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Sensors, Volume 17, Issue 5 (May 2017)

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Open AccessTechnical Note Dual-Polarization Observations of Slowly Varying Solar Emissions from a Mobile X-Band Radar
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051185
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
The radio noise that comes from the Sun has been reported in literature as a reference signal to check the quality of dual-polarization weather radar receivers for the S-band and C-band. In most cases, the focus was on relative calibration: horizontal and vertical
[...] Read more.
The radio noise that comes from the Sun has been reported in literature as a reference signal to check the quality of dual-polarization weather radar receivers for the S-band and C-band. In most cases, the focus was on relative calibration: horizontal and vertical polarizations were evaluated versus the reference signal mainly in terms of standard deviation of the difference. This means that the investigated radar receivers were able to reproduce the slowly varying component of the microwave signal emitted by the Sun. A novel method, aimed at the absolute calibration of dual-polarization receivers, has recently been presented and applied for the C-band. This method requires the antenna beam axis to be pointed towards the center of the Sun for less than a minute. Standard deviations of the difference as low as 0.1 dB have been found for the Swiss radars. As far as the absolute calibration is concerned, the average differences were of the order of −0.6 dB (after noise subtraction). The method has been implemented on a mobile, X-band radar, and this paper presents the successful results that were obtained during the 2016 field campaign in Payerne (Switzerland). Despite a relatively poor Sun-to-Noise ratio, the “small” (~0.4 dB) amplitude of the slowly varying emission was captured and reproduced; the standard deviation of the difference between the radar and the reference was ~0.2 dB. The absolute calibration of the vertical and horizontal receivers was satisfactory. After the noise subtraction and atmospheric correction a, the mean difference was close to 0 dB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Open AccessReview Molecular Techniques for the Detection of Organisms in Aquatic Environments, with Emphasis on Harmful Algal Bloom Species
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051184
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 20 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
Molecular techniques to detect organisms in aquatic ecosystems are being gradually considered as an attractive alternative to standard laboratory methods. They offer faster and more accurate means of detecting and monitoring species, with respect to their traditional homologues based on culture and microscopic
[...] Read more.
Molecular techniques to detect organisms in aquatic ecosystems are being gradually considered as an attractive alternative to standard laboratory methods. They offer faster and more accurate means of detecting and monitoring species, with respect to their traditional homologues based on culture and microscopic counting. Molecular techniques are particularly attractive when multiple species need to be detected and/or are in very low abundance. This paper reviews molecular techniques based on whole cells, such as microscope-based enumeration and Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) and molecular cell-free formats, such as sandwich hybridization assay (SHA), biosensors, microarrays, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and real time PCR (RT-PCR). Those that combine one or several laboratory functions into a single integrated system (lab-on-a-chip) and techniques that generate a much higher throughput data, such as next-generation systems (NGS), were also reviewed. We also included some other approaches that enhance the performance of molecular techniques. For instance, nano-bioengineered probes and platforms, pre-concentration and magnetic separation systems, and solid-phase hybridization offer highly pre-concentration capabilities. Isothermal amplification and hybridization chain reaction (HCR) improve hybridization and amplification techniques. Finally, we presented a study case of field remote sensing of harmful algal blooms (HABs), the only example of real time monitoring, and close the discussion with future directions and concluding remarks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genosensing)
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Open AccessArticle Pseudorange Measurement Method Based on AIS Signals
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051183
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
In order to use the existing automatic identification system (AIS) to provide additional navigation and positioning services, a complete pseudorange measurements solution is presented in this paper. Through the mathematical analysis of the AIS signal, the bit-0-phases in the digital sequences were determined
[...] Read more.
In order to use the existing automatic identification system (AIS) to provide additional navigation and positioning services, a complete pseudorange measurements solution is presented in this paper. Through the mathematical analysis of the AIS signal, the bit-0-phases in the digital sequences were determined as the timestamps. Monte Carlo simulation was carried out to compare the accuracy of the zero-crossing and differential peak, which are two timestamp detection methods in the additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel. Considering the low-speed and low-dynamic motion characteristics of ships, an optimal estimation method based on the minimum mean square error is proposed to improve detection accuracy. Furthermore, the α difference filter algorithm was used to achieve the fusion of the optimal estimation results of the two detection methods. The results show that the algorithm can greatly improve the accuracy of pseudorange estimation under low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions. In order to verify the effectiveness of the scheme, prototypes containing the measurement scheme were developed and field tests in Xinghai Bay of Dalian (China) were performed. The test results show that the pseudorange measurement accuracy was better than 28 m (σ) without any modification of the existing AIS system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle Hybrid-Aware Model for Senior Wellness Service in Smart Home
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051182
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
Smart home technology with situation-awareness is important for seniors to improve safety and security. With the development of context-aware computing, wearable sensor technology, and ubiquitous computing, it is easier for seniors to manage their health problem in smart home environment. For monitoring senior
[...] Read more.
Smart home technology with situation-awareness is important for seniors to improve safety and security. With the development of context-aware computing, wearable sensor technology, and ubiquitous computing, it is easier for seniors to manage their health problem in smart home environment. For monitoring senior activity in smart home, wearable, and motion sensors—such as respiration rate (RR), electrocardiography (ECG), body temperature, and blood pressure (BP)—were used for monitoring movements of seniors. For context-awareness, environmental sensors—such as gas, fire, smoke, dust, temperature, and light sensors—were used for senior location data collection. Based on senior activity, senior health status can be classified into positive and negative. Based on senior location and time, senior safety is classified into safe and emergency. In this paper, we propose a hybrid inspection service middleware for monitoring elderly health risk based on senior activity and location. This hybrid-aware model for the detection of abnormal status of seniors has four steps as follows: (1) data collection from biosensors and environmental sensors; (2) monitoring senior location and time of stay in each location using environmental sensors; (3) monitoring senior activity using biometric data; finally, (4) expectation-maximization based decision-making step recommending proper treatment based on a senior health risk ratio. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact Analysis of Flow Shaping in Ethernet-AVB/TSN and AFDX from Network Calculus and Simulation Perspective
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051181
Received: 19 February 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
Ethernet-AVB/TSN (Audio Video Bridging/Time-Sensitive Networking) and AFDX (Avionics Full DupleX switched Ethernet) are switched Ethernet technologies, which are both candidates for real-time communication in the context of transportation systems. AFDX implements a fixed priority scheduling strategy with two priority levels. Ethernet-AVB/TSN supports a
[...] Read more.
Ethernet-AVB/TSN (Audio Video Bridging/Time-Sensitive Networking) and AFDX (Avionics Full DupleX switched Ethernet) are switched Ethernet technologies, which are both candidates for real-time communication in the context of transportation systems. AFDX implements a fixed priority scheduling strategy with two priority levels. Ethernet-AVB/TSN supports a similar fixed priority scheduling with an additional Credit-Based Shaper (CBS) mechanism. Besides, TSN can support time-triggered scheduling strategy. One direct effect of CBS mechanism is to increase the delay of its flows while decreasing the delay of other priority ones. The former effect can be seen as the shaping restriction and the latter effect can be seen as the shaping benefit from CBS. The goal of this paper is to investigate the impact of CBS on different priority flows, especially on the intermediate priority ones, as well as the effect of CBS bandwidth allocation. It is based on a performance comparison of AVB/TSN and AFDX by simulation in an automotive case study. Furthermore, the shaping benefit is modeled based on integral operation from network calculus perspective. Combing with the analysis of shaping restriction and shaping benefit, some configuration suggestions on the setting of CBS bandwidth are given. Results show that the effect of CBS depends on flow loads and CBS configurations. A larger load of high priority flows in AVB tends to a better performance for the intermediate priority flows when compared with AFDX. Shaping benefit can be explained and calculated according to the changing from the permitted maximum burst. Full article
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Open AccessReview Current and Potential Developments of Cortisol Aptasensing towards Point-of-Care Diagnostics (POTC)
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051180
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
Anxiety is a psychological problem that often emerges during the normal course of human life. The detection of anxiety often involves a physical exam and a self-reporting questionnaire. However, these approaches have limitations, as the data might lack reliability and consistency upon application
[...] Read more.
Anxiety is a psychological problem that often emerges during the normal course of human life. The detection of anxiety often involves a physical exam and a self-reporting questionnaire. However, these approaches have limitations, as the data might lack reliability and consistency upon application to the same population over time. Furthermore, there might be varying understanding and interpretations of the particular question by the participant, which necessitating the approach of using biomarker-based measurement for stress diagnosis. The most prominent biomarker related to stress, hormone cortisol, plays a key role in the fight-or-flight situation, alters the immune response, and suppresses the digestive and the reproductive systems. We have taken the endeavour to review the available aptamer-based biosensor (aptasensor) for cortisol detection. The potential point-of-care diagnostic strategies that could be harnessed for the aptasensing of cortisol were also envisaged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptasensors 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Family of ACO Routing Protocols for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051179
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
In this work, an ACO routing protocol for mobile ad hoc networks based on AntHocNet is specified. As its predecessor, this new protocol, called AntOR, is hybrid in the sense that it contains elements from both reactive and proactive routing. Specifically, it combines
[...] Read more.
In this work, an ACO routing protocol for mobile ad hoc networks based on AntHocNet is specified. As its predecessor, this new protocol, called AntOR, is hybrid in the sense that it contains elements from both reactive and proactive routing. Specifically, it combines a reactive route setup process with a proactive route maintenance and improvement process. Key aspects of the AntOR protocol are the disjoint-link and disjoint-node routes, separation between the regular pheromone and the virtual pheromone in the diffusion process and the exploration of routes, taking into consideration the number of hops in the best routes. In this work, a family of ACO routing protocols based on AntOR is also specified. These protocols are based on protocol successive refinements. In this work, we also present a parallelized version of AntOR that we call PAntOR. Using programming multiprocessor architectures based on the shared memory protocol, PAntOR allows running tasks in parallel using threads. This parallelization is applicable in the route setup phase, route local repair process and link failure notification. In addition, a variant of PAntOR that consists of having more than one interface, which we call PAntOR-MI (PAntOR-Multiple Interface), is specified. This approach parallelizes the sending of broadcast messages by interface through threads. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact Damage Localisation with Piezoelectric Sensors under Operational and Environmental Conditions
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051178
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
Guided-wave structural health monitoring (SHM) systems with piezoelectric sensors are investigated for localisation of barely visible impact damage in CFRP plates under vibration and different thermal conditions. A single baseline set is used in a delay-and-sum algorithm with temperature correction for damage localisation
[...] Read more.
Guided-wave structural health monitoring (SHM) systems with piezoelectric sensors are investigated for localisation of barely visible impact damage in CFRP plates under vibration and different thermal conditions. A single baseline set is used in a delay-and-sum algorithm with temperature correction for damage localisation in a large temperature range. Damage localisation is also demonstrated under transient thermal conditions, with signals recorded while the temperature is rapidly decreased. Damage severity due to successive impact events is studied under constant temperature. Damage is also localised when the plate is subjected to random vibration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technologies for Health Monitoring of Composite Structures)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Video Segmentation by Fusing Depth Cues and the Visual Background Extractor (ViBe) Algorithm
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051177
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Depth-sensing technology has led to broad applications of inexpensive depth cameras that can capture human motion and scenes in three-dimensional space. Background subtraction algorithms can be improved by fusing color and depth cues, thereby allowing many issues encountered in classical color segmentation to
[...] Read more.
Depth-sensing technology has led to broad applications of inexpensive depth cameras that can capture human motion and scenes in three-dimensional space. Background subtraction algorithms can be improved by fusing color and depth cues, thereby allowing many issues encountered in classical color segmentation to be solved. In this paper, we propose a new fusion method that combines depth and color information for foreground segmentation based on an advanced color-based algorithm. First, a background model and a depth model are developed. Then, based on these models, we propose a new updating strategy that can eliminate ghosting and black shadows almost completely. Extensive experiments have been performed to compare the proposed algorithm with other, conventional RGB-D (Red-Green-Blue and Depth) algorithms. The experimental results suggest that our method extracts foregrounds with higher effectiveness and efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Video Analysis and Tracking Using State-of-the-Art Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle A Cuffless Blood Pressure Measurement Based on the Impedance Plethysmography Technique
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051176
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
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Abstract
In the last decade, cuffless blood pressure measurement technology has been widely studied because it could be applied to a wearable apparatus. Electrocardiography (ECG), photo-plethysmography (PPG), and phonocardiography are always used to detect the pulse transit time (PTT) because the changed tendencies of
[...] Read more.
In the last decade, cuffless blood pressure measurement technology has been widely studied because it could be applied to a wearable apparatus. Electrocardiography (ECG), photo-plethysmography (PPG), and phonocardiography are always used to detect the pulse transit time (PTT) because the changed tendencies of the PTT and blood pressure have a negative relationship. In this study, the PPG signal was replaced by the impedance plethysmography (IPG) signal and was used to detect the PTT. The placement and direction of the electrode array for the IPG measurement were discussed. Then, we designed an IPG ring that could measure an accurate IPG signal. Twenty healthy subjects participated in this study. The changes in blood pressure after exercise were evaluated through the changes of the PTT. The results showed that the change of the systolic pressure had a better relationship with the change of the PTTIPG than that of the PTTPPG (r = 0.700 vs. r = 0.450). Moreover, the IPG ring with spot electrodes would be more suitable to develop with the wearable cuffless blood pressure monitor than the PPG sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable and Ambient Sensors for Healthcare and Wellness Applications)
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Open AccessArticle A Stretchable Electromagnetic Absorber Fabricated Using Screen Printing Technology
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051175
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
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Abstract
A stretchable electromagnetic absorber fabricated using screen printing technology is proposed in this paper. We used a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate to fabricate the stretchable absorber since PDMS exhibits good dielectric properties, flexibility, and restoring capabilities. DuPont PE872 (DuPont, Wilmington, CT, USA), a stretchable
[...] Read more.
A stretchable electromagnetic absorber fabricated using screen printing technology is proposed in this paper. We used a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate to fabricate the stretchable absorber since PDMS exhibits good dielectric properties, flexibility, and restoring capabilities. DuPont PE872 (DuPont, Wilmington, CT, USA), a stretchable silver conductive ink, was used for the screen printing technique. The reflection coefficient of the absorber was measured using a vector network analyzer and a waveguide. The proposed absorber was designed as a rectangular patch unit cell, wherein the top of the unit cell acted as the patch and the bottom formed the ground. The size of the patch was 8 mm × 7 mm. The prototype of the absorber consisted of two unit cells such that it fits into the WR-90 waveguide (dimensions: 22.86 mm × 10.16 mm) for experimental measurement. Before stretching the absorber, the resonant frequency was 11 GHz. When stretched along the x-direction, the resonant frequency shifted by 0.1 GHz, from 11 to 10.9 GHz, demonstrating 99% absorption. Furthermore, when stretched along the y-direction, the resonant frequency shifted by 0.6 GHz, from 11 to 10.4 GHz, demonstrating 99% absorption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle AEKF-SLAM: A New Algorithm for Robotic Underwater Navigation
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051174
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
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Abstract
In this work, we focus on key topics related to underwater Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) applications. Moreover, a detailed review of major studies in the literature and our proposed solutions for addressing the problem are presented. The main goal of this paper
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In this work, we focus on key topics related to underwater Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) applications. Moreover, a detailed review of major studies in the literature and our proposed solutions for addressing the problem are presented. The main goal of this paper is the enhancement of the accuracy and robustness of the SLAM-based navigation problem for underwater robotics with low computational costs. Therefore, we present a new method called AEKF-SLAM that employs an Augmented Extended Kalman Filter (AEKF)-based SLAM algorithm. The AEKF-based SLAM approach stores the robot poses and map landmarks in a single state vector, while estimating the state parameters via a recursive and iterative estimation-update process. Hereby, the prediction and update state (which exist as well in the conventional EKF) are complemented by a newly proposed augmentation stage. Applied to underwater robot navigation, the AEKF-SLAM has been compared with the classic and popular FastSLAM 2.0 algorithm. Concerning the dense loop mapping and line mapping experiments, it shows much better performances in map management with respect to landmark addition and removal, which avoid the long-term accumulation of errors and clutters in the created map. Additionally, the underwater robot achieves more precise and efficient self-localization and a mapping of the surrounding landmarks with much lower processing times. Altogether, the presented AEKF-SLAM method achieves reliably map revisiting, and consistent map upgrading on loop closure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eyes of Things
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051173
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
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Abstract
Embedded systems control and monitor a great deal of our reality. While some “classic” features are intrinsically necessary, such as low power consumption, rugged operating ranges, fast response and low cost, these systems have evolved in the last few years to emphasize connectivity
[...] Read more.
Embedded systems control and monitor a great deal of our reality. While some “classic” features are intrinsically necessary, such as low power consumption, rugged operating ranges, fast response and low cost, these systems have evolved in the last few years to emphasize connectivity functions, thus contributing to the Internet of Things paradigm. A myriad of sensing/computing devices are being attached to everyday objects, each able to send and receive data and to act as a unique node in the Internet. Apart from the obvious necessity to process at least some data at the edge (to increase security and reduce power consumption and latency), a major breakthrough will arguably come when such devices are endowed with some level of autonomous “intelligence”. Intelligent computing aims to solve problems for which no efficient exact algorithm can exist or for which we cannot conceive an exact algorithm. Central to such intelligence is Computer Vision (CV), i.e., extracting meaning from images and video. While not everything needs CV, visual information is the richest source of information about the real world: people, places and things. The possibilities of embedded CV are endless if we consider new applications and technologies, such as deep learning, drones, home robotics, intelligent surveillance, intelligent toys, wearable cameras, etc. This paper describes the Eyes of Things (EoT) platform, a versatile computer vision platform tackling those challenges and opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Generation Sensors Enabling and Fostering IoT)
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Open AccessArticle Characterizing Dynamic Walking Patterns and Detecting Falls with Wearable Sensors Using Gaussian Process Methods
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051172
Received: 26 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By incorporating a growing number of sensors and adopting machine learning technologies, wearable devices have recently become a prominent health care application domain. Among the related research topics in this field, one of the most important issues is detecting falls while walking. Since
[...] Read more.
By incorporating a growing number of sensors and adopting machine learning technologies, wearable devices have recently become a prominent health care application domain. Among the related research topics in this field, one of the most important issues is detecting falls while walking. Since such falls may lead to serious injuries, automatically and promptly detecting them during daily use of smartphones and/or smart watches is a particular need. In this paper, we investigate the use of Gaussian process (GP) methods for characterizing dynamic walking patterns and detecting falls while walking with built-in wearable sensors in smartphones and/or smartwatches. For the task of characterizing dynamic walking patterns in a low-dimensional latent feature space, we propose a novel approach called auto-encoded Gaussian process dynamical model, in which we combine a GP-based state space modeling method with a nonlinear dimensionality reduction method in a unique manner. The Gaussian process methods are fit for this task because one of the most import strengths of the Gaussian process methods is its capability of handling uncertainty in the model parameters. Also for detecting falls while walking, we propose to recycle the latent samples generated in training the auto-encoded Gaussian process dynamical model for GP-based novelty detection, which can lead to an efficient and seamless solution to the detection task. Experimental results show that the combined use of these GP-based methods can yield promising results for characterizing dynamic walking patterns and detecting falls while walking with the wearable sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable and Ambient Sensors for Healthcare and Wellness Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Bodily Expression Support for Creative Dance Education by Grasping-Type Musical Interface with Embedded Motion and Grasp Sensors
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051171
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
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Abstract
Dance has been made mandatory as one of the physical education courses in Japan because it can cultivate capacities for expression and communication. Among several types of dance education, creative dance especially contributes to the cultivation of these capacities. However, creative dance requires
[...] Read more.
Dance has been made mandatory as one of the physical education courses in Japan because it can cultivate capacities for expression and communication. Among several types of dance education, creative dance especially contributes to the cultivation of these capacities. However, creative dance requires some level of particular skills, as well as creativity, and it is difficult to presuppose these pre-requisites in beginner-level dancers without experience. We propose a novel supporting device for dance beginners to encourage creative dance performance by continuously generating musical sounds in real-time in accordance with their bodily movements. It has embedded sensors developed for this purpose. Experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of the device were conducted with ten beginner-level dancers. Using the proposed device, the subjects demonstrated enhanced creative dance movements with greater variety, evaluated in terms of Laban dance movement description. Also, using the device, they performed with better accuracy and repeatability in a task where they produced an imagined circular trajectory by hand. The proposed interface is effective in terms of creative dance activity and accuracy of motion generation for beginner-level dancers. Full article
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