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June 19, 1981 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-06-19

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The MichiganDaily-Friday ,une 19. 198. -Page
Local firm reveals inventions

Daily research reporter
In what has been described as a "quantum jump,"
two major inventions by Ann Arbor's Environmental
Research Institute of Michigan may have "really
important potential for upgrading heavy industry in
Southeastern Michigan" and have beneficial im-
plications for the University as well.
Robert DiGiovanni, spokesman for ERIM, said
these two developments - the cytocomputer and a
three-dimensional laser scanner - are nearing the
final stages of development and are "on the brink of
actual utilization in industry in this area."
"IT COULD HAVE major potential in robotics,"
said DiGiovanni. The developments would increase
the "eye-brain" capability of the robot. The
cytocomputer is a "fast parallel pipe line computer,"
said DiGiovanni, which can work on several different
operations at the same time and process data in "vir-
tually real time," that is, provide almost instan-
taneous feedback.
The three dimensional laser scanner emits its own
laser pulse almost like radar and develops visual
imagery, said DiGiovanni, which is much more
sophisticated than the current two dimensional
closed circuit TV analysis.
TOGETHER THESE represent a "quantum jump
protest in
LANSING (UPI) - State prison
guards and their families, demon-
strating at the Capitol yesterday, in-
dicated that a strike vote scheduled for
next week could be blocked if correc-
tions officials act quickly to bolster
The Capitol march by about 80 per-
sons - guards from several Michigan WIVES
prisons, their wives and children - safer w
came as a small outbreak of violence
was quelled at the trouble-scarred
Southern Michigan Prison at Jackson.
GUARDS USED tear gas to end the
trouble and the offenders were taken
to segregation. The guard was treated
at the prison infirmary and sent home
after being hit by flying glass. WASH]
The demonstrators circled the retiring a
Capitol grounds in protest of what they Court-gi
said is severe understaffing at the chance to
prisons aad the recent firing of Gerald ce of the I
Fryt, president of their Michigan woman on
Corrections Organization. The 66-
leave the
Fryt and another guard were fired current te
and 14 others punished for their alleged I leave wi
roles in an unauthorized shakedown of Court wi
prisoners which sparked the May 22 hands .. .
Jackson riot, letter to R
MCO members likely would avoid the decision is
illegal strike if a hiring freeze preven- a month
ting the employment of new guards decision u
were lifted, said Steve Solomon, a he is "alw
three-year Jackson veteran guard. appoint.
time just

in robotics," he said. "A robot will be able to make up
its own mind about what to do in any given situation."
"If you look into history, whenever you have a new
technological innovation you create industry and
jobs," said DiGiovanni. "There is a snowballing ef-
This effect now can be seen at the University with
the innovation of the cytocomputer. (The three
dimensional laser scanner invention is relatively
unknown outside of ERIM.)
At the University, ERIM, which evolved from the
University's Willow Run Laboratory in 1973, is
building a cytocomputer under the guidance of its
designer, Stanley Sternberg, now a professor at the
University's Electrical and Computer Engineering
"We are the place in the country," the only univer-
sity to have the cytocomputer, said Alan Price,
assistant dean for research and development at the
University's School of Medicine. He said the
cytocomputer has been "very attractive" for
bringing in huge grants for all different types of
"WE'RE HOPING TO be a center of excellence in
image processing and computers," said Price, ad-
ding that the cytocomputer will be finished this fall.
Currently, a committee under ECE Prof. Richard

Volz is moving ahead to establish a "Computer and
Image Processing Research Network" which will
link various departments to the cytocomputer.
Areas as diverse as astronomy, mechanical
engineering, biomedicine, robotics, and psychology
of vision will be interested in image processing, said
Sternberg, the computer's designer.
STERNBERG SAID it took three years to design
and build the cytocomputer at ERIM. The com-
puter's name comes from ita design which is like
"thercells in a bee hive," he said, adding that actually
the cytocomputer attaches onto another computer.
Ronald Shubnell, systems engineering manager at
the nation's largest robot producing firm, Unimation,
and also chairman of Michigan Robotics Research
Circle, said these inventions represent "a very viable
step forward into another area of robotics."
However, he said he doubted there would be any
immediate applications of the two new inventions in
"It's a long way down the pike," Shubnell said.
"You have to look at a reasonable, marketable
product." He estimated it would be between three
and eight years before the actual introduction of
ERIM's inventions into the industry. But he said the
"development at ERIM alone could help Michigan's

S OF MICHIGAN prison guards picketed the state Capitol in Lansing yesterday. The women were demanding
working conditions for their husbands, 30 of whom joined in the four-hour protest.

ustice quits high'court

FromAP and UPI
INGTON-Justice Potter
announced yesterday he is
fter 23 years on the Supreme
ving President Reagan a
shift the philosophical balan-
high court, and possibly put a
the bench.
year-old Stewart said he will
court July 3, at the end of the
rm. "Now that it is time to go,
th the hope that the Supreme
ill be in good and wise
he said in his retirement
eagan, dated May 18.
, who learned of Stewart's
n a secret Oval Office meeting
ago, said he has made no
pon a replacement but added
ays" looking for a woman to
"We have been quite some
basically preparing for any

future appointments," the president appointed by President Eisenhower,
said. "There will be an announcement has not appeared to be in the best of
shortly." health as he walked through the court's
THE PRESIDENT'S deputy press corridors in recent months.
secretary, Larry Speakes, said Reagan But a member of Stewart's staff said
had directed Attorney General William the justice was "retiring just to retire."
French Smith to quietly look for a suc- "He's not going to be an ambassador
cessor to Stewart after he learned of the and he's not dying. There is no ulterior
justice's decision. motive here," according to Stewart's
"Activist judges" need not apply, secretary, Carolyn Sand.
said Speakes' boss, David Gergen. 'STEWART TOLD his colleagues that
Speakes said he didn't know whether in retirement he hopes "to serve from
Smith, himself a potential candidate, time to time asa member of the federal
had been instructed to look especially judiciary," a reference to the right of
for women. But the president "will not retired justices to hear cases in lower
seek only candidates who necessarily federal courts.
agree on every position, but rather
those who share one key view-the role Stewart, a Yale-educated lawyer with
of the court is to interpret the law, not to three years of Navy service in World
enact new law by judicial fiat," the War II, is likely to be bombarded with
spokesman said. questions today as he opens himself to a
Stewaer"6&a moderate Republican r ge ,XVP thepTas.

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