Carnegie Mellon University
May 17, 2011

News Brief: Turning Ideas Into Reality

Carnegie Mellon faculty and students will help Toyota turn five ideas for repurposing Toyota automotive technologies into reality during a rapid prototyping session in Newell-Simon Hall and the Electric Garage June 3-5.

Improved bike helmets, a solar-powered device for clearing smoke from huts, a system for converting the energy of gym rats into electricity, technology to help firefighters position their ladders, and a device that combines a computer mouse, keyboard and numerical pad are the five winning ideas submitted for Toyota's "Ideas for Good" campaign. The people who submitted the ideas will be flown to Pittsburgh for the weekend workshop and will be paired with experts from CMU, Toyota and Pittsburgh "post-digital shop" Deeplocal, who will work to bring the ideas to fruition. Each winner also will receive a Toyota vehicle.
Illah Nourbakhsh, associate professor of robotics, is serving as faculty coordinator for the workshop. About a half dozen students and faculty members will take part, he said.
Deeplocal, headed by CMU alum Nathan Martin, has worked with Toyota throughout  the Ideas for Good campaign and has organized the "build weekend" at Carnegie Mellon. The shop also built and videotaped its own versions of a roller coaster using Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive and a disaster-relief tent using the Solar-Powered Ventilation System.

Byron Spice