The Amazon Echo – Steps Toward an Automated Home Environment

The Amazon Echo pic
The Amazon Echo

Jacob Newberger is a respected Pennsylvania mechanical engineer with extensive experience in automatic control systems and robotics. Jacob Newberger has a longstanding interest in home automation systems, which hold the promise of transforming how people interact with their residential environments.

Released to the general public in mid-2015, the Amazon Echo pairs advanced home automation capacities with voice recognition, personal assistants, and the Internet of Things (IoT). With Siri focused on mobile devices, the Echo is a stationary cylindrical device that takes many of the same features to an office or home environment.

The Echo is accessed through apps, either on a Chrome computer browser or a smartphone. It capably plays music and audio books, and provides information services such as traffic reports. Designed around “Alexa,” Echo is virtually hands-free, as it answers queries and responds to voice commands.

Echo has an added benefit of seamless IoT integration and supports a variety of electric devices, lights, and switches around the house. Among the compatible systems are Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, and WeMo, which makes it possible to build a truly automated home environment.


Most Extensive Face Transplant Ever Undertaken on Burn Victim

Jacob Newberger is a Pennsylvania professional with past experience designing automated systems at Panacea Technologies. With a longstanding interest in medicine, Jacob Newberger is particularly focused on developments in the orthopedics and transplant surgery spheres.

In many ways 2015 was a breakthrough year in medicine, with milestones including the most extensive face transplant ever undertaken. The pioneering treatment involved a volunteer firefighter who suffered severe burns when attempting to rescue a person he believed to be trapped in a burning home. The third-degree burns took all of his head and eyebrow hair, as well as his ears, and made him virtually unrecognizable to friends and family.

An innovative U.S. surgeon undertook a transplant that used donated tissue encompassing the forehead, face, scalp, ears, and eyelids. The surgeon also replaced a certain number of the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles under the skin. The result was a “hybrid” face that combined some of the patients’ facial features with those of his donor, who had been killed in a cycling incident.

Three months after the surgery, the patient was described as being in excellent condition and leading an independent life. In particular, transplant areas such as the ears and lips exhibited good color, a sign that blood circulation has been repaired.

Panacea – Innovative Technologies to Improve Automation

Panacea Technologies, Inc pic
Panacea Technologies, Inc

Jacob Newberger has spent the past five years of his professional life establishing experience in the automation field and currently works as an automation validation engineer. Panacea Technologies, Inc., the company that employes Jacob Newberger, has been instrumental in establishing automated processes for vaccine manufacturers.

According to the company’s web site,, Panacea assisted a vaccine company by overseeing the process of establishing standards for automating the company’s systems interactions. One of the tools used in this project was the Control Logix/Archestra framework designed by Panacea. This framework makes the system configuration process easier with a distributed control system, which allows for the dissemination of control elements across the system, rather than having one element in a central location.

The Control Logix/Archestra framework also utilizes PLC/SCADA architecture, which reduces cost. A PLC (programmable logic controller) allows for automation through a digital computer; a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system enables remote equipment control by sending coded signals.

Welcoming Robots into Your Home

Jacob (Jake) Newberger currently serves as an automation validation engineer with Panacea Technologies, Inc. His previous experience includes working with companies such as AV Divine in the field of home automation. Alongside his career, Jacob Newberger pursues an interest in domestic robots.

Although many people may believe that robots are science fiction, or at least devices of the future, several domestic robotic models already exist. Most of these perform simple functions such as mowing lawns, cleaning pools, sweeping floors, providing pet care, cleaning windows, and vacuuming. These robots thus perform mundane chores, but they can also offer more: some people choose to personalize their robots and give them names.

Those interested in welcoming robots into their homes have a variety of options from which to choose. Companies such as the Robot Shop maintain an extensive selection. For example, the Robot Shop’s robotic vacuum cleaners include the iRobot Roomba, the Neato XV Signature, the E.ziclean, Infinuvo, Mamirobot, and Ecovacs Deebot, among others.

Benefits to Home Automation

Jacob Newberger is a designer and programmer of automation devices. Using cutting-edge technology, Jacob Newberger and his employer Panacea Technologies provide consumers with innovative new ways to maintain their homes or businesses. In a culture where technology is king, home automation harnesses the incredible power of smart devices. Home automation allows individuals to manage their homes at the touch of a button using any smartphone or tablet. This provides a number of benefits.


Safety: The ability to manage lights in the home remotely allows users to make it look like someone is home, even when the home is empty. Many systems also feature automated locking systems.

Savings: Home automation allows users to ensure lights are off when not in use and to adjust the thermostat as needed. Timeliness: Busy parents no longer have to rush home to unlock the door for children returning home from school.

Peace of Mind: Individuals on vacation can control their homes from anywhere. Instead of giving a key to another individual, users can let them inside remotely. In addition, users can check the status of their homes using security cameras.

Domestic Robot Technology in the 21st Century

Shadow_Hand_Bulb_large_AlphaJacob Newberger completed his bachelor of science at the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 with a major in mechanical engineering, achieving honors and placement on the Dean’s List. While studying, Jacob Newberger demonstrated advanced knowledge and interest in the design, assembly, and programming of autonomous robots created for domestic purposes.

Until quite recently, partly automated household devices still required some level of human interaction in order to function correctly. These included vacuum cleaners, automated pool cleaners, and food processors. At the beginning of the 21st century, fully autonomous vacuum cleaners introduced a new level of automated control, and research and product development continues today.

Security robots are now used domestically to detect movement and identify potential intruders. While video footage is created, security warnings can be sent via email to alert residents of potential breaches immediately. Robotic lawn mowers experienced a surge in popularity in 2012, and are now produced with electric sensors to avoid obstacles and observe property boundaries. Floor washing and polishing robots have also been developed in recent years. Electronic devices that control utility settings by way of mobile phone applications are gaining popularity, with Google’s purchase and collaboration with thermostat manufacturer Nest.

Japanese Robot Pepper Coming to United States

SoftBank_pepperJacob Newberger studied mechanical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. An automation validation engineer with Panacea Technologies, Jacob Newberger maintains a strong interest in the domestic robot industry.

The Japanese domestic robot Pepper is set to make its American debut in the near future. During the robot’s initial release in Japan, Pepper was billed as the first robot capable of communicating with and understanding the emotions of humans. The first 1,000 units sold out in Japan less than one minute after hitting the public market.

Developed by SoftBank Mobile and Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper stands just under 4 feet tall and moves on a set of rollers. The design features a set of cameras and sensors that allow Pepper to detect and interpret a variety of human facial expressions. Through a permanent link to cloud storage, Pepper can immediately draw on past experiences and can even learn new skills to aid in its verbal communications with people. Pepper is currently being used by Nescafé and SoftBank in Japan as a professional assistant. Designers plan to adjust the model’s personality to better fit American audiences before Pepper receives an official US release.