CASIS Awards New Grants for ISS Tech

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) this week announced the recipients of new grants for developing technologies for the International Space Station (ISS).

CASIS is a non-profit organization which manages research conducted in the ISS’s U.S. National Laboratory. The grant awards, the sums of which CASIS did not disclose, include awards for developing an augmented reality (AR) system for conducting scientific experiments, a hardware-based solution for dampening fluctuations and disturbances in the microgravity environment of the space station, and a “spacecraft-on-a-chip experimental satellite platform.”

“Today’s award announcement is instrumental in the efforts of CASIS to enhance the capabilities that exist for research on the ISS,” CASIS chief operating officer Duane Ratliff said in a statement. “To enable world-class science, you need to have world-class facilities and innovative platforms to conduct research.

“The ISS already serves as an unparalleled platform for research and innovation, and through continued enhancements to the station, we will continue to open more opportunity to the research community and drive inquiry truly capable of groundbreaking discovery not capable on Earth.”

The three recipients of the grant awards are Dr. Jayfus Doswell of Juxtopia in Baltimore, Md., Dr. Scott Green from Controlled Dynamics of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Dr. Mason Peck from Cornell University, who will be working in coordination with Houston-based NanoRacks.

Doswell’s proposal is the development of AR goggles and software based on Juxtopia’s Context-Aware Mobile Mixed Assistive Device (CAMMRAD), which will be designed to assist ISS astronauts in conducting scientific experiments aboard the ISS.

Green is developing “an insert for existing ISS hardware that will provide research payloads with a ‘controlled dynamic acceleration environment,'” CASIS said. This technology “promises to attract a new class of research experiments and private funding aimed at exploiting this controlled acceleration environment in microgravity” and could be used in space experiments involving cell, tissue, and plant culturing, crystallization, and more, according to the organization.

Finally, Peck and NanoRacks are building a small, experimental satellite called “Sprite” which could be programmed and deployed from the ISS. As with the other two technologies receiving grant awards, CASIS expects the Sprite satellite platform to attract attention in the private sector as well.


Juxtopia Imhotep: another Baltimore team competing for $10M health IT prize

The Johns Hopkins University students behind Team Aezon aren’t the only local competitors vying for $10 million in the global Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE health IT competition.

Another team, Juxtopia Imhotep, is a group of 13 minority and women students and entrepreneurs from high school and college. The team itself is led by Jayfus Doswell, the founder of biotech and IT company Juxtopia, which is based out of the Emerging Technology Center at the Johns Hopkins University – Eastern Campus on 33rd St.


Blacks in Tech gala highlights black Baltimoreans in STEM fields

The focus was on black Baltimoreans in STEM fields at the Baltimore City Robotics Center on Friday night.

During a Blacks in Tech gala, 10 students from Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle School and Morgan State University, as well as some other city high school students, had a chance to mingle with about 25 adults who work at different tech businesses in Baltimore city. The University of Maryland BioPark, biomedical and IT company Juxtopia and the Maryland Science Olympiad were several groups who sent representatives.

“The idea was to show high school students the very rich STEM entrepreneurship fields from Baltimore and then get them to interface with these companies directly,” said Paul Mincarelli, director of operations at the Baltimore City Robotics Center.

The impetus for the event itself came out of the “A Day in the Life” series on National Public Radio put together by national radio and television commentator Mario Armstrong. Throughout December, black American tech entrepreneurs used #NPRBlacksInTech to talk about their experiences. (Armstrong, Baltimore city’s first CTO, expressed his regrets on Twitter that he couldn’t attend.)

Mincarelli said the Blacks in Tech event, which was attended by about 50 people, is the first in a series of monthly professional development events at the Baltimore City Robotics Center.

CREDIT: Technically

Suit Could Make Space Diving Next Extreme Sport

When daredevil Felix Baumgartner broke three world records Oct. 14, 2012, by jumping from a pressurized capsule 127,852 feet above the Earth, millions of people watched. And no doubt nearly every single one of them wondered, “Would I do that?” Not everyone might jump if given the chance, but two companies are working on a space suit to make the feat possible for those who would.

Solar System Express and Juxtopia, both based in Baltimore, MD-based, have teamed up to create a space diving suit that they say could be in production by 2016. The initial testing will be done by a robot, not a human.

The suit will be able to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure changes and help the diver deal with the lack of oxygen. An augmented reality heads-up display will show the wearer his or her vital signs as well as the technical details related to the outside conditions. Rocket boosters in the boots will help stabilize the person’s descent.

A video shows what space diving might look like. The big question is, Would you do it?

CREDIT: Discovery


The Interview: Jayfus Doswell

Recently called one of the “rock stars who make things happen” by the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, city technologyleader Jayfus Doswell is a modern-day Renaissance man.

While his job focuses on developing cutting-edge technologies, Doswell also works to break ground for new businesses and research in Baltimore. On top of that, he is committed to helping young people from underprivileged backgrounds learn the skills that will allow them to succeed, too.

Doswell is founder, president and CEO of Juxtopia LLC, a Baltimore biomedical and information technology company founded in 2001 that specializes in human performance monitoring products and services.

Doswell, who studied computer science and cognitive neuropsychology at Oberlin College and holds a doctorate in information technology from George Mason University, recently sat down with The Baltimore Sun to share his thoughts on Juxtopia, the importance of giving back to the community and his family’slong history in America

Could you explain what Juxtopia does?

Our mission is to improve human performance with wearable technology such as our flagship product, wearable see-through display goggles. … [In] a scenario, a combat medic could be on the battlefield saving someone’s life and get stuck on the life-saving procedure. While wearing the Juxtopia goggles, [the medic] can then voice retrieve step-by-step … information on providing casualty management care needed to save that injured soldier’s life. For example, instructions on the see-through display would use a multimedia platform that projects animation, text, graphics, pictorial mnemonics or video assistance on performing that task correctly, i.e., accurately and with decreased time.

Is this being used now?

It is something that can be used today. We started working on the research in 2004, and at that time no one was working on a consumer-grade, wearable augmented-reality head display. Most of the work was being done for [the] military. We secured our grant from the National Science Foundation … and worked with Georgetown University to develop the product. Our recent delivery was to Tennessee State University.

They wanted to build upon our platform so they could provide on-demand instruction to electrical engineering students to … assemble a printed circuit board. So when students wear Juxtopia goggles, the virtual instructor provides step-by-step guidance without a human instructor.

How much would [the goggles] sell for?

Depends on the application, but they range from $5,000 to $9,000 for our target market. We are working with Johns Hopkins [to use] them as a real biomedical device. In that research project … we’re working with pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital to replace surgical loupes that surgeons typically wear. By replacing the loupes with the Juxtopia goggles, it would provide brain surgeons a surgical navigation interface, allowing them to magnify a computer image [seven times] and at the same time see other types of medical images on the same heads-up display such as a CAT scan … all through one monitor. The price point for those goggles [would be] $50,000 to $75,000.

Tell us about, the nonprofit.

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