FIU came on like gangbusters this week at eMerge Americas, the international tech conference that annually gathers thousands of movers and shakers to Miami Beach. A major presence at the event for the fifth year in a row, the university showcased research coming out of its labs and highlighted local entrepreneurs whose innovations have gotten a boost from its campus business accelerator.
Among the attractions drawing attendees to FIU’s exhibit space: robotic vehicles developed to clean up nuclear waste sites; a virtual reality experience that had headset-wearing viewers swimming with hammerhead sharks; a computer simulation that takes visitors on a stroll through campus; demonstrations of a quick and easy cocaine drug test developed by university chemists; a College of Business faculty-driven technology consulting group that specializes in data analytics; and much more. The founders of four young companies who have each gone through the intensive 15-week StartUP FIUprogram also commanded attention as they detailed promising inventions.
Visitors had a blast.
“We decided it would be amazing for us to actually come here,” said Belen high school student Martin Frallicciardi. He and about 10 of his buddies convinced their business teacher to bring them to the conference, and the group eagerly made its rounds through FIU’s booth. There they spoke with university faculty and tried their hand at a variety of stations.
“What [FIU] captured the most was being able to interact,” Frallicciardi said. He and the others appreciated in particular the opportunity to control the movement of robots designed to assist with the environmental cleanup of contaminated sites associated with nuclear weapons production and nuclear energy research.
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Posted by Alexandra Pecharich