US aerospace start-up Terrafugia unveiled the TF-X recently, which is a concept car of the future… a very near future with additional plans to build a street legal airplane that can convert from flying to driving in under a minute.
UCLA researcher Mario Gerla who studies intelligent transport weighed in on the concept:
“We always think how nice it would be if we’re stuck in a traffic jam, to all of a sudden, just take off from the road pavement and go where you want. I can understand the idea of flying from airport to airport, folding the wings and becoming a car. In the air, you’re just one more plane. But if you take off from your parking lot and fly a few blocks away, it is more like a helicopter. It becomes much more flexible, and interesting, but maybe dangerous.”
When Hirsuta, a small architecture firm run by UCLA Professor Jason Payne, took the task of renovating an old Utah schoolhouse, they noticed that the south side had been nearly weathered away from exposure to the elements while the north side remained untouched. Payne thought they could use this to their advantage:
“We’re looking at the way the weather is curling the paneling and we thought we should do that, but more and with more intent and control. The thought is if it took 100 years to get to there, we know it will happen and so we could substitute a building material that could get it to that state in 20 years.”
UCLA scientists have developed a cell phone attachment that acts as a microscope and detects pathogens such as E.coli, which contaminates food and drinking water.
“The platform is actually a microscope installed on the cell phone, but using some spatial microfluid devices, we converted to a specific sensor of bacteria. We envisioned that such a platform running on the cellphone, easy-to-use and cost effective, could be used in field conditions, wherever your cellphones work and ideally the field worker would take some samples.” – Aydogan Ozcan, Researcher, UCLA School of Engineering
For nearly a decade Wenyuan Shi, a researcher at UCLA School of Dentistry, has been developing a revolutionary new mouthwash aimed at effectively eliminating tooth decay. The technology is a partnership with Colgate-Palmolive and from C3-Jian Inc.
“The best analogy I’ve been using is a ‘weeds vs. grass’ with this technology that we call STAMPS (specifically targeted anti-microbial peptides). What it does is it acts like a smart bomb, it only kills the weeds not the grass.” — Wenyuan Shi, UCLA School of Dentistry