of the commercialization commitment with technology and platforms for their industries, opening their eyes to view the ongoing research as a value for longer-term horizons.

To view the technologies presented, click here.

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2008 Highlights

Student Leadership Council Creates Undergraduate Mentoring Program

The Quality of Life Technology Center Student Leadership Council kicked off the QoLiTY Undergraduate Research Program designed for CMU and Pitt sophomores and juniors.  The goal of this project is to give undergraduate students in both universities the opportunity to participate in a research project as well as providing mentoring opportunities for faculty and graduate students.  At the end of the semester students report on their experience and present at a poster session.  Visit the Student Leadership Council(2008)

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QoLT Center Highlighted in Popular Media

Rory Cooper was guest editor, and several QoLT faculty contributed articles to, a special issue of IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology magazine. The QoLT Center and our partner (and consortium member) Blueroof Technologies were featured in a segment about robotics in Pittsburgh on the PBS show "News Hour with Jim Lehrer" on April 23, 2008. (2008)

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Smart Street Light

Smart Street Light graphic

We designed and developed a prototype of a "The Smart Street Pole Information and Communication Node" that enables verbal and visual communication with residents moving about through a smart neighborhood. It is capable of relaying alerts from wearable call buttons, bringing important information on demand to people while outdoors and supporting safety by visual observation of the neighborhood. This "Smart Street Light" is environmentally friendly: it is solar powered, and can adjust its light output according to time of night – lowering it during the wee hours and raising it when someone is nearby. In the future, we will add advanced functionality such as people tracking and automatic detection of dangerous situations and emergencies. This project was done by a group of schoolteachers in our RET program and QoLT IPAB member Blueroof Technologies. (2008)

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PerMMA Exhibited to Wounded Warrior Champion

Wounded Warrior Champion graphic

PerMMA was shown in action to Congressman John P. Murtha at the May 29, 2008 Showcase for Commerce in Johnstown, PA. The PerMMA was part of a suite of technologies – aimed especially for wounded warriors – that includes the Blueroof Independence Module (a customizable, assistive living quarters)and telemedicine and telerehabilitation technologies from the Center of Excellence for Remote and Under-Served Areas at St. Francis University.  Started in 1991 as a local exhibition of area businesses, the Showcase for Commerce is now the largest business and industry show and premier defense contracting exhibit in the region.  Visit PerMMA. (2008)

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