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Technologies, Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Open AccessReview A Review on Nano-Scale Precipitation in Steels
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010036
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Nano-scale precipitation strengthened steels have drawn increasing attention from the materials community recently due to their excellent mechanical behaviors at room temperature, high specific strength to weight ratio, superior radiation resistivity, good weldability, and many more to mention. With the advent of technology,
[...] Read more.
Nano-scale precipitation strengthened steels have drawn increasing attention from the materials community recently due to their excellent mechanical behaviors at room temperature, high specific strength to weight ratio, superior radiation resistivity, good weldability, and many more to mention. With the advent of technology, such as synchrotron X-ray, atom probe tomography (APT), and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), probing precipitates down to the atomic level has been made possible. In this paper, various nano-scale precipitate strengthened steels are compiled with the aim to identify the effects of size and number density of precipitates on the mechanical properties. Besides, the strengthening mechanisms, slip systems, and dislocation-precipitate interactions are reviewed. Moreover, the nucleation and stability of precipitates are also discussed. Finally, the challenges and future directions of the nano-scale precipitate strengthened steels are explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovations in Materials Processing)
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Open AccessArticle Spiral Mobility Based on Optimized Clustering for Optimal Data Extraction in WSNs
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010035
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have led to tremendous growth in the development of sensor technology and offer numerous applications, such as wildlife monitoring, environment, healthcare, military surveillance and security systems. In terms of performance, the evolutions of WSN routing protocols play a vital
[...] Read more.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have led to tremendous growth in the development of sensor technology and offer numerous applications, such as wildlife monitoring, environment, healthcare, military surveillance and security systems. In terms of performance, the evolutions of WSN routing protocols play a vital role in extending the lifetime of networking operations. Due to the limited resources of power in sensor nodes, the design and implementation of an energy-efficient routing protocol comprise a key challenge for researchers. Before, in the case of a static sink, nodes at farther areas from the sink transmit their sensed data at a longer transmission range and die early, while nearby nodes face lesser transmission costs and stay alive for a longer period. This unbalanced energy distribution creates energy holes in ares far from the sink in WSNs. Mobility-based sink routing protocols are proposed to minimize the sub-optimal energy consumption in WSNs, as the sink mobility covers the sensor field, which alleviates the overall load-balancing among sensor nodes. In order to overcome the energy hole issue while prolonging the network lifetime, it is important to determine the optimal mobility pattern. In this regard, we propose the Spiral Mobility based on Optimized Clustering (SMOC) routing protocol and the Multiple sink-based SMOC (M-SMOC) routing protocol for large-scale WSNs. Performance evaluations of the proposed protocols are compared with various existing routing protocols based on static sink, random mobility and grid mobility. Different numbers of performance parameters are considered for evaluation, such as network lifetime, network stability, packet drop ratio, packet delivery ratio, end-to-end delay, average energy consumption, network connection time and the impact of different heterogeneity levels. Experimental results show the benefits of the spiral mobility pattern and how it improves the network lifetime and stability period over the existing state-of-the-art routing protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communication Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Hybrid Approach for Technology Selection in the Information Technology Industry
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010034
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
High-tech companies are rapidly growing in the world. Research and development (hereafter R&D) department strength is the main asset that allows a firm to achieve a competitive advantage in high-tech businesses. The allocated budget to this sector is finite; thus, integration, human resource,
[...] Read more.
High-tech companies are rapidly growing in the world. Research and development (hereafter R&D) department strength is the main asset that allows a firm to achieve a competitive advantage in high-tech businesses. The allocated budget to this sector is finite; thus, integration, human resource, risk and budget limitations should be considered to choose the most valuable project in the best portion of time. This paper investigates a case study from a high-tech company in Iran to prioritize the most attractive technologies for the R&D department. The case consists of twenty three technology options and the goal is to find the most attractive projects to sort them out for implementation in the R&D department. In this research, scholars proposed the best–worst method (henceforth BWM) to find the weight of the criteria of the attractive technologies in first step and utilize the newly developed method total area based on orthogonal vectors (henceforward TAOV) to sort the selected technologies based upon the identified criteria. Project integration is one of the least-noticed subjects in scientific papers; therefore, the researchers presented a zero or one linear programming (ZOLP) model to optimize and schedule the implementation procedure on the project risk, budget and time limitation simultaneously. The results indicate that starting few but attractive projects in the first years and postponing the rest to the future, helps a firm to manage funds and gain profit with the least amount of risk. Full article
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Open AccessProtocol Technology-Supported Group Activity to Promote Communication in Dementia: A Protocol for a Within-Participants Study
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010033
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid (CIRCA)is an interactive conversation support for people living with dementia. CIRCA facilitates one-to-one conversations and caregiving relationships in formal care environments. Originally developed as a standalone device, a new web-based version of CIRCA has been created to
[...] Read more.
Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid (CIRCA)is an interactive conversation support for people living with dementia. CIRCA facilitates one-to-one conversations and caregiving relationships in formal care environments. Originally developed as a standalone device, a new web-based version of CIRCA has been created to increase availability. The potential of CIRCA to support group activities and conversation between people living with dementia and a facilitator has not previously been explored. The two objectives of this study are (i) to validate the new web-based version of CIRCA against the original standalone device, and (ii) to explore the efficacy of CIRCA in supporting group activity for people with dementia in a formal care setting. This mixed-methods study comprises two parts: (i) an eight-session group activity using the CIRCA stand-alone device, and (ii) an eight-session group activity using the web-based CIRCA. One hundred and eighty people with dementia will be recruited: 90 for part (i) and 90 for part (ii). Measures of cognition and quality of life will be taken at the baseline, post-CIRCA intervention, and three months later, plus video recordings of the group sessions. Both parts of the study will be completed by June 2018. The study will provide evidence on two issues: (i) a validation of the new web-based version of CIRCA, and (ii) the suitability of CIRCA to support group activities in formal care settings for people living with dementia. This protocol is an extended version of the short paper presented at the AAATE 2017 conference and published in Studies in Health Technology & Informatics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Socially Assistive Robotics: Robot Exercise Trainer for Older Adults
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010032
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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Abstract
Physical activities have tremendous benefit to older adults. A report from the World Health Organization has mentioned that lack of physical activity contributed to around 3.2 million premature deaths annually worldwide. Research also shows that regular exercise helps the older adults by improving
[...] Read more.
Physical activities have tremendous benefit to older adults. A report from the World Health Organization has mentioned that lack of physical activity contributed to around 3.2 million premature deaths annually worldwide. Research also shows that regular exercise helps the older adults by improving their physical fitness, immune system, sleep and stress levels, not to mention the countless health problems it reduces such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, obesity, joint pains, etc. The research reported in this paper is introducing a Socially Assistive Robot (SAR) that will engage, coach, assess and motivate the older adults in physical exercises that are recommended by the National Health Services (NHS) in the UK. With the rise in the population of older adults, which is expected to triple by 2050, this SAR will aim to improve the quality of life for a significant proportion of the population. To assess the proposed robot exercise trainer, user’s observational evaluation with 17 participants is conducted. Participants are generally happy with the proposed platform as a mean of encouraging them to do regular exercise correctly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dance Pose Identification from Motion Capture Data: A Comparison of Classifiers
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010031
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we scrutinize the effectiveness of classification techniques in recognizing dance types based on motion-captured human skeleton data. In particular, the goal is to identify poses which are characteristic for each dance performed, based on information on body joints, acquired by
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we scrutinize the effectiveness of classification techniques in recognizing dance types based on motion-captured human skeleton data. In particular, the goal is to identify poses which are characteristic for each dance performed, based on information on body joints, acquired by a Kinect sensor. The datasets used include sequences from six folk dances and their variations. Multiple pose identification schemes are applied using temporal constraints, spatial information, and feature space distributions for the creation of an adequate training dataset. The obtained results are evaluated and discussed. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Development of a Resilient 3-D Printer for Humanitarian Crisis Response
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010030
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Rapid manufacturing using 3-D printing is a potential solution to some of the most pressing issues for humanitarian logistics. In this paper, findings are reported from a study that involved development of a new type of 3-D printer. In particular, a novel 3-D
[...] Read more.
Rapid manufacturing using 3-D printing is a potential solution to some of the most pressing issues for humanitarian logistics. In this paper, findings are reported from a study that involved development of a new type of 3-D printer. In particular, a novel 3-D printer that is designed specifically for reliable rapid manufacturing at the sites of humanitarian crises. First, required capabilities are developed with design elements of a humanitarian 3-D printer, which include, (1) fused filament fabrication, (2) open source self-replicating rapid prototyper design, (3) modular, (4) separate frame, (5) protected electronics, (6) on-board computing, (7) flexible power supply, and (8) climate control mechanisms. The technology is then disclosed with an open source license for the Kijenzi 3-D Printer. A swarm of five Kijenzi 3-D printers are evaluated for rapid part manufacturing for two months at health facilities and other community locations in both rural and urban areas throughout Kisumu County, Kenya. They were successful for their ability to function independently of infrastructure, transportability, ease of use, ability to withstand harsh environments and costs. The results are presented and conclusions are drawn about future work necessary for the Kijenzi 3-D Printer to meet the needs of rapid manufacturing in a humanitarian context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Manufacturing Technologies)
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Open AccessEditorial Editorial for the Special Issue “Personal Health and Wellbeing Intelligent Systems Based on Wearable and Mobile Technologies”
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010029
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Wearable and mobile personal devices, from smart phones, bands, glasses, and watches to smart clothes and implants, are becoming increasingly ubiquitous [...]
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Open AccessArticle User’s Emotions and Usability Study of a Brain-Computer Interface Applied to People with Cerebral Palsy
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010028
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
People with motor and communication disorders face serious challenges in interacting with computers. To enhance this functionality, new human-computer interfaces are being studied. In this work, a brain-computer interface based on the Emotiv Epoc is used to analyze human-computer interactions in cases of
[...] Read more.
People with motor and communication disorders face serious challenges in interacting with computers. To enhance this functionality, new human-computer interfaces are being studied. In this work, a brain-computer interface based on the Emotiv Epoc is used to analyze human-computer interactions in cases of cerebral palsy. The Phrase-Composer software was developed to interact with the brain-computer interface. A system usability evaluation was carried out with the participation of three specialists from The Fundação Catarinense de Educação especial (FCEE) and four cerebral palsy volunteers. Even though the System Usability Scale (SUS) score was acceptable, several challenges remain. Raw electroencephalography (EEG) data were also analyzed in order to assess the user’s emotions during their interaction with the communication device. This study brings new evidences about human-computer interaction related to individuals with cerebral palsy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Risks of Stigmatisation Resulting from Assistive Technologies for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010027
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Assistive technologies (ATs) are currently being developed for cohorts of vulnerable people, including persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This paper focuses on the risks that the development of ATs for persons with ASD might lead to increased risks of stigmatisation. Firstly, we
[...] Read more.
Assistive technologies (ATs) are currently being developed for cohorts of vulnerable people, including persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This paper focuses on the risks that the development of ATs for persons with ASD might lead to increased risks of stigmatisation. Firstly, we assess the ways in which the use of ATs might result in the stigmatisation of users, alongside the corollary question of risks associated with a refusal to use ATs in the event of their being socially expected. Secondly, we focus on the question of whether the “project” of developing ATs for persons with ASD is itself stigmatising, and whether the “project” risks stigmatising persons with ASD by offering “cures”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
Open AccessArticle A Low-Complexity Model-Free Approach for Real-Time Cardiac Anomaly Detection Based on Singular Spectrum Analysis and Nonparametric Control Charts
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010026
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 15 February 2018
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Abstract
While the importance of continuous monitoring of electrocardiographic (ECG) or photoplethysmographic (PPG) signals to detect cardiac anomalies is generally accepted in preventative medicine, there remain numerous challenges to its widespread adoption. Most notably, difficulties arise regarding crucial characteristics such as real-time capability, computational
[...] Read more.
While the importance of continuous monitoring of electrocardiographic (ECG) or photoplethysmographic (PPG) signals to detect cardiac anomalies is generally accepted in preventative medicine, there remain numerous challenges to its widespread adoption. Most notably, difficulties arise regarding crucial characteristics such as real-time capability, computational complexity, the amount of required training data, and the avoidance of too-restrictive modeling assumptions. We propose a lightweight and model-free approach for the online detection of cardiac anomalies such as ectopic beats in ECG or PPG signals on the basis of the change detection capabilities of singular spectrum analysis (SSA) and nonparametric rank-based cumulative sum (CUSUM) control charts. The procedure is able to quickly detect anomalies without requiring the identification of fiducial points such as R-peaks, and it is computationally significantly less demanding than previously proposed SSA-based approaches. Therefore, the proposed procedure is equally well suited for standalone use and as an add-on to complement existing (e.g., heart rate (HR) estimation) procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Monitoring Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Additive Manufacturing of a 316L Steel Matrix Composite Reinforced with CeO2 Particles: Process Optimization by Adjusting the Laser Scanning Speed
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010025
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 15 February 2018
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Abstract
The synthesis of novel materials by additive manufacturing requires the optimization of the processing parameters in order to obtain fully-dense defect-free specimens. This step is particularly important for processing of composite materials, where the addition of a second phase may significantly alter the
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The synthesis of novel materials by additive manufacturing requires the optimization of the processing parameters in order to obtain fully-dense defect-free specimens. This step is particularly important for processing of composite materials, where the addition of a second phase may significantly alter the melting and solidification steps. In this work, a composite consisting of a 316L steel matrix and 5 vol.% CeO2 particles was fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM). The SLM parameters leading to a defect-free 316L matrix are not suitable for the production of 316L/CeO2 composite specimens. However, highly-dense composite samples can be synthesized by carefully adjusting the laser scanning speed, while keeping the other parameters constant. The addition of the CeO2 reinforcement does not alter phase formation, but it affects the microstructure of the composite, which is significantly refined compared with the unreinforced 316L material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Manufacturing Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Fuzzy Logic and Regression Approaches for Adaptive Sampling of Multimedia Traffic in Wireless Computer Networks
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010024
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Organisations such as hospitals and the public are increasingly relying on large computer networks to access information and to communicate multimedia-type data. To assess the effectiveness of these networks, the traffic parameters need to be analysed. Due to the quantity of the data
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Organisations such as hospitals and the public are increasingly relying on large computer networks to access information and to communicate multimedia-type data. To assess the effectiveness of these networks, the traffic parameters need to be analysed. Due to the quantity of the data packets, examining each packet’s transmission parameters is not practical, especially in real time. Sampling techniques allow a subset of packets that accurately represents the original traffic to be examined and they are thus important in evaluating the performance of multimedia networks. In this study, an adaptive sampling technique based on regression and a fuzzy inference system was developed. The technique dynamically updates the number of packets sampled by responding to the traffic’s variations. Its performance was found to be superior to the conventional nonadaptive sampling methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Geometric Modeling of the Machine for Cutting Cane and Other Aquatic Plants in Navigable Waterways by Agustín de Betancourt y Molina
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010023
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
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Abstract
This article presents the steps followed to obtain a three-dimensional model of one of the most recognized historical inventions of Agustín de Betancourt y Molina from the scant documentation found about it. Specifically, this was a machine for cutting cane and other aquatic
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This article presents the steps followed to obtain a three-dimensional model of one of the most recognized historical inventions of Agustín de Betancourt y Molina from the scant documentation found about it. Specifically, this was a machine for cutting cane and other aquatic plants in navigable waterways, presented in London in 1795. The study is based on computer-aided design (CAD) techniques using Autodesk Inventor Professional, from the information provided by the only two sheets that exist from the machine, one with specifications in English and the other in French, both very similar. In order to obtain a functional result on which to carry out further studies, it has been necessary to make some geometrical hypotheses on the models, aimed to find the correct dimension of each element. In addition, it has also been necessary to define the relationship of each element with those that set up its environment, defining movement restrictions, so that the final model, behaves as real as possible. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Remote Care Technology: A Systematic Review of Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010022
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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Abstract
Objectives—To identify the technologies that are being used in the remote care of patients with chronic conditions, and their most relevant outcomes. Methods—A systematic review of reviews and meta-analyses. Results—Fifty-one systematic reviews and meta-analyses related to diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary
[...] Read more.
Objectives—To identify the technologies that are being used in the remote care of patients with chronic conditions, and their most relevant outcomes. Methods—A systematic review of reviews and meta-analyses. Results—Fifty-one systematic reviews and meta-analyses related to diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mental and behavioral diseases, cancer, hypertension, asthma, multiple sclerosis, chronic renal disease, and obesity were retrieved; these studies compared the use of remote care technology with usual care. Conclusion—Remote care technology has positive effects in various health-related outcomes, but further research is required to allow its use in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
Open AccessArticle Surface Modification of Polystyrene with O Atoms Produced Downstream from an Ar/O2 Microwave Plasma
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010021
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Because discarded polystyrene (PS) is little affected by degrading agents, PS was treated with a remote microwave (MW) plasma discharge of an Ar/O2 mixture in the absence of radiation to increase wettability and introduce functional groups which make the waste more liable
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Because discarded polystyrene (PS) is little affected by degrading agents, PS was treated with a remote microwave (MW) plasma discharge of an Ar/O2 mixture in the absence of radiation to increase wettability and introduce functional groups which make the waste more liable to degradation and useful for technological applications. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) detected decreases in the aromatic sp2 and aliphatic sp3 carbons with treatment and, initially, increases in C–O and carbonyl groups, present in the formation of ethers, epoxides, alcohols, ketones and aldehydes. At longer treatment times, ester, O–C=O; carbonate-like, O–(C=O)–O; and anhydride, O=C–O–C=O; moieties are observed with an overall oxygen saturation level of 23.6 ± 0.9 at% O. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) measurements detected little change in surface roughness with treatment time. Advancing water contact angle decreased by ca. 50% compared to pristine PS indicating an increase in hydrophilicity because of oxidation. Washing the treated samples in deionized water decreased the oxygen concentrations at the saturation treatment times down to 18.6 ± 1 at% O due to the washing away of a weak boundary layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microwave Plasma Processing of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Utilization of Blended Waste Materials in Bricks
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010020
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Cement is considered a key raw material for brick production. However, excessive use of cement leads to a negative environment impact. Cement replaced with locally available waste materials has a significant potential to address this environmental impact, especially in the construction industry by
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Cement is considered a key raw material for brick production. However, excessive use of cement leads to a negative environment impact. Cement replaced with locally available waste materials has a significant potential to address this environmental impact, especially in the construction industry by contributing to cleaner production. The objective of this research is to investigate the performance of brick where cement is replaced by fly ash and palm oil fuel ash, waste materials typically available in Malaysia, where the construction industry is on the rise. To determine the performance of these bricks, a compressive strength test, a water absorption test, and a thermogravimetric analysis were carried out at different percentage combinations of fly ash and palm oil fuel ash. The results from the tests reveal that both fly ash and palm oil fuel ash incorporated bricks satisfy Class 1 and Class 2 load-bearing brick requirements according to the Malaysian Standard MS76:1972 along with water absorption requirements as per ASTM C55-11. The thermogravimetric analysis study confirms that the Ca(OH)2 gradually decreases due to the increase of pozzolanic material contents (fly ash and palm oil fuel ash). Moreover, these newly developed bricks cost less than the conventional bricks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Mitigating Wind Induced Noise in Outdoor Microphone Signals Using a Singular Spectral Subspace Method
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010019
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
Wind induced noise is one of the major concerns of outdoor acoustic signal acquisition. It affects many field measurement and audio recording scenarios. Filtering such noise is known to be difficult due to its broadband and time varying nature. In this paper, a
[...] Read more.
Wind induced noise is one of the major concerns of outdoor acoustic signal acquisition. It affects many field measurement and audio recording scenarios. Filtering such noise is known to be difficult due to its broadband and time varying nature. In this paper, a new method to mitigate wind induced noise in microphone signals is developed. Instead of applying filtering techniques, wind induced noise is statistically separated from wanted signals in a singular spectral subspace. The paper is presented in the context of handling microphone signals acquired outdoor for acoustic sensing and environmental noise monitoring or soundscapes sampling. The method includes two complementary stages, namely decomposition and reconstruction. The first stage decomposes mixed signals in eigen-subspaces, selects and groups the principal components according to their contributions to wind noise and wanted signals in the singular spectrum domain. The second stage reconstructs the signals in the time domain, resulting in the separation of wind noise and wanted signals. Results show that microphone wind noise is separable in the singular spectrum domain evidenced by the weighted correlation. The new method might be generalized to other outdoor sound acquisition applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Design of New Technology Supporting Wellbeing, Independence and Social Participation, for Older Adults Domiciled in Residential Homes and/or Assisted Living Communities
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010018
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify and validate the requirements for new technology supporting wellness, independence and social participation for older people domiciled in residential homes and/or assisted-living communities. Method: This research adopts a stakeholder evaluation approach to requirements elicitation
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify and validate the requirements for new technology supporting wellness, independence and social participation for older people domiciled in residential homes and/or assisted-living communities. Method: This research adopts a stakeholder evaluation approach to requirements elicitation and user interface design. Specifically, the study design combines several qualitative human–machine interaction (HMI) design frameworks/methods, including realist ethnography, scenario-based design, persona-based design, and participatory design. Findings: New technology should reflect positive values around ageing and link to psychosocial models of successful ageing, and biopsychosocial models of health and wellbeing. Resident autonomy, wellness and social participation cannot be conceptualized outside an understanding of the relationships older adults have with others. The design remit for this technology is to enable a resident experience that is similar to living at home. New technologies should facilitate wellness and communication/connection, and not simply risk assessment. New technology provides an opportunity to bridge existing information gaps between care planning, care assessments and daily care. Overall this technology needs to be intuitive and uphold the resident’s dignity and rights. Person-to-person interaction is central to care delivery. The introduction of new technology should enhance this interaction, and not threaten it. Conclusions: Future assisted-living (AL) technology should be premised by biopsychosocial models of wellness and support relationships between older adults and members of the personal and professional community. New assisted-living technology affords the possibility for improved social relationships, enhanced wellbeing, better quality of care, and independence. Such technologies require careful consideration in relation to adapting to age/condition and managing issues pertaining to resident consent, privacy and human contact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Facial Expression Emotion Detection for Real-Time Embedded Systems
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010017
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Recently, real-time facial expression recognition has attracted more and more research. In this study, an automatic facial expression real-time system was built and tested. Firstly, the system and model were designed and tested on a MATLAB environment followed by a MATLAB Simulink environment
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Recently, real-time facial expression recognition has attracted more and more research. In this study, an automatic facial expression real-time system was built and tested. Firstly, the system and model were designed and tested on a MATLAB environment followed by a MATLAB Simulink environment that is capable of recognizing continuous facial expressions in real-time with a rate of 1 frame per second and that is implemented on a desktop PC. They have been evaluated in a public dataset, and the experimental results were promising. The dataset and labels used in this study were made from videos, which were recorded twice from five participants while watching a video. Secondly, in order to implement in real-time at a faster frame rate, the facial expression recognition system was built on the field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The camera sensor used in this work was a Digilent VmodCAM — stereo camera module. The model was built on the Atlys™ Spartan-6 FPGA development board. It can continuously perform emotional state recognition in real-time at a frame rate of 30. A graphical user interface was designed to display the participant’s video in real-time and two-dimensional predict labels of the emotion at the same time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Behavior Drift Detection Based on Anomalies Identification in Home Living Quantitative Indicators
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010016
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Home Automation and Smart Homes diffusion are providing an interesting opportunity to implement elderly monitoring. This is a new valid technological support to allow in-place aging of seniors by means of a detection system to notify potential anomalies. Monitoring has been implemented by
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Home Automation and Smart Homes diffusion are providing an interesting opportunity to implement elderly monitoring. This is a new valid technological support to allow in-place aging of seniors by means of a detection system to notify potential anomalies. Monitoring has been implemented by means of Complex Event Processing on live streams of home automation data: this allows the analysis of the behavior of the house inhabitant through quantitative indicators. Different kinds of quantitative indicators for monitoring and behavior drift detection have been identified and implemented using the Esper complex event processing engine. The chosen solution permits us not only to exploit the queries when run “online”, but enables also “offline” (re-)execution for testing and a posteriori analysis. Indicators were developed on both real world data and on realistic simulations. Tests were made on a dataset of 180 days: the obtained results prove that it is possible to evidence behavior changes for an evaluation of a person’s condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Maximizing Output Power in Oscillating Water Column Wave Power Plants: An Optimization Based MPPT Algorithm
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010015
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper proposes an optimization based maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm for selection of appropriate external rotor resistances of wound rotor induction generator (WRIG). The generator coupled with a Wells turbine is used in oscillating water column (OWC) wave power plants. The
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This paper proposes an optimization based maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm for selection of appropriate external rotor resistances of wound rotor induction generator (WRIG). The generator coupled with a Wells turbine is used in oscillating water column (OWC) wave power plants. The Wells turbine suffers with stalling behaviour that reduces the average output power significantly. Hence, the objective is to prevent aerodynamic stalling of the Wells turbine and hence maximizing the output power simultaneously. But inappropriate selection of rotor resistance leads to excessive power loss. Therefore, two approaches have been applied: (i) the rotor resistance values are selected manually by trial and error method or non-optimized approach (ii) a performance index has been derived and minimized using particle swarm optimization technique to obtain the optimized values of rotor resistance. Simulation results have been performed for turbine efficiency, output power and power loss in external rotor resistance. Finally, the proposed control approach is illustrated for two particular cases of regular and irregular waves. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Performance Comparison of WiFi and UWB Fingerprinting Indoor Positioning Systems
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010014
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
Ultra-wideband (UWB) and WiFi technologies have been widely proposed for the implementation of accurate and scalable indoor positioning systems (IPSs). Among different approaches, fingerprinting appears particularly suitable for WiFi IPSs and was also proposed for UWB IPSs, in order to cope with the
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Ultra-wideband (UWB) and WiFi technologies have been widely proposed for the implementation of accurate and scalable indoor positioning systems (IPSs). Among different approaches, fingerprinting appears particularly suitable for WiFi IPSs and was also proposed for UWB IPSs, in order to cope with the decrease in accuracy of time of arrival (ToA)-based lateration schemes in the case of severe multipath and non-line-of-sight (NLoS) environments. However, so far, the two technologies have been analyzed under very different assumptions, and no fair performance comparison has been carried out. This paper fills this gap by comparing UWB- and WiFi-based fingerprinting under similar settings and scenarios by computer simulations. Two different k-nearest neighbor (kNN) algorithms are considered in the comparison: a traditional fixed k algorithm, and a novel dynamic k algorithm capable of operating on fingerprints composed of multiple location-dependent features extracted from the channel impulse response (CIR), typically made available by UWB hardware. The results show that UWB and WiFi technologies lead to a similar accuracy when a traditional algorithm using a single feature is adopted; when used in combination with the proposed dynamic k algorithm operating on channel energy and delay spread, UWB outperforms WiFi, providing higher accuracy and more degrees of freedom in the design of the system architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communication Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Assistant without Master? Some Conceptual Implications of Assistive Robotics in Health Care
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010013
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
The subject of “technical assistants” in inpatient care is currently being widely discussed in scientific and public circles. In many cases, though, it has become apparent that the umbrella term “assistive technologies”, also in the context of robotics, is very contrived. Against this
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The subject of “technical assistants” in inpatient care is currently being widely discussed in scientific and public circles. In many cases, though, it has become apparent that the umbrella term “assistive technologies”, also in the context of robotics, is very contrived. Against this background, the authors of this article reflect on the meaning of “assistance” in socio-technical systems, and critically review its relevance. To understand and demonstrate “assistive” functions, it is essential to establish a frame of reference. The re-evaluation of an empirical study of people with dementia in inpatient care has revealed the functional character of technical assistance systems. The results, however, show that the theoretical debate on the social and organisational function of “assistance” in these technical fields is still lacking. Therefore, the reflections in this paper may also provide some starting points for this debate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assistive Robotics)
Open AccessArticle Eye-Gaze Control Technology as Early Intervention for a Non-Verbal Young Child with High Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010012
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
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Abstract
Assistive technology (AT) can be used as early intervention in order to reduce activity limitations in play and communication. This longitudinal case study examines eye-gaze control technology as early intervention for a young child with high spinal cord injury without the ability to
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Assistive technology (AT) can be used as early intervention in order to reduce activity limitations in play and communication. This longitudinal case study examines eye-gaze control technology as early intervention for a young child with high spinal cord injury without the ability to make sounds. The young child was followed by repeated measures concerning performance and communication from baseline at 9 months to 26 months, and finalized at 36 months by field observations in the home setting. The results showed eye-gaze performance and frequency of use of eye-gaze control technology increased over time. Goals set at 15 months concerning learning and using the AT; naming objects and interactions with family was successfully completed at 26 months. Communicative functions regarding obtaining objects and social interaction increased from unintentional actions to purposeful choices and interactions. At 36 months, the toddler was partly independent in eye gazing, used all activities provided, and made independent choices. In conclusion, the results show that a 9-month-old child with profound motor disabilities can benefit from eye-gaze control technology in order to gradually perform activities, socially interact with family members, and make choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
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Open AccessArticle Modulation of the Intensity of the Spectral Components of Polychromatic Light within Certain Regions in Space by Passive Methods by Strategically Using Material Optical Properties and Texture
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010011
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
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Abstract
Recent research indicates that not only blue and green monochromatic light stimulates our circadian system, but polychromatic light as well. Recent work also suggests that the human circadian system also changes its spectral sensitivity with different light levels and spectrum. Usually, indoor architectural
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Recent research indicates that not only blue and green monochromatic light stimulates our circadian system, but polychromatic light as well. Recent work also suggests that the human circadian system also changes its spectral sensitivity with different light levels and spectrum. Usually, indoor architectural spaces are dynamic in light color and quantity, and to a certain extent, the architect is able to modulate these light characteristics to benefit not only of the visual system but the circadian system as well. The purpose of this work was to redirect the three main spectral components (RGB) of indirect light towards different directions and in different quantities as an approach to an understanding of how the spectral composition of an indoor light environment can be modulated by passive methods. In the present work, reflections of blue-enriched polychromatic light off different surface materials with different optical properties and textures were simulated. Spectral radiance values were measured at a specific point in space in order to evaluate how the three main spectral components of the reflected light changed in quantity. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Technologies in 2017
Technologies 2018, 6(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6010010
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Technologies maintains high quality standards for its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Perspective Preserving Solution for Quasi-Orthoscopic Video See-Through HMDs
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
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Abstract
In non-orthoscopic video see-through (VST) head-mounted displays (HMDs), depth perception through stereopsis is adversely affected by sources of spatial perception errors. Solutions for parallax-free and orthoscopic VST HMDs were considered to ensure proper space perception but at expenses of an increased bulkiness and
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In non-orthoscopic video see-through (VST) head-mounted displays (HMDs), depth perception through stereopsis is adversely affected by sources of spatial perception errors. Solutions for parallax-free and orthoscopic VST HMDs were considered to ensure proper space perception but at expenses of an increased bulkiness and weight. In this work, we present a hybrid video-optical see-through HMD the geometry of which explicitly violates the rigorous conditions of orthostereoscopy. For properly recovering natural stereo fusion of the scene within the personal space in a region around a predefined distance from the observer, we partially resolve the eye-camera parallax by warping the camera images through a perspective preserving homography that accounts for the geometry of the VST HMD and refers to such distance. For validating our solution; we conducted objective and subjective tests. The goal of the tests was to assess the efficacy of our solution in recovering natural depth perception in the space around said reference distance. The results obtained showed that the quasi-orthoscopic setting of the HMD; together with the perspective preserving image warping; allow the recovering of a correct perception of the relative depths. The perceived distortion of space around the reference plane proved to be not as severe as predicted by the mathematical models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Technologies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Dynamic Gesture Recognition Using a Smart Glove in Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents a methodology for movement recognition in hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery using a textile-based sensing glove. The aim is to recognize the commands given by the surgeon’s hand inside the patient’s abdominal cavity in order to guide a collaborative robot. The glove,
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This paper presents a methodology for movement recognition in hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery using a textile-based sensing glove. The aim is to recognize the commands given by the surgeon’s hand inside the patient’s abdominal cavity in order to guide a collaborative robot. The glove, which incorporates piezoresistive sensors, continuously captures the degree of flexion of the surgeon’s fingers. These data are analyzed throughout the surgical operation using an algorithm that detects and recognizes some defined movements as commands for the collaborative robot. However, hand movement recognition is not an easy task, because of the high variability in the motion patterns of different people and situations. The data detected by the sensing glove are analyzed using the following methodology. First, the patterns of the different selected movements are defined. Then, the parameters of the movements for each person are extracted. The parameters concerning bending speed and execution time of the movements are modeled in a prephase, in which all of the necessary information is extracted for subsequent detection during the execution of the motion. The results obtained with 10 different volunteers show a high degree of precision and recall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle An Algorithm for Data Hiding in Radiographic Images and ePHI/R Application
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
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Abstract
Telemedicine is the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for clinical health care from a distance. The exchange of radiographic images and electronic patient health information/records (ePHI/R) for diagnostic purposes has the risk of confidentiality, ownership identity, and authenticity. In this paper,
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Telemedicine is the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for clinical health care from a distance. The exchange of radiographic images and electronic patient health information/records (ePHI/R) for diagnostic purposes has the risk of confidentiality, ownership identity, and authenticity. In this paper, a data hiding technique for ePHI/R is proposed. The color information in the cover image is used for key generation, and stego-images are produced with ideal case. As a result, the whole stego-system is perfectly secure. This method includes the features of watermarking and steganography techniques. The method is applied to radiographic images. For the radiographic images, this method resembles watermarking, which is an ePHI/R data system. Experiments show promising results for the application of this method to radiographic images in ePHI/R for both transmission and storage purpose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Imaging & Image Processing Ⅱ)
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