TU/e drone passes playful test in hospital15 June 2017
Sixteen-year-old Sam Schellekens from Veldhoven had the opportunity Thursday in hospital to take on a drone in a game of tic-tac-toe. She is one of the few people ever to do so, certainly in the Netherlands, probably in the world. For press and partners, TU/e student team Blue Jay gave a demonstration in the Maxima Medical Center. Sam thinks the airborne hospital aid does have potential, “so long as people also carry on working here”.
The simple yet classic game of tic-tac-toe would not usually be expected to draw an audience of any great size - but that was not the case in the Ronald McDonald Lounge of the hospital in Veldhoven on Thursday afternoon. Camera crews and reporters (including those of the BBC and RTL) as well as representatives of the hospital and of Blue Jay’s industrial partners were invited to see the student team's domestic drone in action.
Veldhoven resident Sam, who has been coming to the hospital every three weeks since her birth for a blood transfusion, is one of the drone's first opponents. Its own camera and the lamps hanging above the marked-out field of play enable the drone to find its way round the board. By blinking at a certain frequency, the lamps let the drone know which moves have already been made. The drone itself then decides its next move.
Sam Schellekens playing tic-tac-toe against a drone.
The quality of education seems to have slipped at TU/e. In the latest Dutch-language guide to universities (Keuzegids Universiteiten), Eindhoven's university has dropped from third place in the overall ranking to seventh place in the course of a year. "It's understandable but it's not good," says President of the Executive Board Jan Mengelers, "and it is all the more reason to push on with introducing an upper limit on student intake to our programs. This is a result of the strong growth in student numbers."
Eindhoven's iGEM team has arrived in Boston. In the coming days, the students will participate in the Giant Jamboree, competing with nearly three hundred teams from all over the world. Their competition entry is their project GUPPI, in which they propose encapsulating tumors in a gel to prevent them growing and spreading.
As well as professors, from now on associate professors (UHD-1) at TU/e may also confer doctoral degrees on PhD candidates. Sixty associate professors were awarded the right to confer doctoral degrees at the start of this academic year after the move was approved by the Upper House of Parliament in the Netherlands shortly before the summer recess. “We couldn't wait to introduce this here.”
Before you google yet another one of my invented diseases and subsequently begin to question the title of this story, let me tell you this. With a new academic year having begun and a shiny new batch of freshmen accompanying it, the university is full of people suffering from the so-called octopus syndrome.