ASU students design tomorrow's technology

MESA, AZ - Ever wonder where the latest gadgets and technology designed to make the world a better place come from?

The next best thing may be born right here in the East Valley, at ASU's College of Technology and Innovation.

"These are authentic projects. There's no 'fake' project here," said Ann McKenna, the school's Department of Engineering chair. "These are companies coming to us saying, 'We have a real need, we have a real problem. Can your students work with us to develop a real solution?'"

One project finds a better way to deal with pet hair.

'You throw all the clippings into the bag and then when you're done, you stick it into this machine and press the lever and compress the pet hair," said student Chris Embrey.

Retail giant PetSmart is considering implementing something like his device to reduce the amount of pet hair going into landfills.

These guys came up with a full-size template to help mass-produce satellites.

Communications giant Orbital Sciences is interested in using another student project.

"They wanted an accurate representation of the space flight vehicle so they can design their assembly procedures around it," said student Alex Helms.

From water conservation, to thermal imaging to the latest uses for solar panels, these students are putting their minds to work and making tomorrow's technology right now.

"It's a very motivating thing for students," McKenna said. "They look forward to going to class to do this kind of work."

Teachers say these projects often result in good grades and a good chance of success after graduation.

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