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SFU research defines innovation at 2017 #BCTECH Summit

March 13, 2017
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The greatest innovations in history have come from people bold enough to explore possibilities and take novel approaches. Simon Fraser University is built on this premise.

“The diversity of innovations from SFU, ranging from virtual reality, robotics, clean technology, data analytics and advanced materials, highlights the various ways technology can have an impact on our lives,” says Joy Johnson, vice-president of research and international, and SFU Innovates leader.

At this year’s #BCTECH Summit, 10 SFU researchers will showcase their innovative projects. Here is a snapshot of what you can expect to see from SFU.

SFU Innovations at #BCTECH

Innovation Runway – Health & Life Sciences

Ehsan Daneshi, vp business development, Ophthalight. Portable and Digital Solutions for Ophthalmology – Originally developed at SFU, Ophthalight's technology helps make basic eye care more accessible by providing eye care professionals with advanced mobile health tools that increase the accuracy, speed, and profitability of eye exams. Visitors will be able to see a live demo of their O-Glass diagnostic device.

Edward Park, professor, mechatronic systems engineering. Wearable Tech for Elderly Care – This collaborative research project is dedicated to improving seniors' quality of life through innovative wearable healthcare, utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Professor Park’s team has developed novel ways of continuously and automatically monitoring the activities of seniors, from detecting changes in their activity patterns that can be precursors to health concerns, to acute events such as falls.

Siamak Arzanpour, professor, mechatronic systems engineering. A Lower Limb Anthropomorphic Exoskeleton System –The exoskeleton is a robotic leg that could one day help wheelchair users walk again by providing the full range of motion to support normal walking and self-balance. To achieve that, professor Arzanpour and his team designed miniaturized, versatile robotic joints. These have many applications including mobility assistive devices, motion augmentation, robotic rehabilitation, gaming, robotic surgery and fall preventions.

Stephen Robinovitch, professor, engineering science and Canada Research Chair. Mechanisms and Prevention of Concussions in Ice Hockey – Professor Robinovitch and his team have partnered with the SFU men’s hockey team to record and monitor head collisions in game play, using miniature sensors integrated into helmets. Visitors will be able to try on both the instrumented helmets and modified shoulder pads.

Research Runway

Carolyn Sparrey, professor, mechatronic systems engineering. Engineering Solutions to Personalize Health Care – In the Neurospine Biomechanics Lab, professor Sparrey and her team have developed artificial intelligence algorithms to screen medical images for degenerative spinal compression. They have also developed a new drop-test facility and created computational models for spinal cord injuries to quantify the sources of variability in functional outcomes for similar injuries.

Woo Soo Kim, professor, mechatronic systems engineering. 3D Printed Electronics – SFU’s Stretchable Devices Laboratory, led by professor Kim, has been applying micro/nano-scale manufacturing to solve cutting-edge,3D printing technology challenges, such as multi-materials deposition, which have hindered broader adoption of this high-tech manufacturing process.

Majid Bahrami, professor, mechatronic systems engineering, Canada Research Chair. Hybrid Atmospheric Water Generator (HAWgen) – Professor Bahrami and his team have invented technology capable of extracting water from the atmosphere anywhere on the planet. The technology filters and delivers portable water using solar power, waste heat or electric energy. Visitors will be able to sample water generated from extracting water from the air.

Wearable Runway

Ben Hwang, CEO and co-founder. Vamo Tech – Game7 Shooting System was developed by a team of six undergraduate students from the Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU Program. The wearable, sensor-enabled technology gives hockey players a competitive advantage by collecting data about the shots they make. At the showcase, visitors will be able to see a live prototype demonstration, where they can shoot a ball or puck and then watch their performance tracked in real-time.

Start-up Square

Clint Landrock, chief technology officer. Nano-Optic Security Features – Nanotech Security’s KolourOptik technology was developed at SFU and uses advanced nano-optics to provide sophisticated security authentication. Recently, the technology was used on the 2016 Euro Cup tickets. The company is also working with international banks and governments to protect banknotes and sensitive documents.

Future Realities

Diane Gromala, professor, interactive arts and technology, Canada Research Chair. Virtual Realities: Future of Pain – The Virtual Meditative Walk (VMW) research is a project from the Pain Studies Lab in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at SFU. VMW is an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) environment that directs chronic pain patients’ attention inward to teach chronic pain patients Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and to enable patients to better self-manage their long-term pain. Visit their showcase to see how Virtual Reality can work.

We can’t wait for #BCTECH and to see SFU researchers moving ideas into action. #SFUInnovates