Category: Good Day Utah

Art, activities and more at Kimball Arts Festival in Park City

PARK CITY, Utah — The Kimball Arts Festival is underway in Park City through Sunday, and Friday morning Budah got a preview of the events and art on offer.

In addition to art vendors like photographer Henri Clifton, who shows his work to Budah in one of the videos above, the festival features plenty of food and several events.

The festival runs through August 4 in Park City and tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-17. More details are available here.

Bionic arm lets Utah man control it with just his thoughts

WEST VALLEY CITY – Keven Walgamott says he lost his left hand and part of his lower arm after an accident about 17 years ago and he says since then it’s taken some getting used to.

He says he was left-handed so that meant he had to learn how to do everything right-handed.

“I have a very wonderful supportive wife who has helped me through all of it both emotional and the physical so it’s been a process but I’m pretty much able to do anything now that I could do before but a little slower,” says Walgamott.

Now he says a new clinical trial he’s a part of is giving him hope.

“We had to go through quite a process to get up to using the ‘LUKE Arm.’ They did a lot of testing, a lot of computer work, but by the time we got there, it was totally amazing,” says Walgamott.

The bionic arm he’s been using is called the ‘LUKE Arm’ after the one Luke Skywalker uses in ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.’

The arm itself was made by a New Hampshire-Based company called ‘DEKA’.

University of Utah engineers say with their latest work, the arm does far more than just let people pick up objects.

Gregory Clark, an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering says, “The basic idea is to some extent is to recreate the human hand so that the user can move it in a dextrose and well-controlled but intuitive fashion just by thinking about it and then ideally also get a sense of touch back from the hand so that they can actually feel the hand and ideally even feel whole again.”

This means Walgamott can perform more delicate tasks, like plucking grapes or picking up an egg, which would usually be impossible with a standard prosthetic arm.

He says he remembers the first experience very well.

“First thing I remember was, we did a digital test and that they had feeling into it and I pulled my hand down a wall. It was a corrugated wall and I was able to feel the bumps on the corrugation and that was a first time in 13 years that I’d ever done that and that was just, it about made me cry. It was exciting,” says Walgamott.

The engineers working on this project say the ‘LUKE Arm’ taps into existing muscles and nerves.

“We can wiretap into those nerves and capture the signals coming down the nerves from the brain. If we translate those correctly […] they’ll move by the person just thinking about moving their hand just the way they used to for 20 years or 30 years before they lost it,” says Clark.

For now, the person using the ‘LUKE Arm’ is either tethered to a stack of computers or can use a more portable device that requires an engineer to operate it.

Jacob George, a Biomedical Engineering Student working with Clarke on the ‘LUKE Arm’ says, “We’re trying [to move] towards more portable systems as well as making them wirelessly.”

Walgamott says he was sad he wasn’t able to take it out of the lab and go home with it, which is something the engineers at the University are hoping to do soon.

“To truly allow a person to go home alone and use it and set it up in whatever fashion they feel like doing we’ll need to take it to the next level,” says Clarke.

The Engineers working on the ‘LUKE Arm’ say they’re close to take-home trials, but they’re not quite there yet. They need approval from the government first and they’re hoping to get that in either 2020 or 2021.

“It definitely comes from the movies. I mean the hand that we’ve worked with is known as the ‘LUKE Arm’, which is obviously named after Luke Skywalker, so we’re at an interesting point now where all this technology is starting to become a reality,” George says.

Despite the wait, Walgamott says he’s excited about what the future holds, especially after being able to hold onto his wife’s hands with both his biological hand and a bionic one.

“When I touched her hand, was able to feel and then we eventually clasped hands with both hands, it was, it was rather very emotional. not only for me but for her as well,” says Walkgamott.

You can read more about Gregory Clark and Jacob Clarke’s work in the journal Science Robotics.

University of Utah students make chip that converts heat into energy

SALT LAKE CITY – Engineers at the University of Utah now have a way to turn wasted heat from things like cell phones and laptops into energy.

Associate Engineering Professor, Mathieu Francoeur, says this started as an idea during his Ph.D. studies in 2005.

Francoeur then pitched a proposal to the National Science Foundation and received funding for it in 2013.

Since then, a team of students has been working on turning his theory into something that can one day help us all.

“What we’ve [made] is a device or a chip essentially that converts waste heat into radiation, so that’s what it does in a nutshell, is in the end with that chip we’re going to be able to take waste heat, or any type of heat, and convert that into electrical power,” says Francoeur.

All of this comes from something you can fit on the end of your finger. The chip measures 5 millimeters by 5 millimeters, which is about the size of an eraser head.

Francoeur says you’d need more than one to power your devices though. In fact, it would take about 50 chips to increase your battery life by about 50%.

As for a laptop, Francoeur says it would take about 400 for a similar effect.

The dream is to have this picked up by the major makers of tech products and eventually in our hands.

“In an ideal world, I would like Samsung, apple, to use these chips in their phone, in their electronic devices to save some power, right? and maybe increase the power of their batteries and so on,” says Francoeur.

The team at the University of Utah is hoping to have a prototype ready for companies to start using in the next 5 or 10 years.

Utah rideshare drivers having problems with minors

WEST VALLEY CITY – Apps like Lyft and Uber can help people get to where they need to be with a few taps, but now Utah drivers working for the companies say they’re experiencing problems with minors requesting rides.

Jeani Thompson is one of those drivers and she says she often comes across these kinds of requests in the morning before school starts and in the afternoon when school is out for the day.

In her experience, she says it tends to be either parents requesting a ride for their kids or kids requesting rides for themselves, likely using an account that has a fake date of birth.

“It’s Lyft’s policy to ask if they appear to be a minor, to ask for identification and we’ve been instructed if we don’t have verification to not accept the ride for both the passenger’s safety as well as the driver’s safety,” says Thompson.

Both Uber and Lyft have similar policies when it comes to giving rides to minors.

On Uber’s website, the policy reads in part, “A rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride.”

On Lyft’s website, the policy reads in part, “Children 17 or under […] are not permitted to ride without being accompanied by an adult.”

This leaves drivers like Thompson in a tough spot.

She says, “I have often found that it’s parents or caregivers, grandparents, things like that, or an older sibling who are like, ‘well I’ll just get you a ride, I don’t have time to take you.’ and then it kind of leaves both of us like, ‘oh sorry, you’re kind of stuck here, but I can’t take you.’”

Both Lyft and Uber tell drivers that should they be faced with picking up an unaccompanied minor, they should cancel the ride, which Thompson says is more straight forward on one app than the other.

“On Lyft when I pick up someone and I’m not able to take that rider I can say on the app why I’m canceling,” says Thompson.

But with Uber, Thompson says there’s no option on the app to say the rider is a minor and she says that makes it harder for drivers like her to communicate their problem to get compensated for the wasted time.

Thompson also says parents have been known to kick up a fuss when they don’t come prepared with a car seat for any of their kids that require one.

“In fact, get upset with me, that I wouldn’t take them [saying things like] well, it’s only 11 miles. And I feel terrible, but it’s going 11 miles at 70 on the freeway. No, I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I don’t want you to feel comfortable with me doing that,” says Thompson.

Now she’s asking parents and minors alike to be sensible and respectful.

Logan soccer coach who gives generously to kids gets surprised at Rio Tinto Stadium

SANDY, Utah — The Fox 13 Dream Team is on a mission to change lives.

We’ve partnered with Mountain America Credit Union, Woodside Homes and Smith’s Food and Drug to help honor some deserving Utahns.

This month, the Dream Team surprised Moises Fajardo.

Moises is a former pro soccer player now living in Logan, where he spends every spare moment teaching kids to play.

He routinely manages 10-12 teams, and this year he’s coaching two girls’ teams for the first time.

Moises often pays for fees, uniforms, and soccer supplies for kids who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Watch the video to see how the Dream Team surprised Moises at Rio Tinto Stadium, which is home to Real Salt Lake.

If you know someone who could use a visit from the Dream Team, fill out the nomination form here. Tell us the story of the person you are nominating, as it might be told on TV, and suggest a gift that could make a difference in their life.

Sponsored by:

Mountain America Credit Union

Woodside Homes Utah

Smith’s Food and Drug

NASA needs your help naming next Mars rover

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is set to launch next summer and land in Jezero Crater on the red planet in February 2021.

It’s called the 2020 rover for obvious reasons, but it will carry a new name before launch.

This is a tradition with the Martian rovers. Before it was dubbed Curiosity, the previously deployed plucky rover was known as the Mars Science Laboratory.

This fall, a nationwide “Name the Rover” contest will launch allowing K-12 students in US schools the chance to name the 2020 rover.

NASA hopes that the contest will inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, for students and give them an opportunity to learn more about the science and engineering that allows us to explore Mars.

Two partner organizations, Batelle Education in Columbus, Ohio and Future Engineers in Burbank, California, will work with NASA to help run the contest. Batelle will recruit judges and students and open them up to STEM networks. Future Engineers, which regularly supplies students with contests and challenges, will host the website for submitting names.

If you’re interested in in becoming a judge for the contest, applications are now open.

“We’re very excited about this exceptional partnership,” said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive in NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Contests like this present excellent opportunities to invite young students and educators to be a part of this journey to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth and to advance new capabilities in exploration technology.”

The Mars 2020 rover is about the size of a small car and weighs 2,300 pounds. The rover will collect samples that could be returned to Earth by future missions. It will search for signs of possible ancient life on Mars and study Martian climate and geology.

NASA’s next Mars rover

How’s 2020 doing?

Recently, the rover has made quite the transformation. In the past few weeks, the wheels and mast have been added, making it look more like a rover than ever.

It’s currently stationed in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s clean room to keep it from carrying any bacteria from Earth to Mars.

2020 is carrying an instrument that will help it search for past signs of life on Mars.

The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals instrument, dubbed SHERLOC, will detect chemicals on Mars that could be linked to life. It will be mounted on the end of the rover’s 7-foot robotic arm, along with a laser, camera and spectrometers.

SHERLOC also will carry five samples of spacesuit material, including a piece of an astronaut’s helmet and four kinds of fabric, to study how the materials stand up to the radiation astronauts could face on Mars.

This is the first time any materials like this are being sent there.

The arm will soon be mounted on 2020, and the Mars helicopter will be tucked underneath the rover. Once ready, everything will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for a launch in July 2020.

And don’t forget that there’s still time to send your name to Mars aboard the rover. The deadline is September 30, and you’ll receive a souvenir boarding pass in return.

Utah teens learning how to drive using video game

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS – Before teens take to the streets to practice driving a car, some are using a video game to get to grips with the basics first.

Driving Essentials launched for Xbox in March 2019 and now it’s being picked up by future drivers, including some in Utah.

Raeola Catsanevas is 14-years-old and she’s one of the teens using the video game to brush up on her driving knowledge before she takes the test.

“I think it’s a much safer option because it really just teaches you how to keep yourself and others safe,” says Catsanevas.

The Utah teen started playing the game a few weeks ago and already thinks she’s getting the hang of it.

Driving Essentials also keeps up with the times by teaching teens about the dangers of distracted driving.

“It has a phone on your dashboard and then it will message you and then it will have you look down and it talks about it takes like four seconds for your brain to adjust back and forth from the road to your phone and that that’s what causes a lot of accidents,” says Catsanevas.

The game uses a points system that starts at 100 and goes down over time if you make any mistakes like forgetting to use your blinkers, speeding, or crashing – which is an instant fail.

It also lets teens practice driving in different weather conditions like the rain and even the snow, something we’re very familiar with here in Utah.

Catsanevas says, “I may need a little bit more practice but I feel like I know a lot and maybe even more than some people in my grade or maybe even a grade ahead of me.”

The company’s CEO, Bob Davis, admits the game isn’t perfect either.

“On an Xbox controller, you don’t get the actual feel for a car so you clearly need all the behind the wheel time you can get […] but there’s no reason for kids to wait for an instructor to tell them this stuff,” says Davis.

You can buy Driving Essentials for the Xbox One for $39. It’s also being tested by Sony and is expected to hit the PlayStation 4 on July 16th 2019.

Electric vehicle rideshare service up and running in Daybreak

SOUTH JORDAN –  A new kind of ridesharing service called KartsUT is now available in Utah, but it’s a bit different to the ones you’re used to like Uber and Lyft.

Utah may have public transit in the form of TRAX, Frontrunner trains, and Buses, but stations and stops aren’t always close to people’s homes, so this new electric rideshare service could help bridge that gap.

If you head down to the Daybreak community, chances are you’ll see the new golf cart looking vehicles whizzing around the streets.

The owner of KartsUT, Julie Holbrook, says she got the idea last summer when she saw a golf cart driving on the streets of South Jordan.

She says she realized regular golf carts were not street legal so she got to work on finding a vehicle for her rideshare business that would be allowed on the streets.

The one she settled on has a maximum speed of 25MPH, can only drive on roads with a speed limit of 35 MPH, and can seat four including the driver.

The owner of the electric rideshare service says a second vehicle is set to arrive in the coming weeks and will have six seats.

Holbrook says the idea is to help locals and visitors to Daybreak with short trips.

Right now, there are three different ways you can get a ride with KartsUT, all of which are booked through the website.

The Impromptu: A one time ride that costs $5

The Socialite: A subscription plan that costs $25 and is good for getting picked up and dropped off at events in and close to Daybreak.

The Commuter: A subscription plan that costs $55 and is good for a ride to and from the TRAX station for a whole month.