Robots gain empathy skills thanks to Ontario Tech team and international intern

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If, for example, a panicked person shouts for help, Zenbo may suggest calling 9-1-1 because it understands the underlying need for emergency assistance. This sort of empathic response could make robots an important companion in care homes, hospitals, and at home.

Counteracting colony collapse; research team seeks to solve honeybee mystery

French Biological Engineering Master’s student, Marie Marbaix is spending her summer contributing to the global investigation into colony collapse disorder. For 12 weeks, she’s joined Professor Levon Abrahamyan at the Université de Montréal to study the co-infection of mites and viruses in honeybees through a Mitacs Globalink research internship. The researchers want to know if co-infection — being afflicted with more than one parasite or virus at once — could be contributing to honeybee deaths, and ultimately, colony collapse.

Exorbitant food-recall costs face reduction thanks to tiny proteins

That’s a huge cost to swallow for farmers and companies around the world whose livelihoods depend on food safety and healthy animals.

The Muskrat Hut

Also known as Wachusko weesti, the Muskrat Hut project aims to design a sustainable, locally sourced four-season prototype unit that comprises a composting toilet, shower/sauna, heat source, energy source (solar and wind), and a kitchen area.

Brain Drain got you down? Try Brain Retain

With one in four recent Canadian STEM graduates leaving the country, citing better job opportunities abroad*, talent migration affects us all. A shortage of talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math constrains Canada’s potential for economic diversity, development, and innovation.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) may have found a solution to Canadian brain drain. Its research and development unit, Borealis AI, supports innovation through scientific study and exploration in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Saskatchewan potash producer advances safety

So, when Nutrien, the world’s largest producer of crop inputs, services, and solutions was seeking some out-of-the-box solutions for a safety technology at their Saskatchewan potash mines, they turned to Mitacs to access top research talent.

The resulting collaboration with the University of Regina has produced a new computer algorithm that more accurately identifies potential hazards in the roof of a mined-out cavern—giving workers advanced notice so that they can deploy safety protocols in a timely manner.

BC gets a jump on the big one

The province’s need to be prepared is even more urgent. An earthquake has a domino effect on infrastructure and services. It can knock out power, and damage railway tracks and bridges. It disrupts essential services that hospitals and emergency personnel need to do their jobs. Although on average 3,000 quakes occur in BC each year, the province has not had its readiness tested by a major event recently. But it could happen at any time.

PEI start-up takes aim at the risks of piercings

Norman called up his friend Mark Nathan, a cardiologist. 

“We put our heads together to develop the concept further,” said Dr. Nathan. “We were inspired by the idea of a cardiac stent, which is a sterile device used in heart surgery to allow arterial blood flow in patients with heart disease. Stents are different in all the important respects from what we had in mind, however; as with stents, we wanted to create sleeve-like scaffolds that can wrap around a stud, contain and release effective medication, dissolve predictably, and disappear.”

Finger prick test exhibits early detection of heart disease

In collaboration with University of Waterloo-Mitacs researcher, Yael Zilberman-Simakov, LeNano's portable device tests blood for a specific biomarker, a type of protein, elevated by the onset of heart failure. “If a patient has a higher-than-usual concentration of the biomarker, they are at an increased risk of having heart failure,” says Yael. “Similar to how glucose levels should be monitored among diabetic patients, this type of protein needs to be checked every day.Compared to a lab test, personal test devices like LeNano's are faster, simpler, and more convenient.

High-tech headphones silence hearing loss on the worksite

To help overcome the increasing risk of hearing loss suffered by construction workers, EERS, a Quebec-based start-up, is developing technology to address this common industrial worksite complaint.

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