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Technologies, Volume 11, Issue 6 (December 2023) – 35 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A deep learning classifier was developed for grading the degree of brain injury in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) for full-term neonates. This utilised a fully convolutional architecture, trained to classify the brain injury grade based on a window of multichannel EEG. There was minimal pre-processing, and no need for the design of hand-crafted features; this demonstrated the ability of the deep architecture to extract features from the raw EEG time series. This classifier was tested in mismatched conditions on a large clinical dataset and provides state-of-the-art performance. Real-time grading of brain injury will facilitate clinical decision making in the treatment of HIE such as when to initiate cooling therapy. View this paper
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21 pages, 1137 KiB  
Article
Generating Mathematical Expressions for Estimation of Atomic Coordinates of Carbon Nanotubes Using Genetic Programming Symbolic Regression
by Nikola Anđelić and Sandi Baressi Šegota
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060185 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2015
Abstract
The study addresses the formidable challenge of calculating atomic coordinates for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using density functional theory (DFT), a process that can endure for days. To tackle this issue, the research leverages the Genetic Programming Symbolic Regression (GPSR) method on a publicly [...] Read more.
The study addresses the formidable challenge of calculating atomic coordinates for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using density functional theory (DFT), a process that can endure for days. To tackle this issue, the research leverages the Genetic Programming Symbolic Regression (GPSR) method on a publicly available dataset. The primary aim is to assess if the resulting Mathematical Equations (MEs) from GPSR can accurately estimate calculated atomic coordinates obtained through DFT. Given the numerous hyperparameters in GPSR, a Random Hyperparameter Value Search (RHVS) method is devised to pinpoint the optimal combination of hyperparameter values, maximizing estimation accuracy. Two distinct approaches are considered. The first involves applying GPSR to estimate calculated coordinates (uc, vc, wc) using all input variables (initial atomic coordinates u, v, w, and integers n, m specifying the chiral vector). The second approach applies GPSR to estimate each calculated atomic coordinate using integers n and m alongside the corresponding initial atomic coordinates. This results in the creation of six different dataset variations. The GPSR algorithm undergoes training via a 5-fold cross-validation process. The evaluation metrics include the coefficient of determination (R2), mean absolute error (MAE), root mean squared error (RMSE), and the depth and length of generated MEs. The findings from this approach demonstrate that GPSR can effectively estimate CNT atomic coordinates with high accuracy, as indicated by an impressive R21.0. This study not only contributes to the advancement of accurate estimation techniques for atomic coordinates but also introduces a systematic approach for optimizing hyperparameters in GPSR, showcasing its potential for broader applications in materials science and computational chemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovations in Materials Processing)
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13 pages, 979 KiB  
Article
The Holby–Morgan Model of Platinum Catalyst Degradation in PEM Fuel Cells: Range of Feasible Parameters Achieved Using Voltage Cycling
by Victor A. Kovtunenko
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060184 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Loss of electrochemical surface area in proton-exchange membrane is of large practical importance, since membrane degradation largely affects the durability and life of fuel cells. In this paper, the electrokinetic model developed by Holby and Morgan is considered. The paper describes degradation mechanisms [...] Read more.
Loss of electrochemical surface area in proton-exchange membrane is of large practical importance, since membrane degradation largely affects the durability and life of fuel cells. In this paper, the electrokinetic model developed by Holby and Morgan is considered. The paper describes degradation mechanisms in membrane catalyst presented by platinum dissolution, platinum diffusion, and platinum oxide formation. A one-dimensional model is governed by nonlinear reaction–diffusion equations given in a cathodic catalyst layer using Butler–Volmer relationships for reaction rates. The governing system is endowed with initial conditions, mixed no-flux boundary condition at the interface with gas diffusion layer, and a perfectly absorbing condition at the membrane boundary. In cyclic voltammetry tests, a non-symmetric square waveform is applied for the electric potential difference between 0.6 and 0.9 V held for 10 and 30 s, respectively, according to the protocol of European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. Aimed at mitigation strategies, the impact of cycling operating conditions and model parameters on the loss rate of active area is investigated. The global behavior with respect to variation of parameters is performed using the method of sensitivity analysis. Finding feasible and unfeasible values helps to determine the range of test parameters employed in the model. Comprehensive results of numerical simulation tests are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Technology)
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22 pages, 10974 KiB  
Article
Comparing Classical and Quantum Generative Learning Models for High-Fidelity Image Synthesis
by Siddhant Jain, Joseph Geraci and Harry E. Ruda
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060183 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2645
Abstract
The field of computer vision has long grappled with the challenging task of image synthesis, which entails the creation of novel high-fidelity images. This task is underscored by the Generative Learning Trilemma, which posits that it is not possible for any image synthesis [...] Read more.
The field of computer vision has long grappled with the challenging task of image synthesis, which entails the creation of novel high-fidelity images. This task is underscored by the Generative Learning Trilemma, which posits that it is not possible for any image synthesis model to simultaneously excel at high-quality sampling, achieve mode convergence with diverse sample representation, and perform rapid sampling. In this paper, we explore the potential of Quantum Boltzmann Machines (QBMs) for image synthesis, leveraging the D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealer. We undertake a comprehensive performance assessment of QBMs in comparison to established generative models in the field: Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs), Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), and Denoising Diffusion Probabilistic Models (DDPMs). Our evaluation is grounded in widely recognized scoring metrics, including the Fréchet Inception Distance (FID), Kernel Inception Distance (KID), and Inception Scores. The results of our study indicate that QBMs do not significantly outperform the conventional models in terms of the three evaluative criteria. Moreover, QBMs have not demonstrated the capability to overcome the challenges outlined in the Trilemma of Generative Learning. Through our investigation, we contribute to the understanding of quantum computing’s role in generative learning and identify critical areas for future research to enhance the capabilities of image synthesis models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Quantum Information and Quantum Computing, 2nd Volume)
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14 pages, 809 KiB  
Article
AI-Enabled Compressive Spectrum Classification for Wideband Radios
by Tassadaq Nawaz and Ramasamy Srinivasaga Naidu
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060182 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1848
Abstract
Cognitive radio is a promising technology that emerged as a potential solution to the spectrum shortage problem by enabling opportunistic spectrum access. In many cases, cognitive radios are required to sense a wide range of frequencies to locate the spectrum white spaces; hence, [...] Read more.
Cognitive radio is a promising technology that emerged as a potential solution to the spectrum shortage problem by enabling opportunistic spectrum access. In many cases, cognitive radios are required to sense a wide range of frequencies to locate the spectrum white spaces; hence, wideband spectrum comes into play, which is also an essential step in future wireless systems to boost the throughput. Cognitive radios are intelligent devices and therefore can be opted for the development of modern jamming and anti-jamming solutions. To this end, our article introduces a novel AI-enabled energy-efficient and robust technique for wideband radio spectrum characterization. Our work considers a wideband radio spectrum made up of numerous narrowband signals, which could be normal communications or signals disrupted by a stealthy jammer. First, the receiver recovers the wideband from significantly low sub-Nyquist rate samples by exploiting compressive sensing technique to decrease the overhead caused by the high complexity analog-to-digital conversion process. Once the wideband is recovered, each available narrowband signal is given to a cyclostationary feature detector that computes the corresponding spectral correlation function and extracts the feature vectors in the form of cycle and frequency profiles. Then profiles are concatenated and given as input features set to an artificial neural network which in turn classifies each NB signal as legitimate communication with a specific modulation or disrupted by a stealthy jammer. The results show a classification accuracy of about 0.99 is achieved. Moreover, the algorithm highlights significantly high performances in comparison to recently reported spectrum classification techniques. The proposed technique can be used to design anti-jamming systems for military communication systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perpetual Sensor Nodes for Sustainable Wireless Network Applications)
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18 pages, 6337 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Multiple Properties of a Multicomponent Mg-Based Alloy Using a Sinterless Turning-Induced Deformation Technique
by Michael Johanes, Amirin Adli Bin Gombari and Manoj Gupta
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060181 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1638
Abstract
A magnesium-based multi-component alloy (MCA), Mg70Al18Zn6Ca4Y2, was successfully synthesized using the Turning-Induced Deformation (TID) method, with promising improvements in multiple properties such as damping capabilities, hardness (11% to 34% increase), and strength (5% [...] Read more.
A magnesium-based multi-component alloy (MCA), Mg70Al18Zn6Ca4Y2, was successfully synthesized using the Turning-Induced Deformation (TID) method, with promising improvements in multiple properties such as damping capabilities, hardness (11% to 34% increase), and strength (5% to 15% increase) over its conventional cast and extruded equivalent which has already been established as a high-performance MCA exhibiting superior mechanical properties over other Mg-based materials while retaining acceptable ductility. This new TID-based MCA comes only at a slight compromise in the aspects of ductility, ignition resistance, and corrosion resistance, which was previously observed in other TID-based materials. In addition, the general microstructure and secondary phases of this MCA were retained even when using the TID method, with only minimal porosity (<1%) incurred during the process. Furthermore, the ignition temperature of the TID Mg70Al18Zn6Ca4Y2 remained very high at 915 °C, positioning it as a potential Mg-based material suitable for aerospace applications with a high ignition resistance. This is tantamount to a successful application of TID to yet another class of Mg-based materials and opening the door to future explorations of such materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovations in Materials Processing)
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2 pages, 966 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Tamadon et al. Influence of WC-Based Pin Tool Profile on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of AA1100 FSW Welds. Technologies 2020, 8, 34
by Abbas Tamadon, Arvand Baghestani and Mohammad Ebrahim Bajgholi
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060180 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1379
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to this paper [...] Full article
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17 pages, 6623 KiB  
Article
Cost-Effective 3D Printing of Silicone Structures Using an Advanced Intra-Layer Curing Approach
by Cormac D. Fay and Liang Wu
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060179 - 12 Dec 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2725
Abstract
We present an advanced, low-cost 3D printing system capable of fabricating intricate silicone structures using commercially available off-the-shelf materials. Our system used a custom-designed, motorised syringe pump with a driving lead screw and excellent control of material extrusion to accommodate the high viscosity [...] Read more.
We present an advanced, low-cost 3D printing system capable of fabricating intricate silicone structures using commercially available off-the-shelf materials. Our system used a custom-designed, motorised syringe pump with a driving lead screw and excellent control of material extrusion to accommodate the high viscosity of silicone printing ink, which is composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), diluent, and a photo-initiator (LAP). We modified an open-source desktop 3D printer to mount the syringe pump and programmed it to deposit controlled intricate patterns in a layer-by-layer fashion. To ensure the structural integrity of the printed objects, we introduced an intra-layer curing approach that fused the deposited layers using a custom-built UV curing system. Our experiments demonstrated the successful fabrication of silicone structures at different infill percentages, with excellent resolution and mechanical properties. Our low-cost solution (costing less than USD 1000 and requiring no specialised facilities or equipment) shows great promise for practical applications in areas such as micro-fluidics, prosthesis, and biomedical engineering based on our initial findings of 300 μm width channels (with excellent scope for smaller channels where desirable) and tunable structural properties. Our work represents a significant advance in low-cost desktop 3D printing capabilities, and we anticipate that it could have a broad impact on the field by providing these capabilities to scholars without the means to purchase expensive fabrication systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing Technologies II)
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24 pages, 4336 KiB  
Article
Use of a Residual Neural Network to Demonstrate Feasibility of Ship Detection Based on Synthetic Aperture Radar Raw Data
by Giorgio Cascelli, Cataldo Guaragnella, Raffaele Nutricato, Khalid Tijani, Alberto Morea, Nicolò Ricciardi and Davide Oscar Nitti
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060178 - 11 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1728
Abstract
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a well-established 2D imaging technique employed as a consolidated practice in several oil spill monitoring services. In this scenario, onboard detection undoubtedly represents an interesting solution to reduce the latency of these services, also enabling transmission to the [...] Read more.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a well-established 2D imaging technique employed as a consolidated practice in several oil spill monitoring services. In this scenario, onboard detection undoubtedly represents an interesting solution to reduce the latency of these services, also enabling transmission to the ground segment of alert signals with a notable reduction in the required downlink bandwidth. However, the reduced computational capabilities available onboard require alternative approaches with respect to the standard processing flows. In this work, we propose a feasibility study of oil spill detection applied directly to raw data, which is a solution not sufficiently addressed in the literature that has the advantage of not requiring the execution of the focusing step. The study is concentrated only on the accuracy of detection, while computational cost analysis is not within the scope of this work. More specifically, we propose a complete framework based on the use of a Residual Neural Network (ResNet), including a simple and automatic simulation method for generating the training data set. The final tests with ERS real data demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach showing that the trained ResNet correctly detects ships with a Signal-to-Clutter Ratio (SCR) > 10.3 dB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Artificial Intelligence in Sensors, 2nd Volume)
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15 pages, 3226 KiB  
Review
Door-Opening Technologies: Search for Affordable Assistive Technology
by Javeed Shaikh-Mohammed, Yousef Alharbi and Abdulrahman Alqahtani
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060177 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2010
Abstract
To the authors’ knowledge, currently, there is no review covering the different technologies applied to opening manual doors. Therefore, this review presents a summary of the various technologies available on the market as well as those under research and development for opening manual [...] Read more.
To the authors’ knowledge, currently, there is no review covering the different technologies applied to opening manual doors. Therefore, this review presents a summary of the various technologies available on the market as well as those under research and development for opening manual doors. Four subtopics—doorknob accessories, wheelchair-mounted door-opening accessories, door-opening robots, and door-opening drones—were used to group the various technologies for manually opening doors. It is evident that opening doors is a difficult process, and there are different ways to solve this problem in terms of the technology used and the cost of the end product. The search for an affordable assistive technology for opening manual doors is ongoing. This work is an attempt to provide wheelchair users and their healthcare providers with a one-stop source for door-opening technologies. At least one of these door-opening solutions could prove beneficial to the elderly and some wheelchair users for increased independence. The ideal option would depend on an individual’s needs and capabilities, and occupational therapists could assess and recommend the right solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Assistive Technologies)
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14 pages, 1902 KiB  
Review
A Literature Review of BIM Definitions: Narrow and Broad Views
by Andrzej Szymon Borkowski
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060176 - 11 Dec 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3385
Abstract
In the scientific community, it is difficult to find a consensus on defining BIM. Just as the acronym BIM has developed in different ways, it is also understood in different ways. Depending on its understanding, different definitions emerge. It is defined differently by [...] Read more.
In the scientific community, it is difficult to find a consensus on defining BIM. Just as the acronym BIM has developed in different ways, it is also understood in different ways. Depending on its understanding, different definitions emerge. It is defined differently by organizations and standards, differently still even by academics. Many years of academic discourse on the subject have failed to produce a solution. Despite the fact that the acronym BIM has already done its work for the construction industry, it still stirs up excitement. There is still no clear definition, as the view of BIM varies from one perspective to another. This article attempts to sort out the definitions cited so far by important organizations and key academics. This review was based on a deep literature study that has attempted to be inclusive and consistent. The question still remains open: do we need a single, correct definition of BIM? The aim of this article is to try to answer this question, open up a renewed discussion and come to a satisfactory consensus. BIM can be identified with an activity, product or system. This article breaks down the definitions of BIM, identifies six key attributes of BIM, presents the evolution of the understanding of BIM and proposes new definitions in a narrow and broad approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Technologies)
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18 pages, 15705 KiB  
Article
Study on Shielding Effectiveness of High Transmittance Coating Film Glasses against Electromagnetic Pulse
by Che-Min Cheng, Yu-Hsin Chen, Sheng-Yi Lin, Sheng-Der Chao and Shun-Feng Tsai
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060175 - 7 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1928
Abstract
This study investigated the shielding effectiveness (SE) of glass materials with conductive coatings by establishing a 3000 × 3000 × 3000 mm electromagnetic pulse (EMP)—shielded room according to the EMP shielding requirements in the US military standard MIL-STD-188-125-1. The EMP SE of conductive-coated [...] Read more.
This study investigated the shielding effectiveness (SE) of glass materials with conductive coatings by establishing a 3000 × 3000 × 3000 mm electromagnetic pulse (EMP)—shielded room according to the EMP shielding requirements in the US military standard MIL-STD-188-125-1. The EMP SE of conductive-coated glass samples was measured and verified with the broadband EMP conditions of 10 kHz∼1 GHz. The conductive thin film coating on the glass was made by mixing conductive materials, including In2O3, SnO2, Ta2O5, NbO, SiO2, TiO2, and Al2O3, at different ratios. The mixed solutions were then coated onto the glass targets to facilitate conductive continuity between the conductive oxides and the shielding metal structure. The glass samples had dimensions of 1000 × 600 mm, which had electrolytic conductivity σ = 4.0064 × 103∼4.7438 × 103 (S/cm), 74∼77% transmittance, and 6.4∼6.8 Ω/ film resistance. The experimental results indicated that the glass had SE of 35∼40 dB under 1 GHz EMP, satisfying the US National Coordinating Center for Communications’ Level 3 shielding protection requirement of at least 30 dB. The glass attenuated energy density by more than 1000 times, which is equivalent to shielding over 97% of EMP energy. Accordingly, the glass materials can be used as high-transmittance conductive glass for windows of automobiles, vessels, and aircrafts to protect from EMPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Quantum Technologies)
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18 pages, 12458 KiB  
Article
Detecting Photovoltaic Panels in Aerial Images by Means of Characterising Colours
by Daniele Marletta, Alessandro Midolo and Emiliano Tramontana
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060174 - 7 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2106
Abstract
The detection of photovoltaic panels from images is an important field, as it leverages the possibility of forecasting and planning green energy production by assessing the level of energy autonomy for communities. Many existing approaches for detecting photovoltaic panels are based on machine [...] Read more.
The detection of photovoltaic panels from images is an important field, as it leverages the possibility of forecasting and planning green energy production by assessing the level of energy autonomy for communities. Many existing approaches for detecting photovoltaic panels are based on machine learning; however, they require large annotated datasets and extensive training, and the results are not always accurate or explainable. This paper proposes an automatic approach that can detect photovoltaic panels conforming to a properly formed significant range of colours extracted according to the given conditions of light exposure in the analysed images. The significant range of colours was automatically formed from an annotated dataset of images, and consisted of the most frequent panel colours differing from the colours of surrounding parts. Such colours were then used to detect panels in other images by analysing panel colours and reckoning the pixel density and comparable levels of light. The results produced by our approach were more precise than others in the previous literature, as our tool accurately reveals the contours of panels notwithstanding their shape or the colours of surrounding objects and the environment. Full article
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30 pages, 22313 KiB  
Article
Laplace Transform-Based Modelling, Surge Energy Distribution, and Experimental Validation of a Supercapacitor Transient Suppressor
by Sadeeshvara Silva Thotabaddadurage
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060173 - 6 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2225
Abstract
The discovery of the transient-surge-withstanding capability of electrochemical dual-layer capacitors (EDLCs) led to the development of a unique, commercially beneficial circuit topology known as a supercapacitor transient suppressor (STS). Despite its low component count, the new design consists of a transient-absorbing magnetic core [...] Read more.
The discovery of the transient-surge-withstanding capability of electrochemical dual-layer capacitors (EDLCs) led to the development of a unique, commercially beneficial circuit topology known as a supercapacitor transient suppressor (STS). Despite its low component count, the new design consists of a transient-absorbing magnetic core which takes the form of a coupled inductor placed between the AC-main- and load-side varistors. With an introduction to the structural features of metal oxide varistors (MOVs), gas tubes, thyristors, and EDLCs, this research presents a frequency (S)-domain analysis of an STS circuit to accurately model the surge propagation through its coupled inductor. Transient energy distribution trends among STS components are estimated in this paper, with an emphasis on peak energies absorbed and dissipated by the various inductive, capacitive, and resistive circuit elements. Moreover, this study reveals STS transient-mode test waveforms validated by a standard lightning surge simulator with supporting simulation plots based on LTSpice numerical techniques. Both experimental and simulation results are consistent, with the analytical findings showing 90% of the peak transient propagating through the primary coil, whereas only 10% is shared into the secondary coil of the coupled inductor. In addition, it is proven that the two STS MOVs dissipate over 50% of the transient energy for a standard 6 kV/3 kA combinational surge, while the magnetic core absorbs over 20% of the energy. All test procedures conducted during this research adhere to IEEE C62.41/IEC 61000-4-5 standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Electrical Technologies)
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24 pages, 4277 KiB  
Article
An Advanced Solution Based on Machine Learning for Remote EMDR Therapy
by Francesca Fiani, Samuele Russo and Christian Napoli
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060172 - 6 Dec 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1892
Abstract
For this work, a preliminary study proposed virtual interfaces for remote psychotherapy and psychology practices. This study aimed to verify the efficacy of such approaches in obtaining results comparable to in-presence psychotherapy, when the therapist is physically present in the room. In particular, [...] Read more.
For this work, a preliminary study proposed virtual interfaces for remote psychotherapy and psychology practices. This study aimed to verify the efficacy of such approaches in obtaining results comparable to in-presence psychotherapy, when the therapist is physically present in the room. In particular, we implemented several joint machine-learning techniques for distance detection, camera calibration and eye tracking, assembled to create a full virtual environment for the execution of a psychological protocol for a self-induced mindfulness meditative state. Notably, such a protocol is also applicable for the desensitization phase of EMDR therapy. This preliminary study has proven that, compared to a simple control task, such as filling in a questionnaire, the application of the mindfulness protocol in a fully virtual setting greatly improves concentration and lowers stress for the subjects it has been tested on, therefore proving the efficacy of a remote approach when compared to an in-presence one. This opens up the possibility of deepening the study, to create a fully working interface which will be applicable in various on-field applications of psychotherapy where the presence of the therapist cannot be always guaranteed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Smart Healthcare: Technologies and Applications)
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11 pages, 881 KiB  
Article
Maze Solving Mobile Robot Based on Image Processing and Graph Theory
by Luis A. Avila-Sánchez, Carlos Sánchez-López, Rocío Ochoa-Montiel, Fredy Montalvo-Galicia, Luis A. Sánchez-Gaspariano, Carlos Hernández-Mejía and Hugo G. González-Hernández
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060171 - 5 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2712
Abstract
Advances in the development of collision-free path planning algorithms are the main need not only to solve mazes with robotic systems, but also for their use in modern product transportation or green logistics systems and planning merchandise deliveries inside or outside a factory. [...] Read more.
Advances in the development of collision-free path planning algorithms are the main need not only to solve mazes with robotic systems, but also for their use in modern product transportation or green logistics systems and planning merchandise deliveries inside or outside a factory. This challenge increases as the complexity of the task in its structure also increases. This paper deals with the development of a novel methodology for solving mazes with a mobile robot, using image processing techniques and graph theory. The novelty is that the mobile robot can find the shortest path from a start-point to the end-point into irregular mazes with abundant irregular obstacles, a situation that is not far from reality. Maze information is acquired from an image and depending on the size of the mobile robot, a grid of nodes with the same dimensions of the maze is built. Another contribution of this paper is that the size of the maze can be scaled from 1 m × 1 m to 66 m × 66 m, maintaining the essence of the proposed collision-free path planning methodology. Afterwards, graph theory is used to find the shortest path within the grid of reduced nodes due to the elimination of those nodes absorbed by the irregular obstacles. To avoid the mobile robot to travel through those nodes very close to obstacles and borders, resulting in a collision, each image of the obstacle and border is dilated taking into account the size of the mobile robot. The methodology was validated with two case studies with a mobile robot in different mazes. We emphasize that the maze solution is found in a single computational step, from the maze image as input until the generation of the Path vector. Experimental results show the usefulness of the proposed methodology, which can be used in applications such as intelligent traffic control, military, agriculture and so on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Mobile Robotics Navigation, 2nd Volume)
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18 pages, 3676 KiB  
Article
A Dynamic STEM-Driven Approach through Mobile Robotics to Enhance Critical Thinking and Interdisciplinary Skills for Empowering Industry 4.0 Competencies
by Rodrigo Antunes, Martim Lima Aguiar and Pedro Dinis Gaspar
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060170 - 1 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2588
Abstract
This study presents an innovative pedagogical approach aimed at enhancing the teaching of robotics within the broader context of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education across diverse academic levels. The integration of mobile robotics kits into a dynamic STEM-focused curriculum offers students [...] Read more.
This study presents an innovative pedagogical approach aimed at enhancing the teaching of robotics within the broader context of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education across diverse academic levels. The integration of mobile robotics kits into a dynamic STEM-focused curriculum offers students an immersive and hands-on learning experience, fostering programming skills, advanced problem-solving, critical thinking, and spatial awareness. The motivation behind this research lies in improving the effectiveness of robotics education by addressing existing gaps in current strategies. It aims to better prepare students for this rapidly evolving field’s dynamic challenges and opportunities. To achieve this, detailed protocols were formulated that not only facilitate student learning but also cater to teacher training and involvement. These protocols encompass code documentation and examples, providing tangible representations of the practical outcomes of the course. In addition to the presented curriculum, this paper introduces the developed methodology that strategically leverages 3D-printing technology. The primary focus of this approach is to create captivating add-ons and establish a versatile workspace, actively promoting heightened engagement and facilitating the acquisition of knowledge among students. The research involves the development of tailored laboratory protocols suited to various academic levels, employing a systematic methodology aimed at deepening students’ comprehension of STEM concepts. Furthermore, an adaptable infrastructure for laboratory protocols and in-class testing was developed. The efficacy of this teaching/learning methodology is evaluated through student surveys, ensuring its continuous improvement. These protocols are to be integrated into both the robotics courses and teacher-training initiatives. This study aims to contribute to the field by using a dynamic STEM-driven approach based on mobile robotics. It outlines a strategic vision for better-preparing students and educators in the ever-evolving landscape of robotics education demanded by Industry 4.0 technologies. Full article
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12 pages, 3109 KiB  
Communication
Magnetic Stirling Cycle for Qubits with Anisotropy near the Quantum Critical Point
by Cristóbal Araya, Francisco J. Peña, Ariel Norambuena, Bastián Castorene and Patricio Vargas
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060169 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1758
Abstract
We studied the performance of a quantum magnetic Stirling cycle that uses a working substance composed of two entangled antiferromagnetic qubits (J) under the influence of an external magnetic field (Bz) and an uniaxial anisotropy field (K [...] Read more.
We studied the performance of a quantum magnetic Stirling cycle that uses a working substance composed of two entangled antiferromagnetic qubits (J) under the influence of an external magnetic field (Bz) and an uniaxial anisotropy field (K) along the total spin in the y-direction. The efficiency and work were calculated as a function of Bz and for different values of the anisotropy constant K given hot and cold reservoir temperatures. The anisotropy has been shown to extend the region of the external magnetic field in which the Stirling cycle is more efficient compared to the ideal case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Quantum Technologies)
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21 pages, 3566 KiB  
Article
Towards Robust Obstacle Avoidance for the Visually Impaired Person Using Stereo Cameras
by Bismark Kweku Asiedu Asante and Hiroki Imamura
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060168 - 28 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2466
Abstract
We propose a novel obstacle avoidance strategy implemented in a wearable assistive device, which serves as an electronic travel aid (ETA), designed to enhance the safety of visually impaired persons (VIPs) during navigation to their desired destinations. This method is grounded in the [...] Read more.
We propose a novel obstacle avoidance strategy implemented in a wearable assistive device, which serves as an electronic travel aid (ETA), designed to enhance the safety of visually impaired persons (VIPs) during navigation to their desired destinations. This method is grounded in the assumption that objects in close proximity and within a short distance from VIPs pose potential obstacles and hazards. Furthermore, objects that are farther away appear smaller in the camera’s field of view. To adapt this method for accurate obstacle selection, we employ an adaptable grid generated based on the apparent size of objects. These objects are detected using a custom lightweight YOLOv5 model. The grid helps select and prioritize the most immediate and dangerous obstacle within the user’s proximity. We also incorporate an audio feedback mechanism with an innovative neural perception system to alert the user. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed system can detect obstacles within a range of 20 m and effectively prioritize obstacles within 2 m of the user. The system achieves an accuracy rate of 95% for both obstacle detection and prioritization of critical obstacles. Moreover, the ETA device provides real-time alerts, with a response time of just 5 s, preventing collisions with nearby objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Assistive Technologies)
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26 pages, 3485 KiB  
Review
Hyperparameter Optimization and Combined Data Sampling Techniques in Machine Learning for Customer Churn Prediction: A Comparative Analysis
by Mehdi Imani and Hamid Reza Arabnia
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060167 - 26 Nov 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3785
Abstract
This paper explores the application of various machine learning techniques for predicting customer churn in the telecommunications sector. We utilized a publicly accessible dataset and implemented several models, including Artificial Neural Networks, Decision Trees, Support Vector Machines, Random Forests, Logistic Regression, and gradient [...] Read more.
This paper explores the application of various machine learning techniques for predicting customer churn in the telecommunications sector. We utilized a publicly accessible dataset and implemented several models, including Artificial Neural Networks, Decision Trees, Support Vector Machines, Random Forests, Logistic Regression, and gradient boosting techniques (XGBoost, LightGBM, and CatBoost). To mitigate the challenges posed by imbalanced datasets, we adopted different data sampling strategies, namely SMOTE, SMOTE combined with Tomek Links, and SMOTE combined with Edited Nearest Neighbors. Moreover, hyperparameter tuning was employed to enhance model performance. Our evaluation employed standard metrics, such as Precision, Recall, F1-score, and the Receiver Operating Characteristic Area Under Curve (ROC AUC). In terms of the F1-score metric, CatBoost demonstrates superior performance compared to other machine learning models, achieving an outstanding 93% following the application of Optuna hyperparameter optimization. In the context of the ROC AUC metric, both XGBoost and CatBoost exhibit exceptional performance, recording remarkable scores of 91%. This achievement for XGBoost is attained after implementing a combination of SMOTE with Tomek Links, while CatBoost reaches this level of performance after the application of Optuna hyperparameter optimization. Full article
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42 pages, 6303 KiB  
Review
A Review on the Nanofluids-PCMs Integrated Solutions for Solar Thermal Heat Transfer Enhancement Purposes
by José Pereira, Reinaldo Souza, António Moreira and Ana Moita
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060166 - 24 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
The current review offers a critical survey on published studies concerning the simultaneous use of PCMs and nanofluids for solar thermal energy storage and conversion processes. Also, the main thermophysical properties of PCMs and nanofluids are discussed in detail. On one hand, the [...] Read more.
The current review offers a critical survey on published studies concerning the simultaneous use of PCMs and nanofluids for solar thermal energy storage and conversion processes. Also, the main thermophysical properties of PCMs and nanofluids are discussed in detail. On one hand, the properties of these types of nanofluids are analyzed, as well as those of the general types of nanofluids, like the thermal conductivity and latent heat capacity. On the other hand, there are specific characteristics of PCMs like, for instance, the phase-change duration and the phase-change temperature. Moreover, the main improvement techniques in order for PCMs and nanofluids to be used in solar thermal applications are described in detail, including the inclusion of highly thermal conductive nanoparticles and other nanostructures in nano-enhanced PCMs and PCMs with extended surfaces, among others. Regarding those improvement techniques, it was found that, for instance, nanofluids can enhance the thermal conductivity of the base fluids by up to 100%. In addition, it was also reported that the simultaneous use of PCMs and nanofluids enhances the overall, thermal, and electrical efficiencies of solar thermal energy storage systems and photovoltaic-nano-enhanced PCM systems. Finally, the main limitations and guidelines are summarized for future research in the technological and research fields of nanofluids and PCMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Solar Technologies)
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16 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Get Real Get Better: A Framework for Developing Agile Program Management in the U.S. Navy Supported by the Application of Advanced Data Analytics and AI
by Jonathan Haase, Peter B. Walker, Olivia Berardi and Waldemar Karwowski
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060165 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2999
Abstract
This paper discusses the “Get Real Get Better” (GRGB) approach to implementing agile program management in the U.S. Navy, supported by advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). GRGB was designed as a set of foundational principles to advance Navy culture [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the “Get Real Get Better” (GRGB) approach to implementing agile program management in the U.S. Navy, supported by advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). GRGB was designed as a set of foundational principles to advance Navy culture and support its core values. This article identifies a need for a more informed and efficient approach to program management by highlighting the benefits of implementing comprehensive data analytics that leverage recent advances in cloud computing and machine learning. The Jupiter enclave within Advana implemented by the U.S. Navy, is also discussed. The presented approach represents a practical framework that cultivates a “Get Real Get Better” mindset for implementing agile program management in the U.S. Navy. Full article
31 pages, 8417 KiB  
Article
Developing Robotic Process Automation to Efficiently Integrate Long-Term Business Process Management
by Nurgul Nalgozhina, Abdul Razaque, Uskenbayeva Raissa and Joon Yoo
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060164 - 18 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3268
Abstract
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a popular process automation technology that leverages software to play the function of humans when employing graphical user interfaces. RPA’s scope is limited, and various requirements must be met for it to be applied efficiently. Business process management [...] Read more.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a popular process automation technology that leverages software to play the function of humans when employing graphical user interfaces. RPA’s scope is limited, and various requirements must be met for it to be applied efficiently. Business process management (BPM), on the other hand, is a well-established area of research that may provide favorable conditions for RPA to thrive. We provide an efficient technique for merging RPA with BPM (RPABPM) to synchronize the technology for efficient automated business processes. The problem formulation process is carried out to cut management-related expenditures. The proposed RPABPM strategy includes the five stages (design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization) for optimal business automation and energy savings. Effective business process management is proved by employing an end-to-end process. Furthermore, findings have been obtained employing three empirical investigations that are performed to assess the practicality and precision of the proposed RPABPM approach. The first objective of the initial study is to confirm the practicality and precision of the approach employed to evaluate the acceptance, possibility, significance, and integration of RPA with BPM. The second study attempts to verify the method’s high-quality characteristics. The third study attempts to assess the approach’s effectiveness in analyzing and identifying BPM that are best suited for RPA. The proposed RPABPM is validated on the industrial robot manufactured by ABB with six-axis IRB140 and supported with a Windows CE-based Flex Pendant (teach pendant). An IRC5 controller is used to run RobotWare 5.13.10371. A pre-installed .NET Compact Framework 3.5 is used. Finally, the proposed method is compared with state-of-the-art methods from an efficiency and power consumption perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communication Technologies)
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19 pages, 328 KiB  
Review
A Survey of the Diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy Using Intelligent and Wearable Systems
by Muhammad Talha, Maria Kyrarini and Ehsan Ali Buriro
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060163 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2178
Abstract
In recent years, the usage of wearable systems in healthcare has gained much attention, as they can be easily worn by the subject and provide a continuous source of data required for the tracking and diagnosis of multiple kinds of abnormalities or diseases [...] Read more.
In recent years, the usage of wearable systems in healthcare has gained much attention, as they can be easily worn by the subject and provide a continuous source of data required for the tracking and diagnosis of multiple kinds of abnormalities or diseases in the human body. Wearable systems can be made useful in improving a patient’s quality of life and at the same time reducing the overall cost of caring for individuals including the elderly. In this survey paper, the recent research in the development of intelligent wearable systems for the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy is discussed. The paper provides detailed information about recent techniques based on different wearable sensors for the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy including experimental protocols, biomarkers, and other specifications and parameters such as the type of signals and data processing methods, locations of sensors, the scales and tests used in the study, and the scope of the study. It also highlights challenges that are still present in order to make wearable devices more effective in the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy in clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Selected Papers from the PETRA Conference Series)
13 pages, 1485 KiB  
Article
Curve-Fitting Correction Method for the Nonlinear Dimming Response of Tunable SSL Devices
by Rugved Kore and Dorukalp Durmus
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060162 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Solid-state lighting (SSL) devices are ubiquitous in several markets, including architectural, automotive, healthcare, heritage conservation, and entertainment lighting. Fine control of the LED light output is crucial for applications where spectral precision is required, but dimming LEDs can cause a nonlinear response in [...] Read more.
Solid-state lighting (SSL) devices are ubiquitous in several markets, including architectural, automotive, healthcare, heritage conservation, and entertainment lighting. Fine control of the LED light output is crucial for applications where spectral precision is required, but dimming LEDs can cause a nonlinear response in its output, shifting the chromaticity. The nonlinear response of a multi-color LEDs can be corrected by curve-fitting the measured data to input dimming controls. In this study, the spectral output of an RGB LED projector was corrected using polynomial curve fitting. The accuracy of four different measurement methods was compared in order to find the optimal correction approach in terms of the time and effort needed to perform measurements. The results suggest that the curve fitting of very high-resolution dimming steps (n = 125) significantly decreased the chromaticity shifts between measured (actual) and corrected spectra. The effect size between approaches indicates that the curve-fitting of the high-resolution approach (n = 23) performs equally well as at very high resolution (n = 125). The curve-fitting correction can be used as an alternative approach or in addition to existing methods, such as the closed-loop correction. The curve fitting method can be applied to any tunable multi-color LED lighting system to correct the nonlinear dimming response. Full article
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26 pages, 2231 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Survey of Cybersecurity Threats, Attacks, and Effective Countermeasures in Industrial Internet of Things
by Abdullah M. Alnajim, Shabana Habib, Muhammad Islam, Su Myat Thwin and Faisal Alotaibi
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060161 - 13 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5636
Abstract
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem faces increased risks and vulnerabilities due to adopting Industry 4.0 standards. Integrating data from various places and converging several systems have heightened the need for robust security measures beyond fundamental connection encryption. However, it is difficult [...] Read more.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem faces increased risks and vulnerabilities due to adopting Industry 4.0 standards. Integrating data from various places and converging several systems have heightened the need for robust security measures beyond fundamental connection encryption. However, it is difficult to provide adequate security due to the IIoT ecosystem’s distributed hardware and software. The most effective countermeasures must be suggested together with the crucial vulnerabilities, linked threats, and hazards in order to protect industrial equipment and ensure the secure functioning of IIoT systems. This paper presents a thorough analysis of events that target IIoT systems to alleviate such concerns. It also offers a comprehensive analysis of the responses that have been advanced in the most recent research. This article examines several kinds of attacks and the possible consequences to understand the security landscape in the IIoT area. Additionally, we aim to encourage the development of effective defenses that will lessen the hazards detected and secure the privacy, accessibility, and reliability of IIoT systems. It is important to note that we examine the issues and solutions related to IIoT security using the most recent findings from research and the literature on this subject. This study organizes and evaluates recent research to provide significant insight into the present security situation in IIoT systems. Ultimately, we provide outlines for future research and projects in this field. Full article
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27 pages, 6742 KiB  
Article
Application of G.hn Broadband Powerline Communication for Industrial Control Using COTS Components
by Kilian Brunner, Stephen Dominiak and Martin Ostertag
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060160 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Broadband powerline communication is a technology developed mainly with consumer applications and bulk data transmission in mind. Typical use cases include file download, streaming, or last-mile internet access for residential buildings. Applications gaining momentum are smart metering and grid automation, where response time [...] Read more.
Broadband powerline communication is a technology developed mainly with consumer applications and bulk data transmission in mind. Typical use cases include file download, streaming, or last-mile internet access for residential buildings. Applications gaining momentum are smart metering and grid automation, where response time requirements are relatively moderate compared to industrial (real-time) control. This work investigates to which extent G.hn technology, with existing, commercial off-the-shelf components, can be used for real-time control applications. Maximum packet rate and latency statistics are investigated for different G.hn profiles and MAC algorithms. An elevator control system serves as an example application to define the latency and throughput requirements. The results show that G.hn is a feasible technology candidate for industrial IoT-type applications if certain boundary conditions can be ensured. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Electronic Communications, IOT and Big Data)
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21 pages, 17528 KiB  
Article
Software Program for the Evaluation of Human Exposure to Electric and Magnetic Fields
by Adina Giurgiuman, Marian Gliga, Adrian Bojita, Sergiu Andreica, Calin Munteanu, Vasile Topa, Claudia Constantinescu and Claudia Pacurar
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060159 - 8 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1860
Abstract
The evaluation of human exposure to electric and magnetic fields represents a subject of great scientific and public interest due to the biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the human body and the risks caused by them to living organisms. In this [...] Read more.
The evaluation of human exposure to electric and magnetic fields represents a subject of great scientific and public interest due to the biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the human body and the risks caused by them to living organisms. In this context, this article proposes a software program designed by the authors for the evaluation of human exposure to electric and magnetic fields at low frequencies (EMF software program), an application that can also be accessed from a mobile phone. The analytical model on which the EMF program is based is synthetically presented, and the application is then described. The first example implemented in the EMF program is taken from the existing literature on this subject, thus confirming the correctness and calculation precision of the program. Next, a case study is proposed for an overhead transmission line of 400 KV from the Cluj-Napoca area, Romania, for which the electric and magnetic fields are first measured experimentally and then using the EMF program. The validation of the EMF software program is performed by comparing the obtained results with those measured experimentally and with those obtained with a commercial software program. Full article
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13 pages, 5279 KiB  
Article
Immersive VR (Virtual Reality) Simulator for Vein Blood Sampling
by Jun-Seong Kim, Kun-Woo Kim, Seong-Won Yang, Joong-Wha Chung and Seong-Yong Moon
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060158 - 8 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Vein blood sampling is a method of mass blood sampling that involves drawing blood from a vein for blood type discrimination, confirmation of various physiological indicators, disease diagnosis, etc.; it is the most commonly used blood sampling method. An important aspect of vein [...] Read more.
Vein blood sampling is a method of mass blood sampling that involves drawing blood from a vein for blood type discrimination, confirmation of various physiological indicators, disease diagnosis, etc.; it is the most commonly used blood sampling method. An important aspect of vein blood sampling is the search for the exact location of the vein for insertion of the syringe to draw blood. This is influenced by obesity as well as skin and blood vessel conditions in the patient and the experience of the clinical technologist, nurse, and resident who performs the blood sampling. Frequent practice is required to effectively perform blood sampling techniques. However, due to the many limitations of the practice room or laboratory, there is a problem of using only a limited environment and model for clinical practice. As a result, many medical educational institutions have situations in which only fragmentary clinical practices are performed, and it is difficult to practice many blood sampling skills, so they do not provide enough experience to understand the actual skill field. In this paper, we propose a virtual-reality-based vein blood sampling simulator that allows the practice of blood sampling techniques without limitation. The proposed vein blood sampling simulator can operate a 3D model related to vein blood sampling using an HMD controller and a haptic device in a virtual space for vein blood sampling practice by wearing an HMD (head-mounted display). Vein blood sampling can also be practiced through interaction with the patient 3D model. In addition, the effectiveness of a simulator developed for dental students was verified, and as a result of the verification, the potential of the proposed vein blood sampling simulator was confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Smart Healthcare: Technologies and Applications)
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24 pages, 8416 KiB  
Review
Recent Technological Progress of Fiber-Optical Sensors for Bio-Mechatronics Applications
by Mohomad Aqeel Abdhul Rahuman, Nipun Shantha Kahatapitiya, Viraj Niroshan Amarakoon, Udaya Wijenayake, Bhagya Nathali Silva, Mansik Jeon, Jeehyun Kim, Naresh Kumar Ravichandran and Ruchire Eranga Wijesinghe
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060157 - 7 Nov 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2719
Abstract
Bio-mechatronics is an interdisciplinary scientific field that emphasizes the integration of biology and mechatronics to discover innovative solutions for numerous biomedical applications. The broad application spectrum of bio-mechatronics consists of minimally invasive surgeries, rehabilitation, development of prosthetics, and soft wearables to find engineering [...] Read more.
Bio-mechatronics is an interdisciplinary scientific field that emphasizes the integration of biology and mechatronics to discover innovative solutions for numerous biomedical applications. The broad application spectrum of bio-mechatronics consists of minimally invasive surgeries, rehabilitation, development of prosthetics, and soft wearables to find engineering solutions for the human body. Fiber-optic-based sensors have recently become an indispensable part of bio-mechatronics systems, which are essential for position detection and control, monitoring measurements, compliance control, and various feedback applications. As a result, significant advancements have been introduced for designing and developing fiber-optic-based sensors in the past decade. This review discusses recent technological advancements in fiber-optical sensors, which have been potentially adapted for numerous bio-mechatronic applications. It also encompasses fundamental principles, different types of fiber-optical sensors based on recent development strategies, and characterizations of fiber Bragg gratings, optical fiber force myography, polymer optical fibers, optical tactile sensors, and Fabry–Perot interferometric applications. Hence, robust knowledge can be obtained regarding the technological enhancements in fiber-optical sensors for bio-mechatronics-based interdisciplinary developments. Therefore, this review offers a comprehensive exploration of recent technological advances in fiber-optical sensors for bio-mechatronics. It provides insights into their potential to revolutionize biomedical and bio-mechatronics applications, ultimately contributing to improved patient outcomes and healthcare innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Review Papers Collection for Advanced Technologies)
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25 pages, 2932 KiB  
Article
Pitch/Metal Oxide Composite Fibers via Electrospinning for Environmental Applications
by Bayan Kaidar, Gaukhar Smagulova, Aigerim Imash, Aruzhan Keneshbekova, Akram Ilyanov and Zulkhair Mansurov
Technologies 2023, 11(6), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies11060156 - 7 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
This study investigates the synthesis and application of composite electrospun fibers incorporating coal tar pitch (CTP) and various nanomaterial additives, with a specific focus on their potential for eco-bio-applications. The research underscores the environmentally viable aspects of CTP following a thermal treatment process [...] Read more.
This study investigates the synthesis and application of composite electrospun fibers incorporating coal tar pitch (CTP) and various nanomaterial additives, with a specific focus on their potential for eco-bio-applications. The research underscores the environmentally viable aspects of CTP following a thermal treatment process that eliminates volatile components and sulfur, rendering it amenable for fiber electrospinning and subsequent carbonization. Composite fibers were fabricated by integrating CTP with nanomaterials, including nickel oxide (NiO), titanium dioxide (TiO2), activated carbon (AC), and magnetite (Fe3O4). The C/NiO composite fibers exhibit notable acetone sensing capabilities, specifically displaying a rapid response time of 40.6 s to 100 ppm acetone at 220 °C. The C/TiO2 composite fibers exhibit a distinct “beads-on-a-string” structure and demonstrate a high efficiency of 96.13% in methylene blue decomposition, highlighting their potential for environmental remediation applications. Additionally, the C/AC composite fibers demonstrate effective adsorption properties, efficiently removing manganese (II) ions from aqueous solutions with an 88.62% efficiency, thereby suggesting their utility in water purification applications. This research employs an interdisciplinary approach by combining diverse methods, approaches, and materials, including the utilization of agricultural waste materials such as rice husks, to create composite materials with multifaceted applications. Beyond the immediate utility of the composite fibers, this study emphasizes the significance of deploying environmentally responsible materials and technologies to address pressing eco-bio-challenges. Full article
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