Innovation Wave in Chile: Know the Scientific and Technological Advances under Development in the Country

A portable ultrasound scanner and a new technology for the observation of supernovae are some of the most recent Chilean innovations.

Imagen: European Southern Observatory


Chile has been the cradle of important scientific and technological advances in the past few years, thanks to the development in research the country has experimented. Several universities and research centers have worked in different projects that aim to improve the country’s life quality or to contribute to the development of different fields of knowledge.

The students of Electrical Engineering from Universidad de Chile, Vader Johnson and Rodrigo Maureira, are the ones behind Toate, the first portable ultrasound scanner created in the country. Its name means “doctor” in the Rapa Nui language. The device weighs only 800 gr (1.7 pounds) and works with a rechargeable battery that lasts for about 2 hours. Due to its portable nature, Toate will be a benefit for patients from isolated locations and or those who are in an impinged mobility state, for whom going to a medical center is almost impossible. The project is currently in the last stage of Go-to-market, a Corfo initiative that supports the commercialization of new technologies created in Chile.

In addition, the Engineering School from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile has been working for two years in a mini robot that would allow to return some basic functions to paralyzed people. The robot is just 20 cm tall (almost 8 inches), and has integrated eye tracking technology, HD camera, speakers, and microphones; all of them track the user’s eye movement.

“Due to the eye tracking technology, the mini robot allows totally paralyzed people to observe and listen to their family circle. It could also send audio messages in order to communicate with others,” stated Miguel Torres, guiding professor of the work team, to El Definido online newspaper.

Regarding astronomy, an interdisciplinary team lead by Francisco Forster from Millenium Institute of Astrophysics, together with the Center for Mathematical Modeling from Universidad de Chile, created a technology that allows to observe supernovae in real time; only hours after they have appeared in the sky. The crucial instrument that made this advance possible was the Camara de Energía Oscura (DECam) from Telescopio Blanco de Tololo. This technology has the capacity of tracking a wide range of sky.

This post is also available in Spanish