Abstracts

University of Missouri

Betavoltaic Battery Systems: Applications Ranging From Implantable Devices to Automobiles

Several MU research groups have used their access to the largest U.S. university research reactor to develop betavoltaic batteries. Still primarily in the prototype stage, these groups have developed betavoltaic batteries for different size and power requirements, including MEMS devices, implantable devices, cell phone, cars and even power plants.

While each group’s core technology differs based on size and power requirements, all have focused on overcoming the low efficiencies that have plagued previous battery concepts. In doing so, they have developed batteries that should last for years without needing to be recharged.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Powering implantable devices
  • Powering military technologies
  • Powering sensors used in space or underwater
Patent Status

Patents issued and pending

Inventor(s)

Several independent research groups

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Cochlear Microphone That Mimics Natural Hearing

This invention employs novel construct designs for hearing aids and cochlear implants. The new design enables patients with hearing loss who require amplification to enjoy their implants without frequent occurrences of unnatural sounds being produced. The key advantage of this new invention is that it allows patients to enjoy more natural sounds over the range of audible frequencies. The technology accomplishes this by transforming the input sound wave into electrical energy in an innovative fashion. Complaints of patients with hearing aids and cochlear implants are well-documented. Therefore, a significant improvement in the quality of sound heard by patients would give an implant or aid manufacturer an enormous competitive edge.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Sound processing
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Hsiu-hung Chen, Chung-Lung Chen, Matthew P. Page and Arnaldo Rivera

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Highly Efficient Tattoo Removal Device

If an individual wants to have a tattoo removed, there is essentially one option: laser tattoo removal. Current practices are often painful and require numerous treatment sessions, which can be costly. This invention is a new way of introducing laser light to the skin, so a much higher efficiency can be attained. This process allows tattoos to be eliminated in fewer sessions, expands the range of skin tones that can be treated and minimizes pain. The device also is transferable to other aesthetic laser treatments such as hair removal.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Tattoo removal
  • Hair removal
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Paul Whiteside, Benjamin Goldschmidt, John Viator, Nickolas Golda and Randy Curry

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Lithium Battery Components

This invention is related to chemical precursors for spray pyrolysis of powders or thin films. With this new manufacturing process innovation, we can significantly reduce the manufacturing cost of cathode materials for lithium batteries. MU has protected this invention and is now in the process of scaling the concept under a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Lithium battery components
  • Lithium battery cathodes
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)Yangchuan (Chad) Xing
Contact Info

Brett Maland at malandb@missouri.edu or 573-882-1046

Low-Temperature Manufacturing of ZnO Nanostructures

Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanostructures are becoming increasingly important because of their unique ability to harness energy — whether it be in piezoelectric crystals or a photovoltaic cell. To maximize their efficiency, however, the nanostructures must be uniform, which is difficult to do in a manufacturing environment.

The process developed at MU is not only capable of producing highly uniform ZnO nanostructures, but it is scalable beyond the laboratory setting, which creates low temperatures. As a result, ZnO nanostructures can be placed on virtually any surface, including highly flexible (or curved) plastics.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Photovoltaics
  • Piezoelectric devices
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Jae W. Kwon and Baek Hyun Kim

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

MEMS Biosensor for the Rapid Detection of Bacteria

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses in the U.S. each year, which results in 19,000 hospitalizations and more than 400 deaths. Strains of salmonella can cause typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever and food poisoning. Typhoid fever, while less common in the U.S., still affects about 21.5 million people annually and causes 200,000 deaths.

This technology is designed to provide rapid (within one hour) and accurate detection of salmonella at concentrations lower than 10 CFU/ml. After detection, the device is also capable of capturing the salmonella for additional lab testing. An added benefit is that it can be modified to detect bacteria such as E. coli and can be reused after proper cleaning.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Pathogenic bacteria detection
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Mahmoud Almasri, Shibajyoti Dastider and Shuping Zhang

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Metasurface Microbolometers

Thermal imaging was originally developed for military applications, but as manufacturing costs have decreased, the technology is finding uses in everyday applications such as sensors for self-driving cars, an instrument that augments the vision of firefighters, a tool for building inspectors to identify structural defects, and much more. The microbolometer has been the driving force behind the acceptance of this tool, and this invention further simplifies the design, which lowers manufacturing costs while also improving performance.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Uncooled thermal imaging
  • Thermal transport studies
  • Infrared gas spectroscopy
Inventor(s)

Mahmoud Almasri and Edward Kinzel

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Micro Vibrational Energy Harvester

MU researchers have worked to develop a MEMS device that harvests electrical power from vibrations for devices and sensors in locations where wired connections would be inconvenient or unrealistic, such as contact lenses. The unique feature of this vibrational energy harvester is its ability to generate a consistent amount of power over a large range of frequencies. With this flexibility, this device should find uses in aviation, diagnostics, medicine and construction.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Activating sensors or devices on a variety of different machines and pieces of equipment
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Mahmoud Almasri and Nuh Sadi Yuksek

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Miniaturized X-Ray Generator

When compared to typical commercial X-ray sources, the piezoelectric X-ray source developed at MU offers a number of distinct advantages. Most apparent is its size. Measuring 10 mm x 100 mm and weighing just over seven grams, the piezoelectric transformer is compact, especially when compared to equipment typically found in commercial X-ray devices. MU’s piezoelectric X-ray source also is low power, requiring about one watt of electrical power to operate. The compact, low-power nature of the device suggests that it could be suitable for a portable, battery-operated X-ray source, an application that is incompatible with conventional X-ray technology.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Can be used in remote locations
  • Portable electronic X-ray source for medical, biological, geological sciences and other areas.
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Scott D. Kovaleski, James VanGordon, Brady B. Gall, Peter Norgard and Andrew L. Benwell

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Nanocomposite Membranes With Advanced Antifouling Properties Under Visible Light Irradiation

Membrane separation of liquids (including water) is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Advanced membranes with high antifouling performance will stimulate further growth of the industry and compete favorably with existing membrane products. Under the same operating conditions, this membrane has better efficiency, uses less energy and requires less cleaning than any other membrane used for recovering or isolating water.

This invention consists of the creation of novel antifouling membranes through the integration of fillers with visible light photocatalytic activity. The key characteristic of the membrane is that the surface hydrophilicity increases and the filler materials can play a role in surface cleaning through photo degradation under light irradiation. This leads to enhanced fouling resistance of the membrane to organics and biomaterials.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Removal of organic materials from hollow fiber membranes
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Baolin Deng and Jun Yin

Contact Info

Brett Maland at malandb@missouri.edu or 573-882-1046

New Breast Cancer Imaging Technique

According to the American Breast Cancer Society, more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer are confirmed in American women every year. Early detection of breast cancer is critical with the five-year survival rate of detected stage-1 breast cancer approaching 100 percent. Although mammography is currently a central imaging method for the detection and screening of breast cancer, the overall accuracy of this test remains low.

Fluorescence mediated tomography is a non-invasive, three-dimensional biomedical imaging system based on fluorescent photon propagation inside human breast tissue. The technique provides the highest sensitivity and resolution in imaging fluorescent photons. This method can be utilized with other imaging techniques to provide significant improvements over current breast imaging technologies.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Imaging tissues, such as breast tissue, for cancer detection
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Ping Yu, Lixin Ma and Harrison Knoll

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Novel Polyconjugated Clusters

Dodecaborates are extremely useful compounds having applications in the treatment of nuclear waste, drug delivery and boron neutron capture therapy. MU researchers have created novel polysubstituted dodecaborates with interesting structural, electronic and spectroscopic properties. These properties make the polysubstituted dodecaborates particularly appealing for nano and optoelectronics, photonics and new polymeric materials, as well as defense and nuclear applications.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Nano and optoelectronics
  • Polymeric materials
  • Photonics
  • Defense
  • Nuclear
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Mark Lee Jr.

Contact Info

Brett Maland at malandb@missouri.edu or 573-882-1046

Osteomodulatory Hydrogels for Treatment of Osteoporosis

According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in the U.S., Europe and Japan. This results in an estimated nine million new osteoporotic fractures each year. There are currently medications on the market to help prevent osteoporotic fractures, but results are limited and are not without side effects. Similarly, there are few good ways to induce healing at the point of fracture. Bone cement can be used to provide mechanical support, but because its properties are vastly different from bone, it adversely affects stress-loading. This technology is meant to be applied at the point of fracture and induce healing rather than simply masking the fracture.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Osteoporotic fracture treatment
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Brett Ulery, Emily Cheng, Christina Goldstein and Mary Allison Josselet

Contact Info

Brett Maland at malandb@missouri.edu or 573-882-1046

Power-Generating Threads

MU researchers have developed a thread-based energy harvester that can be integrated in garments to power portable devices such as GPS, sensors or lights. Before these fibers were developed, the best available alternatives were piezoelectric based fibers, which are difficult to integrate into existing industrial processes and lack flexibility. MU-developed threads harvest usable electricity from the movements of the fabric while it is being worn. Additionally, researchers can start with virtually any base thread such as cotton or a synthetic, providing an environmentally friendly method to coat the threads for power generation. This should allow integration into the existing manufacturing process and does not limit the flexibility of the threads.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Garment industry
  • Illuminating clothing
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Jae W. Kwong, Quang Nguyen and Baek Hyun Kim

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302

Precision and Multi-Dimensional Force Microscopy Platform With Electrophysiological Detection

The ability to observe the trajectory of atomic force microscope tips can be used to image particles in three-dimensions (3-D) on the nano-scale. Rapid data collection can lead to accurate imaging with little inferences made. This kind of microscopy can be done in naturally occurring environments without freezing the specimen. This technology can help in monitoring chemical and biological mechanisms, as well as protein conformations. MU researchers have created a novel way to effectively image nanoparticles in 3-D. With this device, accurate 3-D nano-images can be produced and studied in naturally occurring environments.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Biological imaging related to drug interactions with substrates/targets
  • Can be used in semiconductors with slight modifications
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Gavin McLean King and Krishna Prasad Sigdel

Contact Info

Brett Maland at malandb@missouri.edu or 573-882-1046

Self-Sustained Plasma Generator

With this invention, MU researchers have developed a method to generate a toroidal air plasma that is self-sustained. The plasma has a self-magnetized field with a circulating current that is inherent in the toroidal structure. The plasma has a lifetime that is four to 10 times longer than competing methods. The plasma is scalable to higher energies and densities and can be used for a number of advanced applications such as a fusion reactor for power generation.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Plasma mitigation of shock waves
  • Directed energy applications
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Randy Curry

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Trithiols and Their Arsenic Compounds for Use in Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications

The present invention is directed to a series of stable radioisotope trithiol complexes that provide a simplified route for the direct complexation of radioisotopes present in low concentrations. In certain embodiments, the complex contains a linking domain configured to conjugate the radioisotope trithiol complex to a targeting vector. The invention is also directed to a novel method of linking the radioisotope to a trithiol compound to form the radioisotope trithiol complex. The inventive radioisotope trithiol complexes may be used in a variety of applications, including diagnostics and treatment in nuclear medicine, due to the unique and promising characteristics of radio-arsenic.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Therapeutic tool
  • Tracking agent in radiopharmaceuticals
  • Multiple areas of science can use this technology
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Silvia Jurisson, Anthony DeGraffenreid and Cathy Cutler

Contact Info

Brett Maland at malandb@missouri.edu or 573-882-1046

Ultra-High Resolution Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Adequate detection and analysis of the choroidal thickness and other structures in the eye are critical to the accurate and successful diagnosis of eye diseases. However, current optical coherence tomography technology is limited in resolution and penetration depth due to the use of a Gaussian beam. The current invention modifies the light sources used in current systems such that the instrument can see deeper into the eye and also improve the image resolution. The improved quality of images produced should support better diagnosis and treatment of optical diseases.

Potential Areas of Application
  • OCT imaging devices
  • Superior diagnosis ability
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Ping Yu and Lixin Ma

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

ZouTread: The Central-Directional Virtual Reality Treadmill

ZouTread is a central-directional treadmill for gradual turning in the range of +/- 30 degrees. The uniqueness of this invention focuses on the integration of four main components: torso tracker, display, treadmill and simulator engine. The user’s direction of movement is captured by measuring the torso's rotation with respect to the forward direction. ZouTread also incorporates an optimized display to provide an immersive environment.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Exercise
  • Rehabilitation
  • Video gaming
  • Training
  • Simulation
Patent Status

Under evaluation

Inventor(s)

Carlos Sun, Praveen Edara, Charles Nemmers and Bimal Balakrishnan

Contact Info

Wayne McDaniel at mcdanielwc@missouri.edu or 573-884-3302; Eric Barmann at barmanne@missouri.edu or 573-882-8963

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Counterfeit Computer Chip Detection Method

Globally manufactured and mass-produced electronic devices and components touch every business and consumer in the world today. However, counterfeit electronic devices and components contribute to lost revenues, lost productivity and numerous other hassles.

The inventive process from S&T researchers employs a combination of new and innovative electromagnetic (EM) signature evaluation techniques to determine authenticity of electronic integrated circuits (ICs), and other passive and active electronic devices and components. The process evaluates the intrinsic and unique characteristic electromagnetic (EM) signature from a known “good” device or a component and uses this EM signature to differentiate counterfeits. Our research accounts for the diversities and the potential degrees of variability that may exist for a particular electronic device or component (i.e., packaging material properties, electronic circuit design layout, etc.) The distinction between “acceptable” and “unacceptable” components may not be robustly accomplished in a deterministic fashion. In such complex cases, the distinction will be statistical in nature - for example, the characteristic EM “signature” of a component may be statistically compared to the EM signature of an “acceptable” group of the same device. In this way, a “metric,” related to the differences between the two classes of EM signatures can be established by which to determine and decide on the device’s acceptability. The process can evaluate a device either in the “powered-on” or “powered-off” modes, with evaluation time ranging in the order of fractions of a second to a short few seconds depending on the evaluation technique.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Detection of counterfeit IC (Integrated Circuits)
  • Quality control for IC manufacturing
  • Aging of IC’s
Patent Status

Patents pending

Inventor(s)

Reza Zoughi, Mohammad Tayeb Ghasr, Satyajeet Shinde and Sasi Jothibasu

Contact Info

Keith Strassner at kstrass@mst.edu or 573-341-6725; John Woodson at jwoodson@mst.edu or 573-341-7544

Distributed Flow Battery for Transport Systems

Robust and efficient energy storage systems are key to advancing transport systems such as electric vehicles, robots and the like. Conventional transport systems use lithium-ion batteries for energy storage that suffer from disadvantages of lengthy recharge times, bulkiness and a relatively short life due to mechanical and/or chemical degradation. Moreover, lithium-ion batteries require increasingly large physical sizes (e.g., volume) for adequate power generation for vehicles.

S&T’s inventive energy storage system has a reaction cell configured for distribution throughout a transport system. Aspects of this invented distributed flow battery use flow battery reaction cells configured for distribution throughout a transport system to increase electrical power by maximizing membrane surface area relative to reaction cell volume. By distributing the flow battery system throughout the vehicle, the invention provides better efficiency, more power, has quicker charge time, and deeper discharge relative to lithium-ion batteries and conventional flow batteries. The length of the reaction cell is substantially greater than its width and is looped throughout the transport system in a serpentine configuration. A membrane within the reaction cell has a length substantially equal to the length of the reaction cell such that surface area of the membrane is maximized relative to volume of the reaction cell to increase electrical power provided to an electrical load of the transport system.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Energy storage
  • Electric vehicles
Patent Status

Patents pending

Inventor(s)

Johghyun Park and Mohammed Al-Yasiri

Contact Info

Keith Strassner kstrass@mst.edu or 573-341-6725; John Woodson at jwoodson@mst.edu or 573-341-7544

Drag Reduction in Vehicles Through Surface Modifications

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have tried many things in recent years to increase efficiency and decrease fuel costs for air travel. After all, all businesses strive for efficiency, and efficiency is improved through technological advances. Drag is a major contributor to inefficiency and fuel usage for air travel.

S&T researchers have invented a process aimed at reducing or eliminating skin friction drag by tailoring the structural details of the surface and by appropriately minimizing the resultant pressure drag penalty. This recently invented process is aimed at reducing or eliminating skin friction drag within defined regions on surfaces. Specifically, by generating very small and successive fluid separation regions within micro-cavities that are structurally imbedded within the surface of the vehicle with suitable modifications and requirements, the skin friction drag can, in principle, be eliminated or even realized as a net contribution to thrust. Results using computational fluid dynamics show significant across-the-board reductions in overall drag (15% to 50%) are conceptually possible on flat planes using the basic concept. Drag reductions should apply across a wide Mach number range and, hence, may apply for many different systems and applications. Techniques and concepts such as these imbedded micro-cavities can generate significant reductions in skin friction drag and are of vital importance to fuel economy, vehicle design, and optimization, therefore increasing mileage and decreasing costs, hence increasing efficiency.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Aircraft and spacecraft design
  • Energy efficient vehicle design
Patent Status

Patent issued

Inventor(s)

David Riggins

Contact Info

Keith Strassner at kstrass@mst.edu or 573-341-6725; John Woodson at jwoodson@mst.edu or 573-341-7544

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Add-on Device for Spectrophotometer Instruments That Increases Sensitivity Up to 100-Fold

Researchers at UMSL have developed a device that can be internally or externally integrated into current spectrophotometer instruments to increase sensitivity by up to 100-fold, allowing for measurements of substances at much lower concentrations than is possible with current instrumentation.

Spectrophotometer sensitivity is determined by signal to noise ratio (S/N), which should be as large as possible. This technology increases the S/N using a novel feature in the detector circuitry to significantly reduce the noise level while maintaining a constant signal.

Potential Areas of Application
  • UV-Vis
  • FTIR
  • Atomic absorption
  • HPLC
  • Circular sichroism
  • Capillary electrophoresis
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Zhi Xu

Contact Info

Craig Weilbaecher at weilbaecherc@umsl.edu or 314-516-4248

Novel Luminescent Materials for Improved OLEDs

Efficient, stable blue-emitting materials are uncommon, which is seriously handicapping the multi-billion dollar display technology market. Researchers at UMSL have a synthetic method to produce new germanium compounds that demonstrate highly efficient solid-state, blue-emitting luminescence. These compounds exhibit aggregated induced emission (AIE) in the visible blue to blue-green region making them ideal candidates for blue-emitting components in solid-state, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) applications.

Eighteen germanium-containing derivatives have been synthesized and characterized to date. The university has provided commercialization funds to support validation and prototyping of the technology with a commercial partner. We are seeking a commercial partner for further development and potential licensing.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Components of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and thin-film transistors for TV/computer and cell phone displays
  • Materials for chemical and biological sensors
  • Solar cells
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Janet Wilking, Teresa Bandrowsky and James Carroll

Contact Info

Craig Weilbaecher at weilbaecherc@umsl.edu or 314-516-4248

Ultra-Sensitive Mini-Spectrometers

The miniaturization of typically large lab instruments is finally becoming a reality. Miniature optical spectrometers based on linear silicon CCD array detectors have been around for decades. However, the sensitivity of the CCD-based spectrometer is low (only 250:1 for USB2000 made by Ocean Optics).

An UMSL researcher has developed a multichannel ultra-sensitive optical spectrometer that combines the advantages of a compact size with higher sensitivity (50 to 100-fold) over detectors currently on the market. The new mini-spectrometers would bring the power of benchtop instruments into the hands of law enforcement officers, TSA agents and field researchers.

Potential Areas of Application
  • More cost effective instruments for research labs
  • Portable, hand-held spectrometers for first responders and TSA agents
  • Compact, robust instruments for field researchers
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Zhi Xu

Contact Info

Craig Weilbaecher at weilbaecherc@umsl.edu or 314-516-4248

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Solid State Neutron Energy Correction Dosimeter

A neutron detection system may include a neutron detector including a plurality of neutron detection devices, a plurality of discrete neutron moderating elements, wherein each of the neutron moderating elements is disposed between two or more neutron detection devices, the plurality of neutron detection devices and the plurality of discrete neutron moderating elements disposed along a common axis, a control system configured to generate a detector response library, wherein the detector response library includes one or more sets of data indicative of a response of the detector to a known neutron source, receive one or more measured neutron response signals from each of the neutron devices, the one or more measured response signals response to a detected neutron event, and determine one or more characteristics of neutrons emanating from a measured neutron source by comparing the one or more measured neutron response signals to the detector response library.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Defense
  • Nuclear
Patent Status

Patent issued

Inventor(s)

Anthony Caruso, Tom Oakes and William Miller

Contact Info

Eric Anderson at ericwa@umkc.edu or 816-235-5091

Wi-Fi Honk

As pedestrians increasingly engage in activities such as listening to music, watching videos, gaming and making calls with their smart devices while walking, they are at risk of getting involved in accidents with vehicles. There are several pedestrian safety mechanisms now deployed on the streets to reduce the risk of vehicle-to-pedestrian collisions. However, all such mechanisms are passive in nature and not capable of sending individual pedestrians alerts tailored for their specific scenarios.

Researchers at UMKC have developed an active safety mechanism called Wi-Fi Honk that uses Beacon Stuffing to alert pedestrians of possible collisions while using smart devices. Vehicles activate their Wi-Fi Hotspot/Direct mode and set their SSID or BSSID in a specialized format of a Wi-Fi Honk Information Packet (WHIP). The information in the WHIP is used to compute the precise direction vector of the vehicle. A pedestrians’ smart device acts in Wi-Fi discovery mode. Once it encounters a meaningful Wi-Fi Honk message in the SSID/BSSID segment of the scanned APs, it extracts the WHIP and populates in its database in a tabular format that is sorted in order of lowest time to collision (ToC). The pedestrian’s smart device uses its own location, speed and direction of travel to compute its direction vector, and it then generates a logical map by mapping its own vector along with the direction vectors for various vehicles obtained through Wi-Fi Honk. When the ToC for a particular entry reaches a predetermined critical point, the device alerts the pedestrian with audio, tactile and visual alerts via the smart device’s headphones/speakers, vibrations and display screen.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Geolocation communication and accident prevention between vehicles and pedestrians or bicycles with smart devices
  • Geolocation communication, accident prevention, and synchronization between multiple vehicles
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Baek-Young Choi, Sejun Song and Dhondge Kaustubh

Contact Info

Melanie Roberts, 816-235-5090 or robertsmel@umkc.edu