Last year I shot a gallery at USC which covered the use of robots for Iraq combat medic training. As I've mentioned before, I love robots.
Here is the intro I wrote for the Heal a Robot, Go to War gallery on Wired.com:
As of last week, 4,000 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq. While a grim statistic, the number would be much higher without the well-trained medical staff deployed to combat service. Before their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, many corpsmen, doctors and nurses are trained at specialized facilities with elaborate combat-zone simulations, which include sound effects and realistic robot patients.
The Navy Trauma Training Center, located at the University of Southern California Surgical Skills department, is one of only three training centers in the United States. It is adjacent to the Los Angeles County Hospital, which has the busiest trauma ward in the city, treating about two-dozen gunshot and trauma wounds every day. While this real-world experience is invaluable to enlisted medics, a collection of programmable robots are able to tailor their symptoms and reactions to specific scenarios that doctors will encounter in combat zones.
Here are some of those photos from the gallery. If you want to see them in all their full-resolution glory, click here.
Click here to see the rest of the USC Medical photo gallery.
Eric Richardson and I have been trying for over a year to get in to the Triforium Control Center in the Los Angeles
Underground Mall. Today Eric got us a tour thanks to help from Councilmember Jan Perry and Greg Fischer, who were both instrumental in the re-lighting of the divisive public work of art originally lit 1975.
Even now the Triforium has been drawing praise and scorn, most recently from the City Attorney's office which has been claiming that the music is disturbing them and has requested it only play from 11am to 1pm, which completely defeats the purpose of having the lights on, as you can hardly see them during the day. Although many art critics despise the sculpture I find it strangely charming and the primitive computer control system intrigues me.
When we looked through the control center today we found an old Teletype machine that was used to read and write punch tape which held the program the Triforium's computer used to synchronize with music. Our goal is to take those tapes, capture them and use them as a basis for the new computer control, which will most likely be a BASIC stamp or a PIC microcontroller. Once that works the next step, would ideally be to have some type of web interface to the system.
I brought my portable studio lighting setup along for the tour and took some photos, of which here is a sampling:
You can flip through the whole Triforium Control Center gallery here.