Lights, Camera, Action at Calit2@UCI

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

09.14.06 --Project ResCUE recently made its national television debut. The Calit2 research project, which is funded by a $12.5 million NSF grant, was featured on the Sept. 10 Sunday morning edition of NBC’s “Today Show.” The program highlighted security, situational awareness and emergency response stories to mark the five-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001; since these themes are Project ResCUE’s focus, it was a natural fit.

ResCUE researcher Nalini Venkatasubramanian
speaks on camera with an NBC field producer
about the project. 

A team of UCI student researchers, resplendent in ResCUE T-shirts, demonstrated several technologies currently in development. Making an on-air appearance before a national television audience were:

  • The Evac-Pack, a human-as-sensor communication tool;
  • The autonomous mobile sensing platforms, car-like devices that can be sent by remote control into danger zones in order to relay information back to a control center; and
  • The privacy-preserving identification platform, a surveillance-type system that reveals an individual's identity only when s/he is in an unauthorized place or performing an unauthorized activity.    

An NBC news crew had spent about six hours earlier in the week with ResCUE principal investigator Sharad Mehrotra, researcher Nalini Venkatasubramanian and the students, learning about the project and watching demonstrations of the cutting-edge technologies.

Jonathan Christophoretti demonstrates the
Evac-Pack for the television crew.

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