Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ECE in the News

Screen Savers: The World's Smallest Computer

The new episode of Screen Savers features Prof. David Blaauw, whose team has developed the world's smallest computer. The Michigan Micro Mote (M3) works as a fully functioning computer on the millimeter scale. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  Wentzloff, David  

The Adventures of a Blissfully Unaware Bipedal Robot at the Grassy Wave Field

Evan Ackerman writes: "Grizzle says that when it comes to MARLO trying to conquer the 'devious undulations' of the Wave Field, 'we have gotten farther than I thought we would, to be honest.' This is the sort of thing we like to hear from researchers and dont, usually: pleasant surprise about how well their robot is performing. For more details on how MARLO managed to get this far, we asked him a few specific questions." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Tiny Computer Has Enormous Potential

"The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., has a new addition - one that is at the cutting edge of new computer technology. It isnt a breakthrough new powerhouse in computing, but instead a computer so small that one of the devices can sit on the edge of a coin." It's the Michigan Micro Mote! [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  

Students from the United States visiting various work groups of BrainLinks-BrainTools this summer

Four undergrad students participating in the International Program for the Advancement of Neurotechnology (IPAN)'s summer bootcamp visited the cluster of excellence at Freiburg University in Germany. The students received training in modern neuroscience research and tools. IPAN and the study abroad program are directed by Prof. Euisik Yoon. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Brain  International Prog. for the Adv. of Neurotechnology  Undergraduate Students  Yoon, Euisik  

National Robotics Initiative: Celebrating Five Years, Looking Ahead

Move over, C-3PO and R2-D2! You may have been robot celebrities during the glory years of Star Wars, but next-generation robotics are the new, 21st century superstars. A recent event on Capitol Hill celebrated the five-year anniversary of the National Robotics Initiative. It also provided an opportunity for NRI-funded research groups to both display their accomplishments, and also encourage Congress to maintain this critical funding mechanism for robotics in the United States. Prof. Jessy Grizzle attended with a display on his work. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Software Systems  Robotics  

R&D's Scientist of the Year - Starting 50 Years Ago with the Pioneer

50 years ago R&D Magazine chose its very first recipient of the prestigious Scientist of the Year Award Emmett Leith. The professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan was presented with the honor for co-inventing the three-dimensional holography, better known as the technology of laser to help create 3D photography. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Holography  Lab-Optics and Photonics  

A Women's History of Silicon Valley

Too often, in Silicon Valley as in other places, women are involved in significant events, but their stories go untold. They are the cofounders who are not named in press articles. Check out this list of seven women who were key figures in the technologies that made Silicon Valley what it is today. Included on the list is Professor Emeritus Lynn Conway, who helped make large-scale chip production and innovation possible with her pivotal work on VLSI. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Conway, Lynn  Women in Computing  

Google snaps up startup in push to master computer vision

The future of computer vision looks bright following a string of tech acquisitions in the field, most recently by Google. Jason Corso offers his perspective on the future of computer vision and the challenges researchers have yet to overcome. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  Lab-Systems  

Tesla crash raises concerns about autonomous vehicle regulation

The fatal crash of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S in Autopilot mode has turned up pressure on auto industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology is deployed safely. Jason Corso says the product is meant to be a beta test, and that the crash is a wake-up call to a need for significant further study. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  Lab-Systems  

Why experts worry about the Tesla crash

Jason Corso told the Detroit Free Press that Tesla's recent autopilot crash is "not a major setback, but an indication of the work still to do." The crash, which resulted in one fatality, occured when neither the automated system nor the driver recognized the white side of the semi-truck against a brightly lit sky. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  Lab-Systems  

James Freudenberg Takes Embedded Control Systems to Zurich

Prof. James Freudenberg taught his course, Embedded Control Systems, as a guest at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. The school prepared a video highlighting the course, which provides a comprehensive overview of embedded control systems. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Freudenberg, James S.  Lab-Systems  

Video of the week: Injectable radio broadcasts through flesh in real-time

The Engineer highlighted research by Prof. David Wentzloff and David Blaauw on an injectable radio that can broadcast from inside the human body. This latest advance will enable the relay of information in real-time to devices monitoring heart fibrillation as well as glucose monitoring for diabetics. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Health  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Medical diagnosis  Millimeter-scale Computing  Wentzloff, David  

MARLO the bipedal robot makes worldwide news coverage with her new steps

Jessy Grizzle and his students have their latest two-legged robot, MARLO, walking well over difficult terrain. The story started out on popular tech blogs and magazines like Engadget, Popular Science, VICE Motherboard, Gizmag and CNET. It was also covered by international English language publications such as the Daily Mail, International Business Times, the BBC, and the Canadian Discovery Channel (Daily Planet show). Other international coverage included French, Danish and Czech sites. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Software Systems  Robotics  

Cybersecurity Startup QuadMetrics Calculates Odds a Company Will be Breached

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, QuadMetrics Inc. says it can predict with greater than 90% accuracy the likelihood that a company will be breached within the next year. QuadMetrics cloud service determines the probability of a breach at a particular company by collecting from its network more than 250 different data points. The company was co-founded by Prof. Mingyan Liu. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Systems  Liu, Mingyan  Security (Computing)  

How computers are getting better at detecting liars

This article highlights the lie-detecting software that was created by Prof. Rada Mihalcea. Using videos from high-stakes court cases, the researchers have built a lie-detecting software database that uses a persons words and gestures to detect behavioral patterns that may be out of the norm. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Mihalcea, Rada  

Soon We Will Hunt Like Predator With This New Night-Vision Sensor

Graphene could make it possible to build ultra-thin, flexible thermal sensors for built-in night vision technology just like that lethal alien in the Predator franchise. Last year, Zhaohui Zhong created a prototype graphene-based contact lens that could image IR at room-temperature. That device is about the size of a fingernail and could be scaled down further, making it suitable for contact lenses or arrays of infrared camera sensors for wearable electronics. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graphene  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Zhong, Zhaohui  

Bright Blue PHOLEDs Almost Ready for TV

A new energy-efficient organic LED (OLED) that glows a deep blue is finally close to meeting the most stringent U.S. video display brightness requirements, researchers say. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Displays  Forrest, Stephen  LEDs  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  

Bosch's popular diesel engine software was not preprogrammed to cheat

Jim Freudenberg, ECE professor and director of the automotive engineering master's program, commented on automotive software that can detect road conditions. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Freudenberg, James S.  

Michigan's Bi-Ped Robots on the Big Ten Network

MARLO the bi-pedal robot was the subject of a special spot on the Big Ten Network, which premiered during Saturday's football game against UNLV. Go Blue! Pictured are Brent Griffin and Brian Buss, members of Prof. Jessy Grizzle's research group. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Silicon Valley, Seeking Diversity, Focuses on Blacks

This article in the New York Times reports on the diversity gap in Silicon Valley and describes some of the new efforts being undertaken to help black students to bridge the opportunity gap. EECS alumnus Erin Teague, director of product management at Yahoo, is quoted on her experience. "I didnt know what to dream for." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Diversity and Outreach  

The Conversation: Big Data analyses depend on starting with clean data points

Join The Conversation about big data, where Prof. HV Jagadish has written about the need to avoid inaccuracies in large data sets and how an emphasis on clean data should motivate data collection and processing. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Big Data  Jagadish, HV  Lab-Software Systems  

Two-legged robot with human feet can now walk independently

Brent Griffin, doctoral student in ECE, was interviewed by Popular Science about his research with Prof. Jessy Grizzle on bipedal robots. He says a bipedal robot would have access to terrain that is not accessible to wheeled vehicles, and that they would be able to more seamlessly navigate our human-built world, including ladders and stairs. There's proof in all of us that bipedal walking can be stable, says Griffin. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Worlds smallest computer can fit on the edge of a nickel

David Blaauw, Dennis Sylvester, David Wentzloff, and Prabal Dutta, as well as several graduate students, have developed tiny computing units (on a millimeter scale) that are capable of harvesting solar power to utilize wireless communication, pressure and temperature sensors, and even still image and video processing. Ready for production now, the M3 is expected to see use in the medical field for monitoring human body processes, as well as conducting EKGs and detecting and monitoring tumor growth. Harkening back to scenes from the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage or 1987s Innerspace, the M3 can actually be injected into the body to perform some of these functions. [Full Story]

Stryd, co-founded by Prof. Robert Dick, Selected as Part of the 2015 Techstars Class

Stryd, co-founded by Prof. Robert Dick, has been chosen as one of ten companies in the 2015 Techstars class in Boulder, CO. Techstars provides mentorship and seed funding to select companies in different locations nationwide. Stryd applies the concept of power output to a wearable device for runners to help them improve their performance, [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Dick, Robert  Entrepreneurship  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Technology Transfer  Wearable electronics  

Massive Clinton-era Internet bug shows pitfalls of Obama's 'backdoor' proposal

In this CNN Money article, Prof. J. Alex Halderman is quoted regarding the FBI's request for security backdoors in technology products. "It's a bad idea," he says. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

At 50 Years Old, The Challenge To Keep Up With Moores Law

NPRs All Tech Considered: Fifty years ago this week, a chemist in what is now Silicon Valley published a paper that set the groundwork for the digital revolution. That man was Gordon Moore. Moores Law is all about electronic miniaturization, and the article talks about the worlds smallest computer, the Michigan Micro Mote, currently on display at the Computer History Museum. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Dutta, Prabal  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Lab-Computer Engineering (CE Lab)  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  Wentzloff, David  

The Crazy-Tiny Next Generation of Computers

This article in Medium describes Prof. Prabal Dutta's interest in Smart Dust - a network of tiny, sensor-enabled autonomous computers - and its ability to to measure everyday data to solve issues of critical sustainability. It traces how he began collaborating with Profs. David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester on the development of the Michigan Micro Mote (M3), which is now the world's smallest and first millimeter scale computer. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Dutta, Prabal  Internet of Things  Lab-Computer Engineering (CE Lab)  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  

This is the worlds smallest computer

CBS News did a video and story about the Michigan Micro Mote (M3), which is the world's smallest computer and the world's first millimeter scale computer. "As the Internet of Things (IoT) gets bigger, the Michigan team is pushing to make computers ever smaller." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Internet of Things  Lab-Computer Engineering (CE Lab)  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  

ECE spinoff Arborlight gets $1.7M in VC funding to commercialize new lighting technology

"Arborlight wants every indoor space to be able to reap the benefits of natural -- or as close to natural -- sunlight, and thanks to a $1.7 million venture capital investment, the company is one step closer to that goal." Arborlight is co-founded by Prof. P.C. Ku. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Ku, Pei-Cheng (P.C.)  Technology Transfer  

U-M Develops Controls for Bipedal Robots with Model-Based Design

Developing a two-legged robot capable of walking and running like a human is a key goal for robotics researchers. In 2011, Professor Jessy Grizzle and a small team of Ph.D. students advanced toward that goal with MABEL, a bipedal robot that could run a nine-minute mile and regain its balance after negotiating an eight-inch step. When MABEL's successor, MARLO, needed new coding, the researchers moved away from hand-coding, and used Model-Based Design with MATLAB and Simulink to speed up the development of real-time control systems for MARLO and other bipedal robots. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Robots In Our Image

If two-legged locomotion is the next frontier for robotics, Prof. Jessy Grizzle and his team are setting the standard for graceful, human-like walking by robots. He talks about his own robot, MARLO, in the context of the upcoming DARPA Robotics Challenge. MARLO is not entered, but is making great strides here at the University of Michigan. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grizzle, Jessy  Robotics  

Cooking robot may offer artificial culinary intelligence

Prof. Jason Corso was asked to comment on research that involved the use of artificial intelligence to provide robots with the ability to recognize objects and learn actions by watching humans. In this case, the robot was watching a video. He said it is possible to reconstruct the 3D environment (2D space plus time) that is being shown in the video. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Corso, Jason  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  

Distinguished University Professor lecture involves walking robots

Despite tremendous advances in the field of two-legged robots during the past few decades, bipedal machines are a long way from impersonating, much less improving upon, the human gait. In his inaugural lecture as the Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor of Engineering, Jessy Grizzle will discuss the efforts underway in his lab to close this gap. All are welcome at the lecture, Feb. 4 at 4pm in the Rackham Amphitheatre. A reception will follow in the Assembly Hall. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  

How drones and insects merged in ways that might surprise you

Michigan is designing the microelectronics that are the eyes, ears, and brains of the tiny insect-like drones being developed under the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) collaborative. The research at Michigan is part of the Center for Objective Microelectronics & Biomemetic Advanced Technology, directed by Prof. Kamal Sarabandi. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits  Lab-Radiation (RADLAB)  MEMS and Microsystems  Sarabandi, Kamal  

Arborlight: LED-Based Skylights and Sunshine in Real Time

Prof. Pei-cheng Ku is a co-founder of the startup company Arborlight, which promises the benefits of a window or skylight in offices where neither is available. Xconomy reports that their "Lightwell product looks and behaves just like a skylight. It tunes to geography and time, tracking the position of the sun throughout the day, mimicking the varying color, intensity, and directionality of daylight as normally experienced through traditional windows and skylights." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Ku, Pei-Cheng (P.C.)  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Technology Transfer  

Stryd, co-founded by Prof. Robert Dick, about to launch wearable technology for runners

Prof. Robert Dick is co-founder of Stryd, a startup company that is getting ready to launch what they are calling the worlds first wearable power meter for runners. The device promises to help runners improve efficiency, monitor individual progress, and simplify training. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Dick, Robert  Embedded Computing and Systems  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Technology Transfer  

Talking Book trial to help poorest of poor in Ghana

[BBC News: Nov 20] Hundreds of handheld audio computers, called Talking Books, are to be given to some of Ghana's poorest communities to help spread potentially life-saving information. Leading the low power chip design for the devices at Michigan are Profs. David Blaauw and Peter Chen. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Chen, Peter  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  

Ambiq Micro Announces $15 Million Funding Round

ECE startup Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits for power-sensitive applications, announced that is has closed a $15 million Series C funding round to accelerate the development and marketing of its SPOT (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) platform. [More about Ambiq Micro] [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Technology Transfer  

Technological implants will allow us to improve our bodily functions

Trans-humanism isn't just about appearance. Bulky night-vision goggles have been used for years by the armed forces, but scientists at the University of Michigan [Prof. Zhaohui Zhong and his group] recently unveiled technology that could lead to contact lenses that allow the wearer to see in the dark. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graphene  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Wearable electronics  Zhong, Zhaohui  

Long-Lived Blue OLED Could Lead to Better Displays

Many displays in smartphones and televisions generate red and green light with phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes but use more energy-hungry fluorescent devices for blue. That's because blue PHOLEDs only last for a couple of days. Now Prof. Stephen Forrest and his group have found a way to extend the lifetime of blue PHOLEDs by a factor of 10, bringing them much closer to commercial use. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Displays  Forrest, Stephen  LEDs  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

These Energy-Saving, Batteryless Chips Could Soon Power The Internet Of Things

The story focuses on how the new Michigan/UVa start-up company, PsiKick, is going to help enable the Internet of Things thanks to their very low power processing, called subthreshold processing. Also mentioned is the Michigan startup, Ambiq Micro, which has also entered the low power revolution. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Internet of Things  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Technology Transfer  Wentzloff, David  

Low-Power Laser Could Speed CPUs

Prof. Bhattacharya's breakthrough room-temperature polariton laser enables commercialization of the technology. One potential application discussed by the author is to enable on-chip optical interconnects. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Bhattacharya, Pallab  Electronic devices  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

A Batteryless Sensor Chip for the Internet of Things

MIT Technology Review described the chips being made by PsiKick, a company co-founded by Prof. David Wentzloff. These low-power chips are the key to the promise of the Internet of Things. Their chip design has been tested in a wearable EKG monitor that runs entirely on body heat. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Internet of Things  Technology Transfer  Wearable electronics  Wentzloff, David  

US Researchers Develop Room Temperature Polariton Laser

Device could be future optical replacement for on-chip wires. Scientists from the University of Michigan (Prof. Bhattacharya) and Intel Corporation in the US have demonstrated what appears to be the first electrically powered, room-temperature polariton laser. The device, based on a GaN-based microcavity diode, could advance efforts to replace on-chip wire connections with lasers, leading to smaller and more powerful electronics, say the researchers. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Bhattacharya, Pallab  Electronic devices  

Tailor-made surface swaps light polarization

A new approach to manipulating light using two-dimensional metamaterials called metasurfaces offers a compact alternative to traditional methods. The researchers believe the basic geometry of cascading patterned metallic sheets can provide the basis for cleverly designing and fabricating a broad range of optical devices, including symmetric circular polarizers, polarization rotators, and asymmetric linear polarizers. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits  Grbic, Anthony  Guo, L. Jay  Metamaterials  

Cockroaches rule! And heres why

Cockroaches actually have much to teach in the realm of robust systems - something we want in our technology. The article references a recent video featuring Prof. Shai Revzen's work in applying cockroach lessons to robotics. [Full Story]

Semitransparent PV cells go designer

Prof. Jay Guo and his team have engineered what are believed to be the first semitransparent, colored photovoltaic cells. Broadening the use of solar power while maintaining aesthetic appeal for all kinds of environments, this technology could become energy-harvesting billboards on the sides of buildings, solar window shades in our homes and even stained glass, Guo said. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Guo, L. Jay  Solar Cell Technology  

Business Adapts to a New Style of Computer

"For more than a decade technologists have predicted and argued about the onslaught of these ubiquitous devices [Internet of Things]. 'There is lot of quibbling about what to call it, but theres little doubt that were seeing the inklings of a new class of computer,' says David Blaauw, who leads a lab at the University of Michigan that makes functioning computers no bigger than a typed letter o." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Internet of Things  

Silicon Valley to Get a Cellular Network, Just for Things

Prof. David Blaauw comments on What's Next - which in this article means the Internet of Things, and the need for a wireless network for "things" rather than person-to-person communication. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Internet of Things  

Terahertz Detectors Go Handheld

"Today terahertz detectors are commonplace in airports, where you enter a glass-walled chamber while the detector swings around you, snooping under your clothes for weapons. Now researchers have found a way to downsize the detector portion of those machines into chip-sized devices." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Guo, L. Jay  Norris, Theodore B.  Optics and Photonics  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Terahertz Technology  

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