Technology

Post image for Menlo Park Fire District partners with local company to develop drone capabilities during emergencies

Menlo Park Fire District  Chief Harold Schapelhouman recently received authorization from the Fire Board to officially partner with Matternet, Inc. to collaboratively explore drone options for delivery during emergencies. The Menlo Park-based company develops autonomous drone logistics systems.

The Fire District officially started its drone program in 2014 and was one of the first emergency response agencies in nation to receive formal authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to legally fly drones last year. Since then the Fire District has trained up six operators, purchased four aerial DJI platforms and recently used the drone to fly critical missions looking for lost boaters in the San Francisco Bay, to monitor record water flows and damage to the San Francisquito Creek, and to document traffic congestion along critical emergency response routes.

“We’ve been meeting with Matternet since October of last year, discussing how to best collaborate and drive this specialized field and its evolving technology forward to a more useful, functional and beneficial purpose for first responders” the Chief said. “We will use this partnership as an anchor point to open the door to other innovative and interchangeable operational capabilities…We’re focused on guiding individuals or groups towards results that make sense to first responders so they are actually creating useful tools, not toys, that can enhance real world emergency operations.”

One of the key elements of the Matternet system is an interchangeable M2 payload box which has an internal dimensions of 19 by 11 by 13 cm.

“The standardized payload box configuration allows us the flexibility to work with other vendors and develop a number of useful and essential emergency services applications such as an advanced situational awareness and firefighter tracking capability, multi-camera, chemical sensor, scene lighting and other equipment payloads that would be beneficial to first responders. It can also be used to carry equipment such as defibrillators, oxygen, medical equipment, life preservers or other equipment that could enhance emergency operations and save people’s lives.”

Photo courtesy Menlo Fire; Battalion Chief Tom Calvert, Matternet CEO Andreas Rapotopoulos, Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman and Matternet Business Development Executive Ben Hansen

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Encinal School students get involved with engineering at a Build It Festival

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Students in grades second through fifth  at Encinal School in Atherton had an engineering event on Monday, with a Build It Festival from the Lawrence Hall of Sciences and an animation studio. Students constructed towers, bridges, and support structures, using their creativity, design skills, and spacial reasoning to build in both two and three dimensions. Students worked in […]

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Spotted: Boys and Girls Club members learning to code at Microsoft event

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Microsoft hosted an Hour of Code event at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula McNeil Family Clubhouse last week. More than a dozen students learned basic programming concepts and entered their own lines of code as part of a Minecraft tutorial. Menlo Park City Councilmember Ray Mueller was on hand to launch the coding […]

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View documentary Screenagers at Hillview School on October 5

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There will be a  screening of Screenagers followed by a panel discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 pm in the Hillview School Performing Arts Center. Screenagers: Growing Up in The Digital Age  is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and to offer parents proven solutions that work. Through poignant and unexpectedly […]

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TechShop celebrates its 10th anniversary today – and it all began in Menlo Park

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TechShop founder Jim Newton emailed: “Today TechShop is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and what a journey it has been! Ten years ago, TechShop Menlo Park opened with largely volunteer support from soon-to-be members and adorned by a sign hand made by my mother. “Today, we have nine locations in the U.S., three overseas, and more […]

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Google and McDonald’s team up for a free meal at McDonald’s this weekend

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From Friday through Sunday, you can get a complimentary meal (worth $9.00) at the McDonald’s in Menlo Park (1100 El Camino) by paying with Hands Free by Google, part of a wider Google promotion covering the fast food franchise’s locations in the South Bay. You’ll need to say “I’ll pay with Google” when you are at the […]

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Sight and Sound concert aims to blend music, technology – and emotion

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Combine a pianist with a violinist playing music by English “Impressionist” composer John Ireland in concert with active participation by the audience using Sensemo and you get the world’s first experiment in live music, art and hi-tech. That’s the promise of Sight and Sound, which will be performed June 18 at 7:30 pm at the Community […]

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Menlo Park start up Lumos Tech develops sleep mask to “cure” jet lag and other sleep disruptions

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Jet lag. The scourge of multiple time zone flying. Can it be tamed? That’s the promise of the Smart Sleep Mask being developed by Menlo Park startup LumosTech. The mask’s technology can shift circadian rhythm up to three hours in one night using millisecond pulses of light that activate the same neural systems as natural sunlight. The mask is based […]

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Menlo School is hosting MenloHacks this weekend

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Menlo School students are hosting a 24-hour hackathon this weekend in the Athletic Center. Dubbed MenloHacks, the event brings together about 250 high school students to build anything pertaining to software or hardware. MenloHacks encourages students of all experience levels to collaborate to create apps, websites, and other code-based projects. The event also features games, such as a Tapé […]

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Biggest thing to hit Menlo Park – ever – is a “digital playground for all ages”

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We know we’ll get some arguments in favor of what puts money in the City’s coffers. Or even the day you brought your firstborn home from the hospital. But we can’t think of anything more appealing, fun and exciting ever to hit Menlo Park than the two exhibits, Living Digital Space and Future Parks, currently […]

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SHP seniors create Primary Panic to increase interest in Presidential election

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Two sisters, Jaclyn (left) and Kimberly (right) Tsiang, and fellow Sacred Heart Preparatory senior Maddie McAdams (middle) are launching a new and innovative website that seeks to counter dwindling interest of young Americans in politics. Called Primary Panic, the site is designed to excite interest in this year’s Presidential election. Taking the form of the […]

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