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					               Automation and Data Systems
                                                                                        To improve safety in urban traffic environments, SwRI used internal funding to
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                                                                                        develop this full-scale autonomous ground vehicle platform to research new
                                                                                        sensor, computing and mobile technologies for autonomous vehicles
                                                                                        (ivs.swri.org). Our engineers are demonstrating the vehicle on a test track we
                                                                                        have outfitted with prototype vehicle-to-roadside communications, implementing
                                                                                        the latest technology from multiple industries to meet the challenges associated
                                                                                        with autonomous control of cars, trucks, tractors and military vehicles.
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               T     he latest advanced computer-based technologies and net-
                     works provide the springboard for new applications
                     Southwest Research Institute is creating for our government
               and industry clients (autodata.swri.org). We are developing hard-
               ware and software solutions to overcome problems in such
                                                                                               and business applications as well (softwareengineering.swri.org).
                                                                                               Currently, SwRI is completing development and testing an exten-
                                                                                               sive medical scheduling application, one of the first reengineered
                                                                                               medical information applications to be fielded for the Veterans
                                                                                               Health Administration. Multisite testing and national rollout are
               diverse arenas as intelligent transportation, computer networks,                scheduled for 2008/09. Also for the VHA, we have successfully
               medical, aerospace, communications, manufacturing and busi-                     demonstrated enterprise information system capabilities with a
               ness systems.                                                                   prototype pharmacy system and are now scaling up that
                    Using expertise developed creating advanced traffic man-                   capability for VHA-wide implementation. The new pharmacy
               agement systems for Texas and Florida, we are exploring the                     system allows updates made at one site to propagate information
               next phase of intelligent transportation systems in support of the              automatically, within minutes, across the 128 VHA sites, a
               Federal Highway Administration’s Vehicle Infrastructure                         process that today can take months. The Institute is using internal
               Integration program (ivs.swri.org). VII seeks to improve highway                funds to investigate employing natural language parsing to
               safety and to increase mobility with vehicle-to-roadside and                    create a user-friendly computerized prescription entry approach.
               vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and SwRI is conducting                       This novel technology could help prevent pharmacy errors
               internal research to investigate using vehicles as probes that feed             (medicalsystems.swri.org).
               data into the traffic management system while maintaining driver                     We are transferring expertise developed working with appli-
               anonymity. Another internal research program is studying cooper-                ances for the spine to other orthopedic and prosthetic devices,
               ative vehicle autonomy and autonomous vehicle performance in                    an area poised for growth as baby boomers age. We also provide
               complex urban environments where traffic is difficult for piloted               the full range of services in biomedical engineering — we can
               vehicles to negotiate. SwRI continues to improve systems installed              develop devices, processes and materials, or we can test devices
               and operational in Texas and Florida, providing advanced traveler               under development. We also offer assistance with the FDA
               information services as well as traffic management functions to                 approval process (bioengineering.swri.org).
               mitigate the effects of roadway events and congestion.                               Our network specialists focus on cyber security, modeling
                    Our software engineering organization, currently operating                 and simulation, and new applications for wireless sensor networks
               at Capability Maturity Model® Integration Level 3 and approaching               (commsystems.swri.org). Accomplishments include developing a
               Level 5, creates large-scale information technology systems in                  ground-breaking, network-based data acquisition system for a
               the medical arena, and we are transferring this expertise to petroleum          flight test application and an Internet protocol traceback system

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                                                                                                                SwRI helped a spinal device
                                                                                                                company finalize and prototype
                                                                                                                the design of this expandable
                                                                                                                vertebral body replacement
                                                                                                                device used to replace
                                                                                                                collapsed, damaged or unstable
                                                                                                                vertebrae. The VBR can be
                                                                                                                implanted singularly or in pairs
                                                                                                                and is expanded once implanted.
                                                                                                                We also conducted mechanical
                                                                                                                testing of the prototypes and
                                                                                                                assisted in the FDA submission
                                                                                                                process (bioengineering.swri.org).




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SwRI has developed and now is testing an extensive
medical scheduling application, one of the first
reengineered medical applications to be fielded for the
Veterans Health Administration. Scheduled for multisite
testing and national rollout in 2008/09, this software     These software-defined radio
application will support VHA outpatient scheduling,        prototypes, developed through
improve patient services and streamline the scheduling     funding from NASA, successfully
of the VA’s medical resources (medicalsystems.swri.org).   demonstrated how reconfigurable
                                                           transceiver technology can support existing communications protocols, which could
                                                           potentially decrease space hardware requirements, weight and costs (sdr.swri.org).


currently undergoing field trials. Working in conjunction with          Air Force Base that uses an environmentally friendly corn starch-
SwRI geophysicists and Japanese researchers, we are using               based media to strip coatings from aircraft components. We also
wireless sensor networks to monitor an active landslide with            developed and deployed an Automated Weld Alignment Control
unprecedented resolution.                                               System for a manufacturer to upgrade an existing manually
     To compete with offshore sources, manufacturers are                controlled laser-welding process. SwRI’s system uses machine
looking for lean and green technologies to improve production           vision and a servo micro-positioner to precisely align the seam
speed and quality, while reducing costs. In 2007, automation            and weld positions, producing consistent high-quality welds
projects ranged from space science to telecommunications,               (manufacturing.swri.org). O
packaging and food manufacturing, among others, and included
applying green efficient manufacturing techniques to make               Visit autodata.swri.org for more information or contact
processes more efficient and less wasteful. One example is an           Vice President Susan Crumrine at (210) 522-2089 or
automated coating removal system we are developing for Hill             scrumrine@swri.org


               process re-engineering • networks & cyber security • real-time & embedded systems
 image & signal processing • radar & remote sensing • medical information systems • information technology
 autonomous vehicle technologies • reconfigurable communications • lean manufacturing • automated inspection
     machine design • machine vision • network modeling & simulation • cooperative vehicle technologies
  control systems • green efficient manufacturing • orthopedics • aerospace networks • MEMS & microfluidics
 embedded & application security • immunofluorescence detection • control center software • automation & robotics
     medical device development • intelligent transportation systems • automated instrument & test systems
                               wireless sensor networks • intelligent vehicle systems

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posted:8/25/2011
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