Posts Tagged ‘Miles Canino’

SUNY Canton Mechatronics Research Takes Second at MIT Scientific Conference

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

A SUNY Canton Mechatronics major is designing a revolutionary knee brace that may help about 20 percent of the population walk easier. 

Maelea M. Mercado of Jefferson recently took second place for her research presentation on her invention at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Undergraduate Research Technology Conference held Oct. 11 to 13 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Maelea Mercado stands in front of a 3D printer
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH – Maelea M. Mercado of Jefferson recently took second place at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Undergraduate Research Technology Conference held Oct. 11 to 13 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Mechatronics student is designing a knee brace for people who suffer from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

“Maelea’s research project is a fantastic representation of the Mechatronics program,” said J. Miles Canino, Ph.D., who serves as Mercado’s research advisor. “She’s identified a problem and is utilizing advanced robotic principles to address this significant medical disability. Her studies stand as some of the most innovative in the nation.” 

Mercado is developing an active-damping knee orthosis for people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). The disease causes hypermobility issues. “People with EDS are too flexible,” Mercado said. “One of their biggest complaints is hyperextension, especially in their knees. This hyperextension can happen every time a person takes a step.” 

The only option for treatment thus far has been long-term physical therapy. Traditional orthotics rely on taking strain off the joint which can cause the surrounding muscles to atrophy, further diminishing the knee’s stability. “We’re creating a non-supportive knee brace that limits the range of motion,” Mercado said. 

Early models resemble traditional supports but include magnetorheological dampers, which look similar to small shock absorbers, on either side of the brace. The dampers provide fluid resistance to keep the knee joint from flexing too far forward. The device generates an electrical current, which allows the dampers to automatically adjust to an individual’s walking pattern during every step. 

“If you crank your knee forward, more current runs through the system, allowing the damper to intelligently limit your range of motion based on that current,” Mercado said.  

Mercado and Canino have identified several people who currently suffer from EDS at SUNY Canton. The next step in their research will begin as early as the spring semester when those individuals and control subjects try the brace during a series of trials. The new orthotic will be studied further to determine how it can help other chronic knee problems. “We’d also like to adapt the technology to assist other joints,” Mercado said. 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading. 

SUNY Canton Announces Four-Year Mechatronics Degree

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

The new program is designed to lead students directly into an advanced degree and respond to the growing need for qualified employees with automated manufacturing experience.

SUNY Canton’s newest Bachelor of Science degree integrates mechanical engineering, computer science and electronics into one program.

The college has received approval from the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department to offer Mechatronics Technology alongside its career-driven engineering technology programs in the Canino School of Engineering Technology.

“I’m very excited to announce that we have received approval for this new degree,” said President Zvi Szafran. “Mechatronics is a contemporary integrated form of engineering, incorporating elements of mechanical, electrical, computer/telecommunication and systems engineering areas. Lots of modern devices use mechatronic systems, including smart phones and thermostats, robot vacuum cleaners and robotic cars.”

Two students work on the functionality of a robot.

Szafran added that mechatronics is also important to the dairy industry, where modern milking parlors, cow barns and the packaging of dairy products make use of many mechatronic systems.

“Our new degree will be an important component in the economic growth of the North Country and the State of New York,” he said.

“Instead of learning just one aspect of engineering technology, Mechatronics students will be well-versed in numerous aspects of the field,” said Michael J. Newtown, dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “This program sets students up for graduate degrees in addition to preparing them for careers in a variety of sectors, including the agriculture, aerospace, automotive, consumer products, defense, and biomedical industries.”

Mechatronics can also lead to future jobs for technologists responsible for designing, programming and maintaining precision manufacturing robots, according to Newtown. SUNY Canton’s new program supports the development of automated systems.

A student works on a computer motherboard.

Assistant Professor Joel M. “Miles” Canino will be serving as the program’s lead faculty member. Canino is a SUNY Canton Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate who earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Clarkson University, Potsdam, and specializes in rehabilitation robotics.

“The diversity of this program is invaluable,” Canino said. “It will be a rigorous curriculum, but very rewarding for our most inventive students. With the recent growth in advanced manufacturing and the demand for high-tech goods, there are currently more jobs available in this field than there are qualified employees.”

New and transfer students can apply for entrance into the Mechatronics program immediately, with new courses starting at the onset of the fall semester. Classes begin Thursday, Aug. 23 at SUNY Canton.

Mechatronics is the sixth new bachelor’s degree program announced in the past three years. Other new programs include Agribusiness Management, Cybersecurity, Game Design and Development, Early Childhood Care and Management and Technological Communications.

SUNY Canton Foundation Grant Lets Students Learn Latest Robotic Technologies

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Lego ConstructionSUNY Canton students are building robots out of Lego-brand building blocks to monitor the College’s Nevaldine Technology Center.

Students work with Lego-Mindstorm NXT 2.0 kits to learn the latest in robotic technology and problem solving computer programming as part of their education in the College’s Canino School of Engineering Technology.

The 12 kits were purchased partially through a SUNY Canton College Foundation Campus Enhancement Award. Students use them as a resource to learn about programming interfaces and infrared sensors, according to Robert McClellan, an instructor in the alternative and renewable energy systems program.

“The Lego Mindstorm kits give the students a wonderful platform to develop a problem-solving machine designed to perform a specific task or series of tasks,” McClellan said. “This is hands-on learning at its finest, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Groups of three or four students constructed their own small automaton, which look similar to the robot “Number 5” from the 1986 movie Short Circuit. The finished machine is connected to a computer running software that allows students issue a specific set of commands to make their robotic room monitor. The process helps students learn logical decision-making skills.

Students working with Legos

SUNY Canton civil and environmental technology majors Alyssa M. Baker of Boonville, and Darran S. Raglin of Alexandria Bay construct and program a Lego Mindstorm robot as part of their MECH121 course.

“Lego Mindstorms are used by researchers and the military in the prototyping process,” said Joel M. “Miles” Canino, the grandson of the school of engineering technology namesake from Southington, Conn. “It really adds to the experiential learning opportunities available for students in the engineering technology programs.”

Canino and his fiancé, Natalie A. Kurgan of Rocky River, Ohio, transferred to the College in Fall 2011 to pursue their own research in the four-year mechanical engineering technology program. The couple has had previous experience with the robotic kits in their own prosthetic limb fabrication research. “It’s a challenging process to make the robots perform the complicated series of turns and analyze obstacles,” she said.

The Lego kits totaled more than $5,000 and were partially funded by the College Foundation following a grant proposal by Daniel J. Miller, an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering technology program. Matthew D. Bullwinkel, an associate professor in the program, redesigned the Mechatronics course (MECH128) to include the new technology.

The SUNY Canton College Foundation awarded approximately $20,000 in funding to unique or innovative programs through Campus Enhancement Awards this academic year. The program is funded through unrestricted donations to the Foundation. The specific goals of the program are to fund innovative or creative projects that will advance student-learning opportunities or advance the College’s overall mission.

In addition to the annual Campus Enhancement Awards, the College Foundation also funds student scholarships, professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and unique learning and research fellowships.

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