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UT Austin unveils new robotics lab

A new laboratory space at the University of Texas, Austin will allow faculty researchers and students to develop robotics technology to be used for the U.S. Army. The facility, constructed inside a converted gym on campus, will support joint research between UT and the U.S. Army Futures Command, which develops new technology for military use, and will serve as a space to develop robotics technology to improve navigation systems in long-range artillery, mobile communication networks and vertical lift aircraft, like helicopters and drones, according to the university. Betsy Foresman has more.

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Universities seek DOD cyber exemption

Higher education research and information security leaders have sent a joint letter to the Department of Defense asking they exclude fundamental research conducted at universities from its new information security requirements. The security requirements, released in January, are part of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, the DOD's new set of cyber standards for all of its 300,000 contractors, from weapons manufacturers to universities doing basic research with defense-dollars. The public nature of universities and their research would make compliance highly difficult, Educause said. Betsy Foresman has the story.

Another high-tech lab expands

Students at the University of Central Florida will have more opportunities to help design and build bionic limbs in a new laboratory space set to open next year, the university announced this week. Limbitless Solutions, a UCF nonprofit started by several students in 2014, is expanding its lab space from its original smaller lab to grow the group’s research and production capabilities. The new lab will include a new creative space to support student collaboration on biomedical engineering, manufacturing and research. “We wanted to make a space where engineers, scientists, artists and storytellers could come together to tackle challenges and stigma associated with accessibility and mobility,” said Mrudula Peddinti, the group's design lead. Read on.

University CIOs say pandemic tech offers 'exciting' opportunities

Two higher education chief information officers predicted during a virtual event last week that the methods of teaching university students will have undergone a substantial shift once the pandemic has passed — much of it positive. Considering pedagogical changes stemming from recent technological adaptations and more flexible attendance policies born from increasingly remote learning models, the CIOs from Texas Tech University and Virginia Tech University said that despite the limitations and challenges of the pandemic, they believe this period will yield “exciting” new opportunities for many institutions. “Going forward, we need to be looking at augmented reality, VR, robotics, simulations,” said Sam Segran, CIO of Texas Tech. “I think all of those are going to come together much more quickly than we had anticipated in the last few years.” Colin Wood reports.

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