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A new hands-on, interactive kiosk developed by McGill's Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) is showing the public the benefits of McGill-industry collaboration and the impact it has on the wider community.
The kiosk, unveiled at a news conference on the fourth floor of the McConnell Engineering Building Jan. 8, uses technology funded by Precarn Inc., an Ottawa-based, not-for-profit consortium that uses expertise from corporations, research institutes like CIM and government partners to make Canada more competitive in areas such as Intelligent Systems.
Precarn managed a recently completed Centre of Excellence Program for Industry Canada involving McGill's Engineering Faculty, 100 researchers and 200 students at 25 Canadian universities. McGill engineers were awarded 20 percent of the centre's funds, and the results of CIM's work are clear in the kiosk. "It will provide visitors with easy access to information that explains how much Canada has achieved in the field of robotics," said CIM Director Gregory Dudek.
Visitors see news and real-time video feeds that describe Intelligent Systems involving a robot developed for underwater environmental exploration and inspection; a method to automatically position and dispatch ambulances in large urban areas to ensure that minimum call-to-arrival times are respected; and tactile displays that allow the visually-impaired to use their fingertips to "feel" letters, characters or diagrams on computer screens as if they were using Braille.