Technology has invaded all levels of commerce and education. It has even invaded the confines of the human mouth. Today, there are companies using technology to enhance, improve and flavor the foods we eat. What is taste technology? To determine this answer, we must travel halfway around the world to a company in New Zealand that is a leader in this unusual field. Taste Technologies Limited is a New Zealand company specializing in the commercialization of internal quality sorting systems using near-infrared technology.
Near-infrared ( NIR ) spectrometry and calibration are powerful tools for monitoring, regulating and controlling processes that determine product quality within many industries. Agriculture, forestry, food, pharmaceutical, chemical, biotech, and waste management are just a few industries currently using this unique technology. For example, in processing apples, NIR will illuminate the fruit. The color reflecting from the fruit gives clues to the properties of the fruit, like taste and texture. NIR technology can actually determine which fruits will have better taste by comparing the light reflected from the fruit when it is examined. A spectrometer, which is an extremely sensitive color detector, is used to measure the color difference in the reflected light. A digital signal processor ( DSP ) is used to process the information from the spectrometer and estimate the acid or other properties present in the fruit. These factors determine the taste.
Currently, apples, peaches, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapes, tangerines, pears, oranges, tomatoes and many other fruits are examined using this method so companies can sell premium “taste tested” product with confidence. Onions, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, avocadoes, frijoas and many other fruits and vegetables also are sorted by the NIR method for producers and sellers.
Technology truly has invaded our taste buds along with many other facets in our day-to-day life.
Robots are now a part of our culture. Mostly found in today’s manufacturing workplace, robots are a key tool in today’s technologically advanced industrial workplace. Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota and almost all car manufacturing companies use robots in their manufacturing facilities. General Electric has an entire fleet of robots manufacturing their jet engines. Almost every city has robots to defuse potential bombs. The Navy uses underwater robots for shipbuilding and demolition work. The military arena has used robots for years. Mining companies work robots miles below the surface of the earth. NASA and space exploration are original users of robotic technology. Disease control centers all over the word use robots in areas unsafe for humans.
While most of us still think of robots as a futuristic toy characterized by the Jetsons, robots have weaned their way into our industrial society for many years. However, humanoid robots are not far from becoming a part of our every day life. ASIMO is a humanoid robot built by Honda in Japan. It was first introduced in 2000. It’s name stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility. It was the goal of Honda to build a walking robot which could interact in human situations. The main focus was to aid in the overall quality of life of humans with this technology.
Asimo was the first robot able to incorporate predicted movement control which allowed for more joint flexibility making it more human-like in its overall walking motion. While there were many hurdles to overcome, this robot has the ability to walk, run, climb stairs, and can reach speeds of up to 3.7mile per hour. Newer versions can actually coordinate efforts with other ASIMO’s to perform coordinated tasks. They robots know to step down when approached by humans. They even have the ability to sense when their batteries are low and they will go to their docking stations to charge up their batteries.
The latest generations of this robot can recognize faces and moving objects and react accordingly. This version can recognize voice commands and respond accordingly.
With over 37 separate movement capabilities, these robots can be utilized in a myriad of interpersonal activities to aid in daily life.
Robots have been around for years, especially in the industrial segments of society. Today they are ready to take their first tentative steps towards joining our cultural society as well.
Everyone knows that Professor Keenan loves his gadgets. I love to think about the technology of tomorrow and how it will change the way that we go about our daily lives. Things like cars that drive themselves to voice activated devices that carry out our every command. I know Google has been working on some technology out in California to develop software to operate vehicles remotely. When I think about all of the cool automated devices that I can play around with now, I think of home automation systems.
The next generation of home automation systems are already here. You literally can adjust the temperature of your living room from work or even close your blinds in your bedroom while you are driving in your car. There is some cool devices out there that really bring all of this automation to your finger tips. I went to my friend’s house this past weekend and he was showing off the $30,000 he spent installing his home automation equipment. That is what gave me the idea for this post. Anyways, I get to his house and he shows me everything that he is able to do now through his remote. The coolest part is that his remote was an Ipad! From the luxury of his Ipad he was able to control the lighting of any room in his house, his television, his stereo equipment, his curtains/blinds, his thermostat in any zone, and a few more things that I surely can’t remember because there were so many. It was definitely a pleasure to see all of this technology at work. I took several pictures to show my students.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds considering that the home automation systems of today can be run from an Ipad. With Apple’s Siri technology I am sure that voice commands are right around the corner! I just hope we don’t get too lazy when all of these gadgets start doing everything for us. I guess we will see soon enough!
The following is a listing of some of my favorite technology links. I use these websites for various reasons. I hope they can help you as much as they help me.
Educational Research - This website offers links to educational research websites. They have many links on several different technology research studies.
Ecommerce Technology Links - This website offers links to articles, tutorials, product information, and software downloads on a variety of Ecommerce topics.
Assistive Technology Links - Information of technology that assists people with disabilities. It discusses possibles solutions for improving productivity and independence.
Chemistry Supplies - This is an online store that has basic chemistry supplies for college students.
Wireless Technology Links - This is a Government website for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This site discusses wireless systems for public safety and law enforcement.
HigherVisibility - This is a company that focuses on internet technologies in the field of marketing to increase the revenues of their clients.
Technology Integration - This website helps teachers to effectively integrate technology into their curriculum. I have used this website many times over the years.
Domain Name Hosting - This website is good for students that are looking to start their own blog. They let you compare some low cost options for hosting a blog and many plans offer a free domain name.
Ole Miss Technology Department - This is a collection of technology links that the University of Mississippi Technology Department has put together.
IT Faculty & Researcher Guide - This is the University of Michigan’s faculty and research guide. It offers general computing resources.
Hello, My name is Professor Keenan. If you are one of my students, a special welcome for you! This is a collection of websites that I have found to be of great value in the field of technology.These are websites that I have been to over the years and that I have referenced in the classes that I teach. I recommend browsing through my list and visit any of the links that may help you in your research.