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Technologies, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Socially-assistive robotics has been extensively used for a variety of applications, including [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Validation of Various Filters and Sampling Parameters for a COP Analysis
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020056
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
The center of pressure (CoP) is one of the most utilized quantitative measurements describing postural competency. Due to the complexity and biological variability of postural regulatory systems, a myriad of different methods and parameters have been established describing the CoP trajectory. Besides procedural
[...] Read more.
The center of pressure (CoP) is one of the most utilized quantitative measurements describing postural competency. Due to the complexity and biological variability of postural regulatory systems, a myriad of different methods and parameters have been established describing the CoP trajectory. Besides procedural variables, such as foot position, visual condition, and sampling duration, the method of data collection itself has a relevant effect on the result of the measurement. Furthermore, different methods for recording the measured data have been developed, which differ regarding the filters, frequencies, and test durations used. The goal of this study was the methodical comparison of various filters, measurement frequencies, and measurement duration, with respect to their effects on the CoP trajectory. Based on the results presented, we demonstrate that the Butterworth and Bessel filters can be recommended for analysis of CoP data, and at the very least, a second-order filter should be chosen for the process. For assessment of the cutoff frequency, a technical pendulum was used to show that a cutoff frequency of 13 Hz provided reliable data and it can be inferred that a 100 Hz sampling rate would be the minimum requirement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Imaging & Image Processing Ⅱ)
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Open AccessArticle A Variable Control Chart under the Truncated Life Test for a Weibull Distribution
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020055
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
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Abstract
In this manuscript, a variable control chart under the time truncated life test for the Weibull distribution is presented. The procedure of the proposed control chart is given and its run length properties are derived for the shifted process. The control limit is
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In this manuscript, a variable control chart under the time truncated life test for the Weibull distribution is presented. The procedure of the proposed control chart is given and its run length properties are derived for the shifted process. The control limit is determined by considering the target in-control average run length (ARL). The tables for ARLs are presented for industrial use according to various shift parameters and shape parameters in the Weibull distribution. A simulation study is given for demonstrating the performance of the proposed control chart. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Machine Process Parameters in EDM for EN 31 Using Evolutionary Optimization Techniques
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020054
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is a non-conventional machining process that is used for machining of hard-to-machine materials, components in which length to diameter ratio is very high or products with a very complicated shape. The process is commonly used in automobile, chemical, aerospace,
[...] Read more.
Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is a non-conventional machining process that is used for machining of hard-to-machine materials, components in which length to diameter ratio is very high or products with a very complicated shape. The process is commonly used in automobile, chemical, aerospace, biomedical, and tool and die industries. It is very important to select optimum values of input process parameters to maximize the machining performance. In this paper, an attempt has been made to carry out multi-objective optimization of the material removal rate (MRR) and roughness parameter (Ra) for the EDM process of EN31 on a CNC EDM machine using copper electrode through evolutionary optimization techniques like particle swarm optimization (PSO) technique and biogeography based optimization (BBO) technique. The input parameter considered for the optimization are Pulse Current (A), Pulse on time (µs), Pulse off time (µs), and Gap Voltage (V). PSO and BBO techniques were used to obtain maximum MRR and minimize the Ra. It was found that MRR and SR increased linearly when discharge current was in mid-range however non-linear increment of MRR and Ra was found when current was too small or too large. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images also indicated a decreased Ra. In addition, obtained optimized values were validated for testing the significance of the PSO and BBO technique and a very small error value of MRR and Ra was found. BBO outperformed PSO in every aspect like computational time, less percentage error, and better optimized values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Development of 1Balance: A Connected Medical Device for Measuring Human Balance
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020053
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 20 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 26 May 2018
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Abstract
Prototyping (iterative loops of design–build–test) is a proven method of efficiently developing new products. Developing products not only quickly, but that are also fit for purpose, implies engaging the end users and iterating the technology at hand. However, there is currently little research
[...] Read more.
Prototyping (iterative loops of design–build–test) is a proven method of efficiently developing new products. Developing products not only quickly, but that are also fit for purpose, implies engaging the end users and iterating the technology at hand. However, there is currently little research on how engineering design can approach developing connected devices. The purpose of this paper is to distinguish and discuss design approaches that are suitable for connected devices. Internet of Things devices consist of both the physical products themselves and the data that is coming out of the products, which we define as the external and internal data, respectively. They both can be prototyped separately, but since the data acquired can influence the design of the device and vice versa, we propose to link these two together in the product development process. This issue becomes more apparent when designing networks of sensors, e.g., for complex artificial intelligence (AI) databases. We explain the principle by describing the development of 1Balance through six different prototypes for human balance measurement. Technologically quantifying balance is an underused approach for objectively evaluating the state of a human’s performance. The authors have developed a mobile application for monitoring balance as a physiological signal (amount of sway) via a compact wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor strapped to the body of the subject for the duration of the measurement. We describe the design process for developing this connected medical device, as well as how the acquired data was used to improve the design of the product. In conclusion, we propose conceptually connecting the external and internal data prototyping loops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Monitoring Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Very Low-Cost 80-Bit Chipless-RFID Tags Inkjet Printed on Ordinary Paper
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020052
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents a time-domain, chipless-RFID system with 80-bit tags inkjet-printed on ordinary DIN A4 paper. The tags, consisting of a linear chain of resonant elements (with as many resonators as the number of identification bits plus header bits), are read sequentially and
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a time-domain, chipless-RFID system with 80-bit tags inkjet-printed on ordinary DIN A4 paper. The tags, consisting of a linear chain of resonant elements (with as many resonators as the number of identification bits plus header bits), are read sequentially and by proximity (through near-field coupling). To this end, a transmission line, fed by a harmonic (interrogation) signal tuned to the resonance frequency of the tag resonators (or close to it), is used as a reader. Thus, during reader operation, the tag chain is mechanically shifted over the transmission line so that the coupling between the line and the functional resonant elements of the tag chain is favored. Logic states that ‘1’ and ‘0’ are determined by the functionality and non-functionality (resonator detuning), respectively, of the resonant elements of the chain. Through near-field coupling, the transmission coefficient of the line is modulated and, as a result, the output signal is modulated in amplitude (AM), which is the identification code contained in the envelope function. As long as the tags are inkjet-printed on ordinary DIN A4 paper, the cost is minimal. Moreover, such tags can be easily programmed and erased, so that identical tags can be fabricated on a large scale (and programmed at a later stage), further reducing the cost of manufacture. The reported prototype tags, with 80 bits of information plus four header bits, demonstrate the potential of this approach, which is of particular interest to secure paper applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chipless RFID Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Morphology Control of Nanocrystallized C60 Thin Films Prepared by Poor Solvent Immersion
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020051
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 20 May 2018
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Abstract
Nanocrystallized C60 thin films of such as hexagonal, plate-like, and rod-like morphologies were recrystallized by poor solvent immersion, employing 1-propanol, 2-propanol, and butanol respectively. A C60 thin film fabricated by evaporation was immersed in the poor solvent, partially dissolving the surface
[...] Read more.
Nanocrystallized C60 thin films of such as hexagonal, plate-like, and rod-like morphologies were recrystallized by poor solvent immersion, employing 1-propanol, 2-propanol, and butanol respectively. A C60 thin film fabricated by evaporation was immersed in the poor solvent, partially dissolving the surface C60. This was followed by the solvent rapidly reaching a supersaturated state, resulting in the induced recrystallization of the C60. C60 fine high-density crystals were successfully prepared using propanol, with crystal sizes varying between 84 and 141 nm by changing the immersion time. In addition, due to the 1-propanol recrystallizing solvated crystals which were formed through interactions between the solvent and the C60, uniform C60 fine crystals were obtained by the formation of a large number of nucleation sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Systems)
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Open AccessCommunication Cyborgs, Robots and Society: Implications for the Future of Society from Human Enhancement with In-The-Body Technologies
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020050
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
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Abstract
Some well-known scientists and technologists have expressed concern that robots may take over the world. More generally, there is concern that robots will take over human jobs and leave billions of people suffering long-term unemployment. Yet, such concerns do not take into account
[...] Read more.
Some well-known scientists and technologists have expressed concern that robots may take over the world. More generally, there is concern that robots will take over human jobs and leave billions of people suffering long-term unemployment. Yet, such concerns do not take into account the potential for human beings to enhance their natural capabilities with in-the-body technologies and so become cyborgs with superior capabilities to robots. Types of cyborgs include: human beings with mass produced biomedical implants; human beings with mass imagineered body hacks; and human beings with mass customized insideables. In this paper, human enhancement with in-the-body technologies is analyzed through the theoretical frameworks of mass paradigms, technology domestication, and cultural capital. The implications of the findings of these analyses are related to debates about the future of society. In particular, opportunity versus exploitation, utopia versus dystopia, and emancipation versus extinction. It is explained that that debates about the future of society are flawed if they focus more upon robots than cyborgs. This is because cyborgs can provide more highly advanced embodied cognition, and the number of cyborgs continues to increase as enterprises introduce new in-the-body technologies while individuals seek to increase cultural capital through body projects. Accordingly, debates about the future of society should consider the potential of cyborgs, as well as robots, replacing human beings. Full article
Open AccessArticle Task Engagement as Personalization Feedback for Socially-Assistive Robots and Cognitive Training
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020049
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Socially-Assistive Robotics (SAR) has been extensively used for a variety of applications, including educational assistants, exercise coaches and training task instructors. The main goal of such systems is to provide a personalized and tailored session that matches user abilities and needs. While objective
[...] Read more.
Socially-Assistive Robotics (SAR) has been extensively used for a variety of applications, including educational assistants, exercise coaches and training task instructors. The main goal of such systems is to provide a personalized and tailored session that matches user abilities and needs. While objective measures (e.g., task performance) can be used to adjust task parameters (e.g., task difficulty), towards personalization, it is essential that such systems also monitor task engagement to personalize their training strategies and maximize the effects of the training session. We propose an Interactive Reinforcement Learning (IRL) framework that combines explicit feedback (task performance) with implicit human-generated feedback (task engagement) to achieve efficient personalization. We illustrate the framework with a cognitive training task, describing our data-driven methodology (data collection and analysis, user simulation) towards designing our proposed real-time system. Our data analysis and the reinforcement learning experiments on real user data indicate that the integration of task engagement as human-generated feedback in the RL mechanism can facilitate robot personalization, towards a real-time personalized robot-assisted training system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assistive Robotics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Performance Comparison of Phase Change Materials and Metal-Insulator Transition Materials for Direct Current and Radio Frequency Switching Applications
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020048
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Advanced understanding of the physics makes phase change materials (PCM) and metal-insulator transition (MIT) materials great candidates for direct current (DC) and radio frequency (RF) switching applications. In the literature, germanium telluride (GeTe), a PCM, and vanadium dioxide (VO2), an MIT
[...] Read more.
Advanced understanding of the physics makes phase change materials (PCM) and metal-insulator transition (MIT) materials great candidates for direct current (DC) and radio frequency (RF) switching applications. In the literature, germanium telluride (GeTe), a PCM, and vanadium dioxide (VO2), an MIT material have been widely investigated for DC and RF switching applications due to their remarkable contrast in their OFF/ON state resistivity values. In this review, innovations in design, fabrication, and characterization associated with these PCM and MIT material-based RF switches, have been highlighted and critically reviewed from the early stage to the most recent works. We initially report on the growth of PCM and MIT materials and then discuss their DC characteristics. Afterwards, novel design approaches and notable fabrication processes; utilized to improve switching performance; are discussed and reviewed. Finally, a brief vis-á-vis comparison of resistivity, insertion loss, isolation loss, power consumption, RF power handling capability, switching speed, and reliability is provided to compare their performance to radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) switches; which helps to demonstrate the current state-of-the-art, as well as insight into their potential in future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microswitching Technologies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle In-Situ Contact Surface Characterization in a MEMS Ohmic Switch under Low Current Switching
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020047
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
To develop robust microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switching technology for low voltage direct current (DC) applications (1–12 V) there is a requirement for the investigation of wear caused by hot switching (contact operated while carrying a current load). Previous investigation of contact wear in
[...] Read more.
To develop robust microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switching technology for low voltage direct current (DC) applications (1–12 V) there is a requirement for the investigation of wear caused by hot switching (contact operated while carrying a current load). Previous investigation of contact wear in the ohmic MEMS switch has been limited to either the completion of the contact switching cycles, where the device is destructively opened, or by low switching rates, making lifetime testing impractical. A novel MEMS testing platform is described that is capable of both resolving microscale changes on the contact surface between switching events and sustained high frequency switch cycling, enabling practical lifetime testing. The platform is used to investigate early surface changes in a thin-film Au contact pair on a cycle-by-cycle basis. The contact is closed at forces representative of a practical MEMS contact (<1 mN). The apparatus reveals the microscopic surface change between individual switching events. Hot switched contact wear is dominated by the molten metal bridge (MMB) phenomenon, linked to a characteristic voltage transient at contact opening and the gradual process of contact material transfer; however, during hot switching delamination phenomena are also observed, and associated with a step change in contact voltage and a greater level of surface damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microswitching Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Validation of External Load Effects for Micro-Contacts under Low Frequency, Low Amplitude Alternating Current (AC) Test Conditions
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020046
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
The use of micro-contacts has been demonstrated in various radio frequency (RF) applications. However, the premature failure of such devices under alternating current (AC) operations is still a hurdle to further development. In this work, modified gray scale lithography is performed to fabricate
[...] Read more.
The use of micro-contacts has been demonstrated in various radio frequency (RF) applications. However, the premature failure of such devices under alternating current (AC) operations is still a hurdle to further development. In this work, modified gray scale lithography is performed to fabricate two types of gold–gold (Au–Au) micro-contacts: hemispherical-planar and hemispherical-2D pyramid. The performance of these devices was investigated under low frequency, low amplitude AC conditions with external circuit loads. A custom-made experimental setup which uses various load configurations, controls the frequency of the applied voltage and modifies the cycle rate of switch operation to obtain the contact resistance as a function of number of cycles (up to 107 cycles). Nearly 87% of the tested devices (13 out of 15 hemispherical-planar micro-contacts) were found to be in good operational condition and passed the 10 million cycle mark successfully. A steady gain and large swing in the value of contact resistance was also observed near the end of all, but one, tests. Such changes in contact resistance were found to be permanent as none of the devices recovered completely. On the other hand, the hemispherical-2D pyramid micro-contact performed better than the planar one as it also passed 107 cycle mark with low and remarkably stable contact resistance throughout the testing span. This study suggests that micro-contacts with ‘engineered’ surface structures with external loads applied are a viable solution to premature failure and high contact resistance in micro-contacts under low frequency AC operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microswitching Technologies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle High Density Interconnect Microstrip Patch Antenna for 5G Base Stations with Integrated Filtering Performance
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020045
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
The elementary radiator of a planar array for next generation millimeter-wave (mm-wave) 5G base stations is described. The antenna is designed for high density interconnect (HDI) manufacturing for yielding a compact, densely-interconnected, and highly-integrable stacked structure. The layout of the single element is
[...] Read more.
The elementary radiator of a planar array for next generation millimeter-wave (mm-wave) 5G base stations is described. The antenna is designed for high density interconnect (HDI) manufacturing for yielding a compact, densely-interconnected, and highly-integrable stacked structure. The layout of the single element is determined by directly optimizing key radiation features of the whole planar arrangement according to specific application-driven requirements. In addition, thanks to the exploitation of a spline-shaped modelling of the radiator, suitable performance in terms of impedance matching, realized gain, half-power beamwidth (HPBW), polarization purity, and inter-element isolation are achieved within the 28-GHz pass-band. Moreover, integrated out-of-band filtering capabilities are obtained in selected and wide non-contiguous stop-bands without additional circuitry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antepartum Fetal Monitoring through a Wearable System and a Mobile Application
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020044
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
Prenatal monitoring of Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) is crucial for the prevention of fetal pathologies and unfavorable deliveries. However, the most commonly used Cardiotocographic exam can be performed only in hospital-like structures and requires the supervision of expert personnel. For this reason, a
[...] Read more.
Prenatal monitoring of Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) is crucial for the prevention of fetal pathologies and unfavorable deliveries. However, the most commonly used Cardiotocographic exam can be performed only in hospital-like structures and requires the supervision of expert personnel. For this reason, a wearable system able to continuously monitor FHR would be a noticeable step towards a personalized and remote pregnancy care. Thanks to textile electrodes, miniaturized electronics, and smart devices like smartphones and tablets, we developed a wearable integrated system for everyday fetal monitoring during the last weeks of pregnancy. Pregnant women at home can use it without the need for any external support by clinicians. The transmission of FHR to a specialized medical center allows its remote analysis, exploiting advanced algorithms running on high-performance hardware able to obtain the best classification of the fetal condition. The system has been tested on a limited set of pregnant women whose fetal electrocardiogram recordings were acquired and classified, yielding an overall score for both accuracy and sensitivity over 90%. This novel approach can open a new perspective on the continuous monitoring of fetus development by enhancing the performance of regular examinations, making treatments really personalized, and reducing hospitalization or ambulatory visits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle Embodied Energy Optimization of Prestressed Concrete Slab Bridge Decks
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020043
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents one approach to the analysis and design of post-tensioned cast-in-place concrete slab bridge decks. A Simulated Annealing algorithm is applied to two objective functions: (i) the economic cost; and (ii) the embodied energy at different stages of production materials, transport,
[...] Read more.
This paper presents one approach to the analysis and design of post-tensioned cast-in-place concrete slab bridge decks. A Simulated Annealing algorithm is applied to two objective functions: (i) the economic cost; and (ii) the embodied energy at different stages of production materials, transport, and construction. The problem involved 33 discrete design variables: five geometrical ones dealing with the thickness of the slab, the inner and exterior web width, and two flange thicknesses; concrete type; prestressing cables, and 26 variables for the reinforcement set-up. The comparison of the results obtained shows two different optimum families, which indicates that the traditional criteria of economic optimization leads to inefficient designs considering the embodied energy. The results indicate that the objectives are not competing functions, and that optimum energy designs are close to the optimum cost designs. The analysis also showed that the savings of each kW h of energy consumed carries an extra cost of 0.49€. The best cost solution presents 5.3% more embodied energy. The best energy solution is 9.7% more expensive than that of minor cost. In addition, the results have showed that the best cost solutions are not the best energy solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Technologies)
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Open AccessConcept Paper Emergency Response Cyber-Physical Framework for Landslide Avoidance with Sustainable Electronics
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020042
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
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Abstract
An Emergency Response (ER) Cyber-Physical System (CPS) to avoid landslides and survey areas located on or near slopes is introduced that handles two problems: electronic waste disposal, and environmental disasters. Uncomplicated detection circuits using salvaged components can pinpoint floods in impoverished regions. CPSs
[...] Read more.
An Emergency Response (ER) Cyber-Physical System (CPS) to avoid landslides and survey areas located on or near slopes is introduced that handles two problems: electronic waste disposal, and environmental disasters. Uncomplicated detection circuits using salvaged components can pinpoint floods in impoverished regions. CPSs simplify hazard prediction and mitigation in disaster supervision. Nonetheless, few green practices and efforts have been accomplished in this regard. Recent technical advances help landslides studies and the evaluation of suitable risk alleviation measures. This work addresses in situ meters, and cameras to observe ground movements more accurately. The ER-CPS identifies and can help mitigate landslides using techniques based on motion detection that can productively predict and monitor the zone conditions to classify it, and the landslide-related data can be transmitted to inspecting stations to lessen the erosion/sedimentation likelihood while increasing security. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Predictive Statistical Diagnosis to Determine the Probability of Survival in Adult Subjects with Traumatic Brain Injury
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020041
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Determining the probability of survival after injury is important as it can inform triage, clinical research and audit. A number of methods have been reported for determining the probability of survival after injury. However, these have shortcomings and thus further developments are needed
[...] Read more.
Determining the probability of survival after injury is important as it can inform triage, clinical research and audit. A number of methods have been reported for determining the probability of survival after injury. However, these have shortcomings and thus further developments are needed to improve their reliability and accuracy. In this study, a Bayesian method called Predictive Statistical Diagnosis (PSD) was developed to determine probability of survival in 4124 adults (age: mean = 67.9 years, standard deviation = 21.6 years) with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In total, 86.2% of cases had survived and 13.8% of cases had not survived their injuries. The parameters considered as inputs to PSD were age, abbreviated injury score (AIS), Glasgow coma score (GCS), pulse rate (PR), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and respiration rate (RR). PSD statistically modeled the TBI cases and their associated injury outcomes, i.e., survived or not survived. The model was calibrated on randomly selected, roughly 2/3 (number 2676), of the cases and its performance was validated on the remaining cases (number 1448, i.e., validation dataset). The effectiveness of PSD in determining the probability of survival was compared with a method called Ps14 that uses regression modeling. With all parameters (i.e., age, AIS, GCS, SBP, RR and PR) included as inputs to PSD, it correctly identified 90.8% of survivors and 50.0% of non-survivors in the validation dataset while Ps14 identified 97.4% of survivors and 40.2% of non-survivors in the validation dataset. When age, AIS and GCS were used on their own as inputs to PSD, it correctly identified 82.4% of the survivors and 65.0% of non-survivors in the validation dataset. Age affected the performance of PSD in determining the survival outcomes. The number of non-surviving cases included in this study may have not been sufficiently high to indicate the full potential of PSD and a further study with a larger number of cases would be beneficial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from AAATE2017 Congress)
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Open AccessReview Metallic Glasses as Potential Reinforcements in Al and Mg Matrices: A Review
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020040
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
Development of metal matrix composites (MMCs) with metallic glass/amorphous alloy reinforcements is an emerging research field. As reinforcements, metallic glasses with their high strength (up to ~2 GPa) and high elastic strain limit (~2%) can provide superior mechanical properties. Being metallic in nature,
[...] Read more.
Development of metal matrix composites (MMCs) with metallic glass/amorphous alloy reinforcements is an emerging research field. As reinforcements, metallic glasses with their high strength (up to ~2 GPa) and high elastic strain limit (~2%) can provide superior mechanical properties. Being metallic in nature, the glassy alloys can ensure better interfacial properties when compared to conventional ceramic reinforcements. Given the metastable nature of metallic glasses, lightweight materials such as aluminum (Al) and magnesium (Mg) with relatively lower melting points are suitable matrix materials. Synthesis of these advanced composites is a challenge as selection of processing method and appropriate reinforcement type (which does not allow devitrification of the metallic glass during processing) is important. Non-conventional techniques such as high frequency induction sintering, bidirectional microwave sintering, friction stir processing, accumulative roll-bonding, and spark plasma sintering are being explored to produce these novel materials. In this paper, an overview on the synthesis and properties of aluminum and magnesium based composites with glassy reinforcement produced by various unconventional methods is presented. Evaluation of properties of the produced composites indicate: (i) retention of amorphous state of the reinforcement after processing; (ii) significant improvement in hardness and strength; (iii) improvement/retention of ductility; and (iv) high wear resistance and low coefficient of friction. Further, a comparative understanding of the properties highlights that the selection of the processing method is important in producing high performance composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovations in Materials Processing)
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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue on “Medical Imaging & Image Processing II”
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020039
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
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Abstract
Medical Imaging is becoming an essential component in various fields of bio-medical research and clinical practice: Neuroscientists detect regional metabolic brain activity from positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and magnetic resonance spectrum imaging (MRSI) scans; biologists study cells and
[...] Read more.
Medical Imaging is becoming an essential component in various fields of bio-medical research and clinical practice: Neuroscientists detect regional metabolic brain activity from positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and magnetic resonance spectrum imaging (MRSI) scans; biologists study cells and generate 3D confocal microscopy data sets; virologists generate 3D reconstructions of viruses from micrographs; and radiologists identify and quantify tumors from MRI and computed tomography (CT) scans [...]
Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Imaging & Image Processing Ⅱ)
Open AccessArticle Tactile Myography: An Off-Line Assessment of Able-Bodied Subjects and One Upper-Limb Amputee
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020038
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Human-machine interfaces to control prosthetic devices still suffer from scarce dexterity and low reliability; for this reason, the community of assistive robotics is exploring novel solutions to the problem of myocontrol. In this work, we present experimental results pointing in the direction that
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Human-machine interfaces to control prosthetic devices still suffer from scarce dexterity and low reliability; for this reason, the community of assistive robotics is exploring novel solutions to the problem of myocontrol. In this work, we present experimental results pointing in the direction that one such method, namely Tactile Myography (TMG), can improve the situation. In particular, we use a shape-conformable high-resolution tactile bracelet wrapped around the forearm/residual limb to discriminate several wrist and finger activations performed by able-bodied subjects and a trans-radial amputee. Several combinations of features/classifiers were tested to discriminate among the activations. The balanced accuracy obtained by the best classifier/feature combination was on average 89.15% (able-bodied subjects) and 88.72% (amputated subject); when considering wrist activations only, the results were on average 98.44% for the able-bodied subjects and 98.72% for the amputee. The results obtained from the amputee were comparable to those obtained by the able-bodied subjects. This suggests that TMG is a viable technique for myoprosthetic control, either as a replacement of or as a companion to traditional surface electromyography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assistive Robotics)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Post-Harvest Traditional Technologies on the Nutrient Content and Antioxidant Compounds of Defatted Flours from Ricinodendron heudelotti (Baill. Pierre ex Pax) Seed Kernels
Technologies 2018, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020037
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Akpi (Ricinodendron heudelotii) is a semi-deciduous plant species indigenous to the coastal nations of West Africa. Its kernels are rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds. In this article, we performed a nutritional characterization and a phytochemical composition of defatted kernel flours
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Akpi (Ricinodendron heudelotii) is a semi-deciduous plant species indigenous to the coastal nations of West Africa. Its kernels are rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds. In this article, we performed a nutritional characterization and a phytochemical composition of defatted kernel flours from Ricinodendron heudelotti that were grown in six different regions of Cote d’Ivoire. Classical analytic methods were used to determine the chemical composition. There were significant differences between the samples for all the parameters studied; in addition, both the locality of production and the Ricinodendron heudelotii seed kernels extraction systems showed a noteworthy influence on the mineral and element composition of the defatted flours. The samples were also rich in protein (47.0–61.3%) and energy (330.4‒339.2 kcal/100 g). Magnesium (12.0–40.0%) was found to be the predominant mineral. Polyphenols (216.6–403.9 mg/100 g) and oxalates (714.7–972.9 mg/100 g) were the main phytochemical compounds identified. The consumption of defatted kernel flours from Ricinodendron heudelotti may contribute relatively high intake levels of protein, carbohydrate, and mineral macro- and micronutrient (K, Mg, Ca, Mn, and Fe). By performing principal coordinate analysis, the multidimensional scaling plot classified the defatted flours according to the kernel extraction into four main extraction systems: Bondoukou-Lakota-Vavoua diagram, Agboville1 diagram, Divo diagram, and Agboville2 diagram. Full article
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