NASA Wearable Technology Symposium at Johnson Space Center
Graduate and undergraduate students from Georgia Tech funded by the Georgia Space Grant Consortium joined students from Virginia Tech and the University of Minnesota at Johnson Space Center in Houston for the NASA Wearable Technology Symposium. Industrial design and computer science students taking mobile and ubiquitous computing, a course taught by Clint Zeagler, Thad Starner and Gregory Abowd, worked together on projects under the guidance of NASA mentors. The culmination of these projects was a daylong symposium, starting in the morning with student project presentations. Students then had an opportunity to demo their work and talk with their NASA project mentors during a poster session that was also open to all NASA JSC employees for review and commentary. The day concluded with presentations from NASA engineers and specialists from the JSC Advanced Suit Team, the JSC Anthropometric and Biomechanics Facility, the JSC Human Interface Branch, and the JSC Crew and Thermal Division Chief.
The NASA Wearable Technology Symposium and the project mentoring process that lead to the project presentations at the symposium were a wonderful way for students to work on current and relevant opportunity areas for NASA. The students were also able to meet counterparts from other institutions with interests in wearable technology.
James Hallam, a Georgia Tech Industrial masters student who is working on a glove for haptic feedback stated, “by presenting my work at the symposium and seeing the other work from Virginia Tech’s ECE and ID, and UMN’s Apparel Program, I figured out some new ways to prototype my glove. It was a wonderful trip, and I have figured out where to take the completion of my project.”
Abhishek Nandakumar, a Human Computer Interaction Student from Georgia Tech simply said, “that was the best school trip I have ever been on, I got a lot out of it!”
Cory Simon from NASA JSC Human Interface Branch and the NASA Wearable Technology Cluster including Lucy Dunne Assistant Professor Apparel Design, Tom Martin Associate Professor Virginia Tech, and Clint Zeagler Research Scientist Georgia Tech, are hoping to hold the Symposium again next year.