Rotary interacts with 3-D Rover system

Published 7:57 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Barbara Cliffe Miller was one of the several Rotarians who had fun trying out the new system following Rodeheaver’s easy instructions. — Carolyn Iamon

General Stewart Rodeheaver, president of Vizitech USA, was the guest speaker at this week’s Rotary Club meeting. 

Vizitech is the company that produces the 3-D Rover system, of which Rotary has purchased and placed four in the Decatur County Schools.

Rodeheaver demonstrated the newest advances being made to the system that make it possible for students to actually get hands on experience and get inside the images.

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Using a pen and wearing a special pair of glasses, the operator can drag and drop to move parts, open them up to view the insides or totally construct a visual piece of equipment.

Rodeheaver showed one example of a medical use where the human heart can be turned about to view all sides, can be transparent to view the insides, and even hear the heartbeat, thus enabling physicians to make non-invasive diagnoses and possible treatments.

Rodeheaver’s military experience of using 3-D methods to retrain soldiers in Iraq before sending them into battle precipitated the start of Vizitech just five years ago after his retirement.

“It is a better way to train young people,” said Rodeheaver, who says the military has now done away with printed materials and manuals. All educational information is downloaded to a tablet computer, which can be updated as changes occur, and distributed to each soldier.

He predicted the same future for Georgia’s schools, saying, “By 2017 there will be no new printed textbooks in schools.” He indicated the state will no longer give the school districts money for printed books, but instead will pay for digital texts that can be downloaded by the teachers to student tablets.

Each of the 3-D Rovers being used in Decatur County’s schools has 1500 educational programs, ranging from elementary lessons to scientific, mathematical and technical uses.

In the corporate world 123 Design is being used in the automotive and flight industries, with more product development on the horizon.

It can be used to build a robot, a car or a house and the designer can quickly see by moving parts around what works and what doesn’t.

The 3-D system is closely tied to the STEM  (Science Technology Engineering, Math) training being used in the schools, and helps students learn the technology, dynamics, physics and science of their projects.

Rodeheaver congratulated the Bainbridge Schools for their progressive approach. Bainbridge schools are among 250 other Georgia schools using the system, which is the same as that being used by Silicon Valley California schools.

He also praised the Bainbridge Rotary Club for making the machines available to four Decatur County schools. They are currently at Bainbridge High School, Grace Christian School, Hutto and Bainbridge Middle Schools.

Rodeheaver said grants are available to purchase the systems, but many schools leave it to busy teachers to write them. He indicated their company has grant writing assistance available to schools that are interested in obtaining a 3-D Rover system.

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