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Visiting Professor Brings Robotic Inspiration to Coeur d’Alene

Robotics professor from Tokyo City University helps UI Coeur d’Alene develop local interest in technology

Coeur d’Alene is often viewed as a lakeside playground for golf and nature lovers, but it’s also gaining momentum as a hub of technology and innovation, propelled in part by the University of Idaho.

Thanks to a partnership forged during Innovation Collective’s (IC) Think Big Festival 2014, the university connected with Yoshikazu Kanamiya, professor of robotics for Tokyo City University. Kanamiya spent a sabbatical in Coeur d'Alene from March to June to help develop local interest in robotic technology.

Kanamiya returned to Japan in July, but a team of developers continues to improve upon the prototype he helped create in Coeur d’Alene. The team works through IC: Code, a local technology start-up and robotics group sponsored in part by UI Coeur d’Alene.

One of Kanamiya’s projects includes work on a robotic glove, in collaboration with UI students and instructors. The glove enables the wearer to type with two fingers and thumb using swipe technology. The finger sleeves transmit via sensors by a series of taps, like Morse code, to a computerized device.

The end result: faster communication using only two fingers and a thumb.

The intended use of the device is to assist those with limited use of their hands to communicate, whether that is the result of a stroke or injury, or in a unique situation such as under water.

Article by Jocelyn Stott, University of Idaho Coeur d'Alene

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Phone: 208-885-6291

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