Technology

Leaf Doctor: UH plant expert launches third app

Fresh from his success with two widely utilized smartphone apps, plant pathologist Scot Nelson has created a new and more technical app, the Leaf Doctor, for a more specialized audience. Nelson, who works at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii, doesn’t anticipate that the Leaf Doctor will have the same broad, popular appeal as his Plant Doctor app. For many of those who will use the Leaf Doctor, though, it is likely to be a professional game-changer. The Leaf Doctor focuses on the finer points of diagnosing plant diseases. [...]

Hawaii hosts first VEX robotics state championships

Forty middle and high school VEX robotics teams from across the state will compete in the first-ever Hawaii VEX State Championship on Dec. 20-21, 2013 at Honolulu Community College. The event is free and open to the public. “For the robotics teams and individuals, the state Championship is a brand new event comparable to regional Olympics in terms of the level of competition, skill and discipline required,” said Art Kimura of the VEX Steering Committee. “In this ‘sport,’ the students are using science, technology, engineering and math skills to maneuver their robots in a fast-paced, exciting game challenge to score points. While they are having fun, the students also are developing life skills that are vital to success in a 21st century global market.” [...]

UH robotic vessel research earns new partnership

The University of Hawaii’s Unmanned Port Security Vessel (UPSV) is a robotic platform designed to support maritime missions in harbor and port environments including infrastructure inspection and incident response and recovery, and harbor surveillance. The UPSV was designed and built in Hawaii by UH researchers, students and contractors. UH Principal Investigator Brian Bingham demonstrated the vessel’s capabilities at Honolulu Harbor today. Rapidly deployable, the vessel can be used to map the seafloor in high resolution, photograph critical infrastructure below and above the waterline, detect chemical leaks or spills, and relay real-time video—all at the same time. This made-in-Hawaii technology can provide critical decision support to first-responders and other maritime security personnel around the world. Interest in UH’s UPSV technology has led to a business development agreement with a global innovation leader Battelle. [...]

Hawaii ‘Energy Excelerator’ gets $30M from Navy

The Navy’s Office of Naval Research, under the Asia Pacific Technology Education Program, announced today that it will invest $30 million dollars in the Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator. The new Navy commitment triples the funding that the program operated with over the past three years, showing that they recognize the value of Hawaii as an ideal place for new energy innovation. The Energy Excelerator funds seed-stage and growth-stage startups with compelling energy solutions and immediate application in Hawaii. [...]

Hawaiian Telcom to acquire datacenter firm

Hawaiian Telcom today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SystemMetrics Corporation. The cash transaction is valued at approximately $16 million, according to Hawaiian Telcom. SystemMetrics is a Honolulu-based data center firm that currently generates annual revenues of approximately $8 million, and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hawaiian Telcom Services Company. [...]

Design community to focus on homeless

The local homeless population is incredibly diverse, and a unified visual language could help human services agencies and other community groups cross language barriers in reaching those in need. On Saturday, civic-minded geeks will come together to explore the creation of universal symbols to serve the homeless and those who work with them at Hawaii’s first IconLocal. IconLocals are local design workshops supported by The Noun Project, an international movement to build a global visual language that everyone can understand. IconLocal events have been held in cities across the country with partners ranging from the American Red Cross to the New York Times. They have tackled topics ranging from energy to agriculture to human rights. [...]

Local startup aims to help other startups

Is it possible to grow a bootstrapped tech startup in Hawaii? A new boutique solutions and product-focused tech business, Sudokrew Solutions, is looking to answer this question. Sudokrew is led by local talent Jason Sewell and Spencer Toyama. Sewell is the former lead developer for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, and Toyama is the former operations director of Kinetiq Labs and the Pele-Award winning Agency Collaborative. “There are many incredible web developers and designers in Hawaii building the front-facing websites for our local community, and we really want to differentiate our services by focusing on development and enterprise solutions.” stated Spencer Toyama. [...]

Hawaii open data bill becomes law

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed into law a measure to enhance government transparency and accountability in Hawaii through increasing public awareness and access to open data. House Bill 632 (HB632) now Act 263, requires the State’s Executive Branch departments to make electronic data sets available to the public. [...]