In 2013, Google announced a contest asking tech enthusiasts to summarize, in 50 words, what they would do with Google Glass, a hands-free, smartphone-like device worn like a set of glasses. The company offered the opportunity to try a pre-release version of Glass as a prize for the best responses.
Andria Waclawski, creative services lead with the Office of the Vice President for Research, entered the contest, posting 18 words on Twitter.
“#ifIhadglass I’d give people an inside look at some of the coolest research happening at the University of Minnesota”
With that, Waclawski became a Glass Explorer, a member of the first group to test the technology in real-world applications (Google has not yet announced a public release date). Using Glass’s built-in camera, she has captured the ways U of M researchers are improving our lives, our health and our understanding of the world around us.
Visiting the honeybee colonies on top of the Weisman Art Museum with the Bee Squad
Testing responsive stitching at the Wearble Technology Lab. This running mannequin is wearing a knee “brace” that monitors bend.
Learning about stitching circuits with Professor Lucy Dunne in the Wearable Technology Lab
Dunne's vibrotactile glove–sensors in the gloves can alert first responders, like firefighters, to obstacles.
The University of Minnesota is home to the world’s largest collection of Sherlockiana — over 60,000 items including books, artwork, memorabilia and some rare treasures related to Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Examining the world’s largest Sherlock Holmes collection at Andersen Library. This collection exemplifies the university’s dedication to preserving archival materials and educating the public on historical figures, even if that figure is fictional.
The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Bethel, Minnesota is a mere 40 minutes north of the Twin Cities, represents all the diverse, natural habitats of the entire state.
Thanks to an innovative collaboration between the School of Music, Department of Art, and Institute on the Environment the University is bridging the gaps between science, community and government in a whole new way. Sounds and Visions of Cedar Creek showcases the power of combining science and art to spread awareness, enlighten and inspire.
Sounds and Visions of Cedar Creek is a creative project that utilizes the natural sounds and beauty of the reserve to produce original compositions and mixed media art to give new perspectives on the environmental issues being researched at Cedar Creek like human impact, biofuel development, habitat restoration, fire frequency, and biodiversity.
A full scale eagle's nest at the Raptor Center on the St. Paul Campus.
The university’s Raptor Center boasts 40 years of world-renowned work in conservation and rehabilitation of sick and injured raptors. They treated 914 raptors in 2013 alone.
Exercising owls at the Raptor Center. Each bird exercises with a trained volunteer “Flight Crew” by taking eight 150-200 ft flights. Those precise numbers came from the measurement of lactic acid in raptor blood after exercise to ensure an optimal rehabilitation program (a practice also used to condition racing horses).
Waclawski’s photos, videos and descriptions of research take a first-person, up-close view of research in action. To date, her Glass adventures include inspecting a hive of 100,000 honey bees on the roof of the Weisman Art Museum, seeing breakthroughs in smart clothing design the U’s Wearable Technology Lab and trekking the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, where scientists, artists and musicians collaborated on original compositions made from natural sounds to promote conservation awareness.
Through Glass, Waclawski continues to share stories about discoveries at the U and the talented innovators behind them. Stay tuned for more explorations into university research.