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USAMRMC, TATRC, Carnegie Mellon University, and Parallax Inc., Announce - 2013 National microMedic Contest

The U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command’s (USAMRMC) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), along with Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center, and Parallax Inc are offering over $25,000 in awards to inspire the next generation of medical innovation. The 2013 National microMedic contest is an opportunity to show the country what citizens can do with new technology - encouraging technical innovation with significant use of microcontrollers and sensors in the medical industry. This contest is a perfect practical application for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students around the nation.

Inventors and students are encouraged to participate by creating medical applications and prototypes for possible use in the healthcare industry, medical simulation training, and the battlefield. These technologies have the potential to benefit service members, wounded warriors and patients in general. STEM teachers are encouraged to get their classes involved. Over 100 free contest kits will be given away on a first come first serve basis to qualified applicants. Use your favorite microcontroller or apply to receive a free kit that includes either the Parallax multi-core Propeller chip or a shield for use with the Arduino microcontroller. The kit also contains various sensors, LED displays, infrared emitters, a blood pressure cuff, heart rate monitor and many other components to spark your imagination. Use of the official contest kit is not required to win.

Microcontrollers are inexpensive and tiny computers used in electronics. They are found in automobiles, appliances, medical devices and gadgets almost everywhere. Recently, the hobbyist community has been using microcontrollers to create a wide variety of useful applications. Examples include robots, monitoring systems, toys, 3D printers and a wide variety of inventions.

The 2013 National microMedic Contest is open to people of all ages and is expected to create a surge in interest around new open-source medical applications. Dr. Thomas Talbot, the Scientific Domain Coordinator for Medical Simulation at TATRC, shared, “We’re looking for microcontroller-based projects for the health and medical simulation community that combine the latest use of sensors, 3D printing, CNC and science disciplines. This is a call to action for inventive people to put their skills to use for the benefit of Army personnel and civilians.”

To help get the competitors started, Parallax Inc is hosting resources such as mini tutorials with code examples for sensors, lists of application ideas and an online discussion forum specific to the microMedic National contest where contestants can ask questions and collaborate.

Applicants have until July 31st, 2013 to submit their microMedic entries. Prizes will be awarded to 14 educational winners and 10 winners from the public category. The award ceremony will be held in September 2013 at TATRC’s Prototyping, Integration & Testing Lab (PITLAB) at Fort Detrick, MD. For more information on the 2013 microMedic Contest visit

About Parallax Inc:

Parallax designs and manufactures microcontroller development tools and small single-board computers as well as a vast array of products including project boards, robotics kits, educational tools, and sensors. Parallax is dedicated to providing the electronics industry with products that are technically innovative, unique, and economical while staying committed to thoughtful, creative design and quality workmanship. Parallax Inc. is a privately held company located in Rocklin, California.

About U.S. Army (TATRC):

The Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) provides tele-health solutions and executive medical research management to enhance and support military healthcare and promote innovative medical technologies. TATRC serves as the primary execution manager for Defense Health Programs research while exploring science and engineering technologies ahead of programmed research, leveraging other programs to maximize benefits to military health care. TATRC is the science and technology scout for military medicine and the center of gravity for Army telemedicine initiatives. TATRC initiates, sponsors, promotes and oversees programs and partnerships in medical science and engineering that support military medical programs. For more information, please visit: This initiative is supported under contract #: W81WXH- 12-20004.

About Carnegie Mellon (ETC):

The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University is the premiere professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it is applied across a variety of fields. The ETC offers a unique two-year Masters in Entertainment Technology degree that is jointly conferred by the School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts. We emphasize leadership, innovation and communication by creating challenging experiences through which students learn how to collaborate, experiment, and iterate solutions. The ETC is simply different, we strive to design experiences that educate, engage and inspire.

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