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Last week, the New York-based MAKE team head up to GE’s research center in Niskayuna, NY to meet some of their engineers, many of whom are makers in addition to what they make at work.

We met with Owen Schelenz, who showed us GE’s developments in creating a “smart” power grid capable of adjusting home energy use based on many factors, including time-of-day rate fluctuations. He also showed us his spare-time project, a self-balancing two wheeled (Segway-like) vehicle, pictured above. Owen accompanied us down the halls on his conveyance, where we met Harry Ringermacher.

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Harry demoed the non-destructive evaluation setup, which uses high-speed IR cameras to detect flaws in engine parts where it would be impossible to see otherwise. Harry then showed us his homemade astrophotography rig, with which he takes incredible pictures of galaxies.

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Chris Wynnyk, a computer vision scientist, demoed some people-tracking surveillance software as well as his MATLAB-powered piano tuner.

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Bob King showed us the all-electric vehicle lab, as well as his personal car, an electric VW Rabbit.

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Last up was Stephen Zingelewicz and Aussie Schnore, who are working on some imaging and software components for digital pathology, which would make it possible for doctors separated by wide distances to evaluate medical slides and even mark them up with notes, like on Flickr.

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We had a really great time meeting all the researchers at GE, and we hope they’ll come to Maker Faire! Thanks to Todd Alhart for touring us around! Check out more pictures from me, Marc, and PT. GE also keeps a research blog about current projects, complete with video from the clean room.