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Electronics, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2015) , Pages 1-220

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Open AccessArticle
Piezoelectric Polymer-Based Collision Detection Sensor for Robotic Applications
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 204-220; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010204
Received: 2 November 2014 / Revised: 8 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2506 | PDF Full-text (1433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The authors present a large area collision detection sensor utilizing the piezoelectric effect of polyvinylidene fluoride film. The proposed sensor system provides high dynamic range for touch sensation, as well as robust adaptability to achieve collision detection on complex-shaped surfaces. The design allows [...] Read more.
The authors present a large area collision detection sensor utilizing the piezoelectric effect of polyvinylidene fluoride film. The proposed sensor system provides high dynamic range for touch sensation, as well as robust adaptability to achieve collision detection on complex-shaped surfaces. The design allows for cohabitation of humans and robots in cooperative environments that require advanced and robust collision detection systems. Data presented in the paper are from sensors successfully retrofitted onto an existing commercial robotic manipulator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics)
Open AccessArticle
E-textiles in Clinical Rehabilitation: A Scoping Review
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 173-203; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010173
Received: 16 November 2014 / Revised: 16 January 2015 / Accepted: 3 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3167 | PDF Full-text (801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electronic textiles have potential for many practical uses in clinical rehabilitation. This scoping review appraises recent and emerging developments of textile-based sensors with applications to rehabilitation. Contributions published from 2009 to 2013 are appraised with a specific focus on the measured physiological or [...] Read more.
Electronic textiles have potential for many practical uses in clinical rehabilitation. This scoping review appraises recent and emerging developments of textile-based sensors with applications to rehabilitation. Contributions published from 2009 to 2013 are appraised with a specific focus on the measured physiological or biomechanical phenomenon, current measurement practices, textile innovations, and their merits and limitations. While fabric-based signal quality and sensor integration have advanced considerably, overall system integration (including circuitry and power) has not been fully realized. Validation against clinical gold standards is inconsistent at best, and feasibility with clinical populations remains to be demonstrated. The overwhelming focus of research and development has been on remote sensing but the opportunity for textile-mediated feedback to the wearer remains unexplored. Recommendations for future research are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Electronics)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimally Fortifying Logic Reliability through Criticality Ranking
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 150-172; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010150
Received: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 February 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
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Abstract
With CMOS technology aggressively scaling towards the 22-nm node, modern FPGA devices face tremendous aging-induced reliability challenges due to bias temperature instability (BTI) and hot carrier injection (HCI). This paper presents a novel anti-aging technique at the logic level that is both scalable [...] Read more.
With CMOS technology aggressively scaling towards the 22-nm node, modern FPGA devices face tremendous aging-induced reliability challenges due to bias temperature instability (BTI) and hot carrier injection (HCI). This paper presents a novel anti-aging technique at the logic level that is both scalable and applicable for VLSI digital circuits implemented with FPGA devices. The key idea is to prolong the lifetime of FPGA-mapped designs by strategically elevating the VDD values of some LUTs based on their modular criticality values. Although the idea of scaling VDD in order to improve either energy efficiency or circuit reliability has been explored extensively, our study distinguishes itself by approaching this challenge through an analytical procedure, therefore being able to maximize the overall reliability of the target FPGA design by rigorously modeling the BTI-induced device reliability and optimally solving the VDD assignment problem. Specifically, we first develop a systematic framework to analytically model the reliability of an FPGA LUT (look-up table), which consists of both RAM memory bits and associated switching circuit. We also, for the first time, establish the relationship between signal transition density and a LUT’s reliability in an analytical way. This key observation further motivates us to define the modular criticality as the product of signal transition density and the logic observability of each LUT. Finally, we analytically prove, for the first time, that the optimal way to improve the overall reliability of a whole FPGA device is to fortify individual LUTs according to their modular criticality. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first to draw such a conclusion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Roll and Bank Estimation Using GPS/INS and Suspension Deflections
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 118-149; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010118
Received: 25 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2015 / Published: 29 January 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2063 | PDF Full-text (19409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article presents a method that provides an estimate of road bank by decoupling the vehicle roll due to the dynamics and the roll due to the road bank. Suspension deflection measurements were used to provide a measurement of the relative roll between [...] Read more.
This article presents a method that provides an estimate of road bank by decoupling the vehicle roll due to the dynamics and the roll due to the road bank. Suspension deflection measurements were used to provide a measurement of the relative roll between the vehicle body frame and the axle frame or between the sprung mass and the unsprung mass, respectively. A deflection scaling parameter was found via suspension geometry and dynamic analysis. The relative roll measurement was then incorporated into two different kinematic navigation models based on extended Kalman filter (EKF) architectures. Each algorithm was tested and then verified on the Prowler ATV experimental platform at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). Experimental data showed that both the cascaded and coupled approach performed well in providing estimates of the current vehicle roll and instantaneous road bank. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent and Cooperative Vehicles)
Open AccessArticle
A Geometric Algebra Co-Processor for Color Edge Detection
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 94-117; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010094
Received: 19 November 2014 / Revised: 16 December 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2668 | PDF Full-text (1799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes advancement in color edge detection, using a dedicated Geometric Algebra (GA) co-processor implemented on an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). GA provides a rich set of geometric operations, giving the advantage that many signal and image processing operations become straightforward [...] Read more.
This paper describes advancement in color edge detection, using a dedicated Geometric Algebra (GA) co-processor implemented on an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). GA provides a rich set of geometric operations, giving the advantage that many signal and image processing operations become straightforward and the algorithms intuitive to design. The use of GA allows images to be represented with the three R, G, B color channels defined as a single entity, rather than separate quantities. A novel custom ASIC is proposed and fabricated that directly targets GA operations and results in significant performance improvement for color edge detection. Use of the hardware described in this paper also shows that the convolution operation with the rotor masks within GA belongs to a class of linear vector filters and can be applied to image or speech signals. The contribution of the proposed approach has been demonstrated by implementing three different types of edge detection schemes on the proposed hardware. The overall performance gains using the proposed GA Co-Processor over existing software approaches are more than 3.2× faster than GAIGEN and more than 2800× faster than GABLE. The performance of the fabricated GA co-processor is approximately an order of magnitude faster than previously published results for hardware implementations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Motion Detection from Mobile Robots with Fuzzy Threshold Selection in Consecutive 2D Laser Scans
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 82-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010082
Received: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2015 / Published: 22 January 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2434 | PDF Full-text (1288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Motion detection and tracking is a relevant problem for mobile robots during navigation to avoid collisions in dynamic environments or in applications where service robots interact with humans. This paper presents a simple method to distinguish mobile obstacles from the environment that is [...] Read more.
Motion detection and tracking is a relevant problem for mobile robots during navigation to avoid collisions in dynamic environments or in applications where service robots interact with humans. This paper presents a simple method to distinguish mobile obstacles from the environment that is based on applying fuzzy threshold selection to consecutive two-dimensional (2D) laser scans previously matched with robot odometry. The proposed method has been tested with the Auriga-α mobile robot in indoors to estimate the motion of nearby pedestrians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent and Cooperative Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Motion Planning of Autonomous Vehicles on a Dual Carriageway without Speed Lanes
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 59-81; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010059
Received: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 29 December 2014 / Published: 13 January 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2753 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The problem of motion planning of an autonomous vehicle amidst other vehicles on a straight road is considered. Traffic in a number of countries is unorganized, where the vehicles do not move within predefined speed lanes. In this paper, we formulate a mechanism [...] Read more.
The problem of motion planning of an autonomous vehicle amidst other vehicles on a straight road is considered. Traffic in a number of countries is unorganized, where the vehicles do not move within predefined speed lanes. In this paper, we formulate a mechanism wherein an autonomous vehicle may travel on the “wrong” side in order to overtake a vehicle. Challenges include assessing a possible overtaking opportunity, cooperating with other vehicles, partial driving on the “wrong” side of the road and safely going to and returning from the “wrong” side. The experimental results presented show vehicles cooperating to accomplish overtaking manoeuvres. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent and Cooperative Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Impact of Building Attenuation Models in VANET Simulations of Urban Scenarios
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 37-58; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010037
Received: 29 October 2014 / Accepted: 29 December 2014 / Published: 8 January 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2669 | PDF Full-text (6065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buildings are important elements of cities for VANETs, since these obstacles may attenuate communications between vehicles. Consequently, the impact of buildings has to be considered as part of the attenuation model in VANET simulations of urban scenarios. However, the more elaborated the model, [...] Read more.
Buildings are important elements of cities for VANETs, since these obstacles may attenuate communications between vehicles. Consequently, the impact of buildings has to be considered as part of the attenuation model in VANET simulations of urban scenarios. However, the more elaborated the model, the more information needs to be processed during the simulation, which implies longer processing times. This complexity in simulations is not always worth it, because simplified channel models occasionally offer very accurate results. We compare three approaches to model the impact of buildings in the channel model of simulated VANETs in two urban scenarios. The simulation results for our evaluation scenarios of a traffic-efficiency application indicate that modeling the influence of buildings in urban areas as the total absence of communication between vehicles gives similar results to modeling such influence in a more realistic fashion and could be considered a conservative bound in the performance metrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connected Vehicles, V2V Communications, and VANET)
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Electronics in 2014
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 35-36; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010035
Received: 8 January 2015 / Accepted: 8 January 2015 / Published: 8 January 2015
Viewed by 1393 | PDF Full-text (124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The editors of Electronics would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Improving Performance and Versatility of Systems Based on Single-Frequency DFT Detectors Such as AD5933
Electronics 2015, 4(1), 1-34; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4010001
Received: 26 September 2014 / Accepted: 26 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3325 | PDF Full-text (581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Turning grand concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities into reality requires the development and deployment of a wide variety of computing devices incorporated into the Internet infrastructure. Unsupervised sensing is the cornerstone capability that these devices must have [...] Read more.
Turning grand concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities into reality requires the development and deployment of a wide variety of computing devices incorporated into the Internet infrastructure. Unsupervised sensing is the cornerstone capability that these devices must have to perform useful functions, while also having low cost of acquisition and ownership, little energy consumption and a small footprint. Impedimetric sensing systems based on the so-called single-frequency DFT detectors possess many of these desirable attributes and are often introduced in remote monitoring and wearable devices. This study presents new methods of improving performance of such detectors. It demonstrates that the main source of systematic errors is the discontinuous test phasor causing the crosstalk between the in-phase and quadrature outputs and the leakage of the input signal. The study derives expressions for these errors as a function of the number of samples and operating frequency, and provides methods for correction. The proposed methods are applied to the operation of a practical device—a network analyzer integrated circuit AD5933—and discussed in detail. These methods achieve complete elimination of leakage errors and expansion of the low limit of the operation frequency range by nearly two decades without additional hardware. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics)
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Electronics EISSN 2079-9292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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