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Wednesday 20 June 2018 12:00am


Dr Yusuf Cakmak and Ms Marlene Black recently took part in TEXpo, an event run as part of the national Techweek festival promoting New Zealand's unique and inspiring innovations to the world.

The TEXpo event specifically showcased the innovative and emerging technologies being developed on the campuses of the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic.

Yusuf demonstrated his ground-breaking interactive avatar app which uses 3D technology to mimic a user's hand and finger movements onto a laptop screen. Muscle activation of the hand translates to the image of the hand on the laptop, with labels on the image indicating the muscles and tendons being used to make the movement.

Yusuf believes that tools such as the avatar show that collaboration between different fields of science is essential for creating new and unique products.

“I have an Honours medical student who is working on a project that needs an integration of computer science and anatomical/medical knowledge, and we are currently collaborating with computer science and information science people. I believe joint structured postgraduate programmes will be essential in the future, and it was good to see both medical and biomedical computer science students engaging with the many displays at the event.”

Marlene, along with the assistance of Dr Ruth Napper, presented a selection of E12 sheet plastinates and prosections prepared in the Department. For her, the event was a rare opportunity to interact with the public and show the cutting-edge techniques of plastination.

“There was a broad cross section of people who visited our display and many simply could not believe the specimens were real and had been produced right here in Dunedin.”

The next national Techweek festival will be held over 20–26 May 2019.


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