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An engineering professor and five students at Central Michigan Universityhave created a ''Smart Cane'' to read electronic navigational tagsinstalledbetween buildings to aid the blind in reaching their destinations moreeasily. ''This project started as a way for me to teach students to see andunderstand the ways that engineering can be used for the greater good,''said Kumar Yelamarthi, the professor and project leader. ''We wanted to dosomething that would help people and make our campus more accessible. '' During the spring term, Yelamarthi and five senior engineering studentstested the cane, which is equipped with Radio Frequency Identificationtechnology, similar to what retailers put on products to keep them frombeing stolen. The Smart Cane contains an ultrasonic sensor that is paired with aminiaturenavigational system inside a messenger style bag worn across the shoulder. For the test, the students installed identification tags between twobuildings on the campus in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

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When burglary or theft reports are reviewed, it is striking how many similarities there are in the reports. Often, doors and windows were left unlocked, alarm systems were not activated, a few homes were not properly illuminated, and many doors had dead bolt locks – but, they were not used. While you are performing your spring cleaning be sure to take a look at your home like a burglar might do, and try to make your home more resistant to an intruder. Below is a security check list which may assist you as you take on this important task. It is OK to take an “Us against Them” attitude when it comes to home security and your personal safety because home security really does matter. Examine your front and back door locks and make sure they are properly working.