hit counter code
News Archive 2016

Carnegie Mellon

Search the 2016 archive Choose a year

March

March 16, 2016

Dear Friends of TechBridgeWorld,

We have been contemplating the evolution of TechBridgeWorld’s work for a while now, and after considerable careful thought, we have come to the conclusion that it is time for the members of TechBridgeWorld to pursue new endeavors outside the university that build on the accomplishments and lessons learned from our research. TechBridgeWorld will therefore be closing its doors at the end of the Spring 2016 semester.

TechBridgeWorld 10-year logoHaving dedicated more than a decade of effort in creating technologies with a global heart, the time has come for the conclusion of TechBridgeWorld’s work at Carnegie Mellon University. Our mission began in 2004 with the belief that technology, when created with compassion and in respectful partnership with users, can have the transformative power of affecting positive change in the lives of the disempowered. Since then, we have been able to accomplish so much! We have listened carefully to our partners’ experiences and expertise and collaborated with them on several research projects, primarily in the areas of education and assistive technology. Pictured: TechBridgeWorld's 10-year anniversary logo.

SABT testing at the Mathru School for the BlindWe helped to make the process of learning braille writing fun for blind children and made it easier for their blind teachers to diagnose mistakes. We helped enhance English literacy among learners from different cultures and abilities through computer tools, and enabled their teachers to customize educational content for those tools. We developed an app to improve the navigational experience of blind and visually impaired travelers in unfamiliar indoor and outdoor urban environments. We even explored ways for stationary and mobile robots to assist blind and visually impaired travelers in an effort to enhance urban transportation. Pictured: A student tests the Stand-Alone Braille Writing Tutor at the Mathru School for the Blind in India.

SABT testing at the Mathru School for the BlindThrough courses, internship programs, volunteer projects, and other avenues, we have trained, mentored, and worked with over 100 students at Carnegie Mellon University as well as other students from universities around the world. Guided by our principles of respect and empowerment, we have lived up to our mission of building technology bridges with many organizations in 20 countries who were previously underserved by technology. Pictured: Students and visiting researchers working on various TechBridgeWorld projects come together to demo our research at an event.

SABT testing at the Mathru School for the BlindWe would like to thank everyone who has been involved with TechBridgeWorld, whether you were a student, visiting researcher, staff member, donor, project partner, CMU colleague, advisor, volunteer,   well-wisher, etc. We are confident that together, we have contributed to a better future where technology can bridge divides rather than exacerbate them. Pictured: TechBridgeWorld students, alumni, and staff (left and right) with partner Ms. Muktha from the Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind (center).

SABT testing at the Mathru School for the BlindFor a summary of our projects and accomplishments and links to publications, please visit our blog. To learn more about TechBridgeWorld’s impact among partners, students, alumni, and donors over the years, please click here. If you have any questions about anything related to TechBridgeWorld, or your support of our efforts, please do not hesitate to contact TechBridgeWorld Founder and Director M. Bernardine Dias at mbdiasATriDOTcmuDOTedu. Pictured: Mathru Center teacher watches as a student tests the Speak Up! game.

Thank you for being a part of our journey!

February

February 24, 2016

Teacher interacts with the Braille Writing TutorWe are excited to announce that TechBridgeWorld's Braille Tutor project is a Fall 2015 Cycle Winner of the InfyMakers Awards Contest! Sponsored by InfoSys Foundation USA, the contest rewards innovative thinking and making that improves the lives of individuals and communities around the world. TechBridgeWorld won a $10,000 prize for our Braille Tutor project. We thank all of the people who have contributed in numerous ways to the Braille Tutor project over the years. We also thank our project partners and their teachers, staff and students. This work would not have been possible without the many donors who have supported our project over the years. Finally, we thank all of the people who voted for our project. Pictured: Teacher interacts with the Braille Writing Tutor.


February 24, 2016

On February 25, 2016, TechBridgeWorld Founder and Director M. Bernardine Dias will talk about her work with technologically underserved communities to members of the Carnegie Mellon University student community. The talk is hosted by EdTech, a CMU student club that aims to raise awareness of educational technology resources, programs, and research already being done at CMU. The event will take place at 4:30pm in Doherty Hall 1212.


February 24, 2016

TechBridgeWorld Founder and Director M. Bernardine Dias is honored to be a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation for Humanitarian Application (RAHA). The inaugural RAHA conference provides a platform for researchers, engineers, industry professionals, and humanitarian workers to share knowledge about technological tools, methodologies, and applied robotics and automation solutions for humanitarian applications. Organized by Amrita University, the conference will take place at the Amritapuri Campus in Kerala, India from December 18 - 20, 2016.  RAHA is currently accepting submissions for papers, tutorials and workshops.  For more information and to submit, please visit the conference website.

January

January 27, 2016

A teacher interacts with the Stand-Alone Braille Writing Tutor and its different interfacesWe are excited to announce that TechBridgeWorld's Braille Tutor project is a semi-finalist for the AI and Robotics 4 Good competition. Sponsored by the United Arab Emirates Prime Minister’s Office, the competition seeks to support innovation in the areas of health, education, and social services. We thank all of the people who have contributed in numerous ways to the Braille Tutor project over the years. We also thank our project partners and their teachers, staff and students. Finally, this work would not have been possible without the many donors who have supported our project over the years. Pictured: Teacher interacts with the Stand-Alone Braille Writing Tutor and its different interfaces.


January 27, 2016

Submissions by visiting researchers on our Assistive Robots for Blind Travelers project were accepted to the 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2016). TechBridgeWorld visiting researchers Aditi Kulkarni and Lynn Urbina and TechBridgeWorld student Allan Wang submitted a paper entitled "Robotic Assistance in Indoor Navigation for People who are Blind" about their mobile robots work. Visiting researchers Kangwei Chen and Victoria Plaza submitted a video entitled "NavCue: Context Immersive Navigation Assistance for Blind Travelers" about their assistive robots work. HRI will take place from March 7-10, 2016 in New Zealand. TechBridgeWorld Volunteer and Robotics Institute Associate Research Professor Aaron Steinfeld will attend the conference and represent our submissions.


January 20, 2016

On February 5, 2016, TechBridgeWorld Founder and Director M. Bernardine Dias will be the keynote speaker for a panel discussion entitled "How do we, as students, best spark social change?" Hosted by Project Rwanda at Carnegie Mellon University, the discussion is part of the university's Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. event series. The event will take place at 4:30pm in the Connan Room, Cohon University Center.


January 20, 2016

TechBridgeWorld alumna Merab Twahirwa was selected to participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The program, which took place this summer, was launched by U.S. President Obama in 2010 to support young African leaders. Merab was selected among 850 applicants in Rwanda and participated in the Business and Entrepreneurship "track" where she joined participants from 19 countries at the University of Notre Dame. Congratulations Merab! Read more.


January 13, 2016

TechBridgeWorld congratulates Susan Zuo whose proposal to the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society - Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT) was recently accepted. The goal of the proposed work is to enhance the user experience of the Stand-Alone Braille Writing Tutor and increase its potential to be used widely as a braille teaching tool. As part of the proposal, Susan will travel to the Mathru School for the Blind in Bangalore, India in June to gather feedback on the SABT and enhance the device based on feedback received.


January 6, 2016

CMU Students: Do you want to utilize your skills to make a positive difference? We are offering two 6-unit mini courses in the Spring '16 semester: Innovating for Underserved Communities: Field Research Basics (15-302/15-602) and Seminar on Innovating for Underserved Communities (15-303/15-603). These courses are open to undergraduate and graduate students in the CMU Pittsburgh campus. Contact us with any questions.

 

 
© Carnegie Mellon University