Pittsburgh Tech Report

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Regular computers, including smart phones, can do a lot of cool stuff, but some datasets are so big that normal PCs just don’t cut it. When that’s the case, many researchers turn to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, which is planning to construct a faster, stronger machine next year.

Jessica Hill / AP

new study is looking to artificial intelligence to address the opioid crisis by identify people who may be at risk for opioid overdose.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

In December, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority installed a solar-powered smart valve at Panther Hollow Lake as part of a pilot project to manage storm water. Seven months later, the engineers behind the project say it's been a success. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Forced air heating and cooling systems aren't always very efficient at keeping homes at a comfortable temperature. Just ask Jacob Kring, a co-founder and CEO of local startup HiberSense. He's a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and said during his time there, he lived in a "crappy" college apartment.

Learning a new skill can be tricky, and neuroscientists aren’t entirely sure how humans do it.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are using video games, brain implants and Rhesus monkeys in an effort to figure it out. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

There are more than a dozen research laboratories run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs across the country, all with the common goal of developing new ways to help veterans adjust to life after the military. 

Carnegie Mellon University

  

University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing emergency medicine technology for the U.S. military that uses artificial intelligence.

GiftYa

Imagine this: It's a special occasion, and you're given a gift card to celebrate. You put it in your wallet, amongst other cards and coupons, then forget it's there. Or, you can't remember how much money is still on it – was it three dollars or three cents? – and eventually, it goes in the trash.

Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Tokyo and Waseda University in Tokyo are developing a suitcase that helps visually impaired people navigate airports. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

An Allegheny Health Network chemist is developing a longer-lasting version of naloxone, to stop people from slipping back into overdose.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh held a grand opening this past weekend for its new Museum Lab, a space that allows kids 10 and older to be hands-on with art, tech and shop tools. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Street maintenance can be a Sisyphean task. Like in the myth of the Greek king sentenced to push a boulder up a hill for all of eternity, the work of paving and filling potholes and cracks is never really done.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Jake Williams’ favorite position to play in baseball is shortstop. He can also step in as a right-handed pitcher or play third. His infield throw is 94 miles per hour. He also has a 4.4 GPA and a 1440 on his SAT. All of this information can be found on his sports resume.

Amy Sisk / WESA

 


Some Allegheny County residents use a smartphone app to report foul smells in their communities, and a new version of that app is now available to the rest of the country.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Buying a car can be a stressful process that requires time, research and money. Online car retailer Carvana aims to make that process a little easier, likening itself to the Amazon of used cars.

Michel Spingler / AP

The nonprofit Women In Cybersecurity, or WiCyS, will hold its sixth annual conference in Pittsburgh this week, starting Thursday.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Matt Michaux used to be a basketball coach at Fox Chapel High School. He said back then, he'd train with students before and after school. However, when he and his wife had a kid, that wasn't an option anymore. 

 

 


Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ Homewood workshop is filled with the whirring sounds of electronic music. Founder Richard Nicol started the company in his basement in 2012. Now, he and his team design and develop synthesizers for creating electronic music that are used all over the world.

Krystal Biotech

A South Side biotech company is working to treat rare skin diseases by delivering gene therapy with a topical gel embedded with a modified version of the herpes virus.

Astrobotic

The people have spoken: a token from Kennywood Park will be sent to the moon's surface as part of Pittsburgh company Astrobotic's first lunar payload, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Skycision

A Pittsburgh-based tech company is using drones and infrared technology to help diagnose diseases and pests in their crops before it's too late.

Carnegie Mellon University

On Friday, the U.S. Army activated its new Artificial Intelligence Task Force, which will have a hub at Carnegie Mellon University and develop military uses for artificial intelligence.

Military representatives who were at the ceremony said U.S. adversaries are already developing AI, and that collaborating with institutions like CMU is necessary to minimize American causalities.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Many people use social media to create community, but a new study from University of Pittsburgh researchers shows that social media is actually more likely to make people feel lonely.

Carnegie Mellon University

Learning coding in schools has become more commonplace, but as kids get older, teaching more complex topics can pose a challenge. Not all teachers have computer science backgrounds, and there are no statewide requirements for what a programming curriculum should look like. 

Richard Vogel, / AP

Driving for companies like Lyft or Uber can be a hustle. Once you factor in gas and the cut these companies get from each ride, drivers might even lose money some days.

Kathleen J. Davis

The very first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, is being recreated in an ongoing project that aims to give others the opportunity to play with the system.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh's Snow Plow Tracker is going back online this month after being on hiatus since last winter. The biggest change will be that people can see when a truck has its plow up or down and its salt spreader on or off.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Mobility is an issue for many senior citizens. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Virtual Senior Academy helps older Allegheny County residents learn and explore without traveling far from home.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 90 percent of a forest's plant diversity lies in its understory, a layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy. Too many deer grazing in an area can decimate that plant layer. 

Bizuayehu Tesfaye / AP

A computer scientist at Duquesne University is working to develop software that strips unique words and phrases from a piece writing to preserve anonymity for the author.

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