Not So Super Ultimate TravelPod MegaPost Update

Trip Start Jun 09, 2010
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Trip End Sep 18, 2010


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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How did this happen?  How did I miss writing in my TravelPod journal for Sonntag, Montag, Dienstag?  Why can’t I get to bed at a decent hour?  Why haven’t I bought laundry detergent?  Why can’t I get Wi-fi on my iPhone?  Will anyone who has texted me accept my apologies?  Why am I just finding out that these Werther’s Original Creamy Caramel Filled Hard Candies are made in Germany, which I brought from the USA?  Who can answer all of these questions?


I don’t know, but today I bring forth what some may refer to as a MegaPost.  This Super Ultimate TravelPod MegaPost Update features the latest in Intel Graphics.  Actually, I’ll go over my trip to Baden-Baden with another intern from the RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) program, as well as my first and second day of work.


The good thing about being too busy to make a post is that you don’t have to write so much, because you forget a lot of it.  This brings me to my trip to Baden-Baden on Sonntag (Sunday).  

I feel the pictures explain a lot, so I’ll let them do the talking.


Sorry to be so frank, it’s the wurst!


My first day of work was mostly administrative.  I ran around with my supervisor getting an id card and lunch card, setting up permissions, meeting people, receiving a tour of the facilities, etc.  There are quite a few things that fall under the etcetera category.  One of the highlights of the day was seeing a suite of software and hardware work together.  


The process starts with the opening of the thorax for surgery.  An archaic-looking tool is used to keep the chest open.  A pump was turned on, to start the beating of the heart.  The rubber man’s thorax is only used for demonstrative purposes, while the rubber heart and surrounding innards are used for testing.


The trinocular camera setup was initialized.  Dots on the heart were used as tracking points for the camera system.  Wires, two boards, and a microcontroller received information from accelerometer sensors, placed directly on the heart.


Monitoring the acceleration sensors on the computer, a typical pulse is seen.  It feels as though a life has been created.  Image stabilization is turned on.  We then see what a surgeon might see one day...a still video of a beating heart.  This is the goal of the project, I believe.  


Ultimately, we want the surgeon to operate on the heart while it is beating, known as off-pump surgery.  Stopping the heart, known as on-pump surgery, can have many complications...and just sounds like a bad idea!  Currently, operating on a beating heart requires the utmost skill, concentration, and finesse of a veteran surgeon...mistakes are likely to be made.  


A robotic based open heart surgery system would indeed be an improvement over existing methods.  I must say I loved seeing it all in action.    My work involves the further development of an acceleration sensor system for measurement of the heart movement.  What an extraordinary project.


I had a few hours to begin my work before the day was over.  The first task involved reading a paper providing an overview of the system I will be working with.  It was thoroughly interesting, though most of the math was over my head.


After work, I went to the palace that sits at the center of Karlsruhe, right above the Marketplatz.  The palace is where many of the roads lead to, and is why Karlsruhe is known as the “fan-city.”


Today, my second day of work, was exquisite.  First of all, I love how the windows in my dorm room and in the lab area open.  Outside the windows of the lab area where I work, is scaffolding, a view of the Durlach Tor train stop, and St. Bernardsomethingrather Cathedral.  


Regarding my work today, I read manuals and yesterdays article again, and attempted to get sensor readings.  After I figure out the German keyboard and system preferences, I’m sure I’ll be on my way.


Forgivuhness please, four my week righting skillz.  It is past 0:00 once again.  I set my alarm for 6:40.  I’m ready for bed.  I apologize for not having the Super Ultimate MegaPost thing or whatever I said it was going to be.  I plan on updating more on the weekends, less on the weekdays, so as to not bore my non-technical audience, and to save time.  For my technical audience, expect to receive email :-)
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Comments

Dadddoncouchenreedindiss on

OMG.....Is there any more room for more pictures, I'm loving it as I am a visual person ya know. I feel like I'm right there with you. Me thinks ye needs the Alaskan summer daylight schedule, yaaaaaaaaaah?

trevor_mcfann
trevor_mcfann on

You'll have to tell me all about Germany and your work when I'm there in July.
Developing robotics for open heart surgery seems fascinating.

desitax
desitax on

Nathan!!!!
Omgosh your pictures are sooo awesome or should I say Herrlich! lol I need to review my deutsch! I am soo happy that everything is going well!!! You have to recommend stuff for me when I come!

Gma&gmpa on

Wow

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