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.