Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday (3/9/2010)

Today was extremely productive. After a quick tour of the future neonatal intensive care facility, we were able to work with some professional technicians from Cuba. Under their direction, we fixed six incubators and cleared an electrosurgical unit for use. The fixes made on the incubators were temporary, but Lina has been in contact with the machines’ manufacturer and is arranging for parts for a more permanent solution to be shipped soon.

Ryan and Dr. P attaching an innovative sleeve to an incubator. Many of the incubators were similarly lacking simple parts.

Around 2:00, we left the hospital for the University of the Valley of Guatemala. After being provided with refreshments and a chance to ask questions about the Guatemalan education system, we were given a tour of the beautiful campus. Then, Dr. P gave a presentation about Vanderbilt and Rosie, Lina, Garrett, and Kyle presented on their various research and design projects.

Lina giving her presentation on her research: Glucose metabolism in vivo.

Guatemalan students demonstrated their “mega-project,” control of a robot via three mechanisms: eye movement, electrical activity in the motor cortex of the brain, and beta wave generation from intensive concentration. All projects were impressive and they even allowed us to try to control the robot. Unfortunately, it seems that some brief training is required in order to become proficient, so we were unable to succeed in doing so in the time allotted.
Rosie concentrating really hard on trying to prove the Guatemalan engineers wrong. They said women could not control the robot in this way. ...Apparently they were right.

The group of engineering students that attended our presentations and presented to us.

Overall, it was an exciting and busy day. So exciting and so busy, in fact, that most everyone is completely worn out. We are all going to bed now, around 11:00.

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