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Embry-Riddle Researcher Gets Honda Grant for Hands-Off Instrument Panel Controls
Prescott, Ariz., January 7, 2008
Tarek El Dokor, a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has been awarded a Honda Initiation Grant of $50,000 for the development of holographic instrument panel controls and displays.
The proposal by El Dokor, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Prescott, Ariz., campus of Embry-Riddle, was selected from among 300 grant submissions. Five other U.S. university professors also received the Honda grants.
According to El Dokor, the interactive instrument panel he is developing will give the operator of a vehicle faster, safer, and more efficient access to information. “It implements a software alternative to what is currently a hardware solution to various controls,” he explained. “Think iPhone, which has a software-based touch keypad, versus current PDAs, which have actual keyboards. You don’t need to touch any screens. Content is projected away from the dashboard and toward the user, where the user can manipulate it in many ways.”
“Professor El Dokor’s work is a creative and innovative advancement in human-machine interfaces,” said Christina Frederick-Recascino, Embry-Riddle’s vice president for research. “We are proud that his work has been recognized by Honda as advancing the development of new means of interacting with computers and other technologies.”
El Dokor is director of the Embry-Riddle Machine Vision Lab (vision.pr.erau.edu), where researchers investigate and develop machine vision, machine perception, and robotics applications ranging from video games and unmanned aerial vehicles to training programs and outdoor signage.
For example, his lab has developed a way for people to control the movement of video game characters by moving their own body instead of a joystick or controller. A camera captures the person’s movements, sending messages through the computer system that tell on-screen objects or contents what to do. One can also rotate or move something on a computer screen by moving one’s finger a few inches away from the screen.
The goal of the Honda Initiation Grant program is to fund innovative ideas in the early stages of research that are likely to make valuable contributions to technology over a longer term of five to 10 years.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.