This paper presents the results of a mechatronic design based on a 4-wheel omnidirectional mobile robot that can be used in indoor logistic applications. The low-level control has been selected using two open-source hardware (Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and Arduino Mega 2560) that control four industrial motors, four ultrasound sensors, four optical encoders, a vision system of two cameras, and a Hokuyo URG-04LX-UG01 laser scanner. Moreover, the system is powered with a lithium battery that can supply 24 V DC and a maximum current-hour of 20Ah.The Robot Operating System (ROS) has been implemented in the Raspberry Pi and the performance is evaluated with the selection of the sensors and hardware selected. The mechatronic system is evaluated and proposed safe modes of power distribution for controlling all the electronic devices based on different tests. Therefore, based on different performance results, some recommendations are indicated for using the Raspberry Pi and Arduino in terms of power, communication, and distribution of control for different devices. According to these recommendations, the selection of sensors is distributed in both real-time controllers (Arduino and Raspberry Pi). On the other hand, the drivers of the cameras have been implemented in Linux and a python program has been implemented to access the cameras. These cameras will be used for implementing a deep learning algorithm to recognize people and objects. In this way, the level of intelligence can be increased in combination with the maps that can be obtained from the laser scanner.
Based on activity method, this paper focuses on morning commuting behavior when commuters travel with autonomous vehicles (AVs). Firstly, a net utility function of commuters is constructed by the activity utility of commuters at home, in car and at workplace, and the disutility of travel time cost and that of schedule delay cost. Then, this net utility function is applied to build an equilibrium model. Finally, under the assumption of constant marginal activity utility, the properties of equilibrium are analyzed. The results show that, in autonomous driving, the starting and ending time of morning peak and the number of commuters who arrive early and late at workplace are the same as those in manual driving. In automatic driving, however, the departure rate of arriving early at workplace is higher than that of manual driving, while the departure rate of arriving late is just the opposite. In addition, compared with manual driving, the departure time of arriving at workplace on time is earlier and the number of people queuing at the bottleneck is larger in automatic driving. However, the net utility of commuters and the total net utility of system in automatic driving are greater than those in manual driving.
It is recognized that people are the main drivers in almost all the processes that affect airworthiness assurance. This is especially true in the area of aircraft maintenance, which is an essential part of continuing airworthiness. This work investigates what impact English language proficiency, the intersection of the military and Thai cultures, and the lack of initial and continuing human factors training have on the work performance of maintenance personnel in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). A quantitative research method based on a cross-sectional survey was used to gather data about these three key aspects of “people” in a military airworthiness environment. 30 questions were developed addressing the crucial topics of English language proficiency, impact of culture, and human factors training. The officers and the non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who work for the Aeronautical Engineering Divisions in the RTAF comprised the survey participants. The survey data were analysed to support various hypotheses by using a t-test method. English competency in the RTAF is very important since all of the service manuals for Thai military aircraft are written in English. Without such competency, it is difficult for maintenance staff to perform tasks and correctly interpret the relevant maintenance manual instructions; any misunderstandings could lead to potential accidents. The survey results showed that the officers appreciated the importance of this more than the NCOs, who are the people actually doing the hands-on maintenance work. Military culture focuses on the success of a given mission, and leverages the power distance between the lower and higher ranks. In Thai society, a power distance also exists between younger and older citizens. In the RTAF, such a combination tends to inhibit a just reporting culture and hence hinders safety. The survey results confirmed this, showing that the older people and higher ranks involved with RTAF aircraft maintenance believe that the workplace has a positive safety culture and climate, whereas the younger people and lower ranks think the opposite. The final area of consideration concerned human factors training and non-technical skills training. The survey revealed that those participants who had previously attended such courses appreciated its value and were aware of its benefits in daily life. However, currently there is no regulation in the RTAF to mandate recurrent training to maintain such knowledge and skills. The findings from this work suggest that the people involved in assuring the continuing airworthiness of the RTAF would benefit from: (i) more rigorous requirements and standards in the recruitment, initial training and continuation training regarding English competence; (ii) the development of a strong safety culture that exploits the uniqueness of both the military culture and the Thai culture; and (iii) providing more initial and recurrent training in human factors and non-technical skills.
Nostalgia is characterized as a mental state of human’s emotional longing for the past that activates both positive and negative emotions. The bittersweet emotions that are activated by nostalgia aid psychological functions to humans and are depended on the type of stimuli that evoke nostalgia but also on the nostalgia activation context. In general, despite that nostalgia can be activated and experienced by all people; however, it differs both in terms of nostalgia experience but also nostalgia frequency. As a matter of fact, nostalgia experience along with nostalgia frequency differs according to the level of the nostalgia proneness. People with high nostalgia proneness tend to experience nostalgia more intensely and frequently than people with low nostalgia proneness. Nostalgia proneness is considered as a basic individual difference that affects the experience of nostalgia, and it can be measured by the Southampton Nostalgia Scale (SNS); a psychometric instrument that measures human’s nostalgia proneness consisting of seven questions that assess a person’s attitude towards nostalgia, the degree of experience or tendency to nostalgic feelings and the nostalgia frequency. In the current study, we translated, validated and calibrated the SNS in Greek population (N = 267). For the calibration process, we used several scales relevant to positive dimensions, such as life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, time perspective and wellbeing. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed the factors that provide a good Southampton Nostalgia Proneness model fit for young adult Greek population.
Thoughtful intelligence offers a sustainable position to enhance the influence of decision-makers. Thoughtful Intelligence implies the understanding to realize the impact of one’s thoughts, words and actions on the survival, dignity and development of the individuals, groups and nations. Thoughtful intelligence has received minimal consideration in the area of Decision Support Systems, with an end goal to evaluate the quantity of knowledge and its viability. This pattern degraded the imbibed contribution of thoughtful intelligence required for sustainable decision making. Given the concern, this paper concentrates on the question: How to present a model of Thoughtful Decision Support System (TDSS)? The aim of this paper is to appreciate the concepts of thoughtful intelligence and insinuate a Decision Support System based on thoughtful intelligence. Thoughtful intelligence includes three dynamic competencies: i) Realization about long term impacts of decisions that are made in a specific time and space, ii) A great sense of taking actions, iii) Intense interconnectivity with people and nature and; seven associate competencies, of Righteousness, Purposefulness, Understanding, Contemplation, Sincerity, Mindfulness, and Nurturing. The study utilizes two methods: Focused group discussion to count prevailing Decision Support Systems; 70% results of focus group discussions found six decision support systems and the positive inexistence of thoughtful intelligence among decision support systems regarding sustainable decision making. Delphi focused on defining thoughtful intelligence to model (TDSS). 65% results helped to conceptualize (definition and description) of thoughtful intelligence. TDSS is offered here as an addition in the decision making literature. The clients are top leaders.
This study explores how a reality TV show which aired in Nigeria in 2019 (Big Brother Naija - BBN), played a role in enhancing gender-biased conversations among its viewers and social media followers. Thematic analysis is employed here to study Twitter conversations among BBN 2019 followers, which ensued after the show had stopped airing. The study reveals that the show influenced the way viewers and fans engaged with each other, as well as with the show’s participants, on Twitter, and argues that, despite having aired for a short period of time, BBN 2019 was able to draw people together and provide a community where viewers could engage with each other online. Though the show aired on TV, the viewers found a digital space where they could air their views, react to what was happening on the show, as well as simply catch up on action that they probably missed. Within these digital communities, viewers expressed their attractions, disgust and identities, most of these having a form of reference to sexuality and gender identities and roles, as were also portrayed by the show’s producers both on TV and on social media.
Tracking and monitoring agricultural products, cold chain activities, and transportation in real-time can effectively ensure both the quality and safety of agricultural products, as well as reduce overall logistics costs. Effective supply chain practices are one of the main requirements for enhancing agricultural business in Egypt. Cold chain is among the best practices for the storage and transportation of perishable goods and has potential within the agricultural sector in Egypt. This practice has the scope of reducing the wastage of food and increasing the profitability with a reduction in costs. Even though it has several implementation challenges for the farmers, traders, and people involved in the entire supply chain, it has highlighted better benefits for all and for the export of goods for the economic progression for Egypt. The aim of this paper is to explore cold supply chain practices for the agriculture sector in Egypt, to enhance the export performance of fresh goods. In this context, this study attempts to explore those aspects of the performance of cold supply chain practices that can enhance the functioning of the agriculture sector in Egypt from the perspective of export companies (traders) and farmers. Based on the empirical results obtained by data collection from the farmers and traders, the study argues that there is a significant association between cold supply chain practices and enhancement of the agriculture value chain. The paper thus highlights the contribution of the study with final conclusions and limitations with scope for future research.
The management of COVID-19 patients based on chest imaging is emerging as an essential tool for evaluating the spread of the pandemic which has gripped the global community. It has already been used to monitor the situation of COVID-19 patients who have issues in respiratory status. There has been increase to use chest imaging for medical triage of patients who are showing moderate-severe clinical COVID-19 features, this is due to the fast dispersal of the pandemic to all continents and communities. This article demonstrates the development of machine learning techniques for the test of COVID-19 patients using Chest X-Ray (CXR) images in nearly real-time, to distinguish the COVID-19 infection with a significantly high level of accuracy. The testing performance has covered a combination of different datasets of CXR images of positive COVID-19 patients, patients with viral and bacterial infections, also, people with a clear chest. The proposed AI scheme successfully distinguishes CXR scans of COVID-19 infected patients from CXR scans of viral and bacterial based pneumonia as well as normal cases with an average accuracy of 94.43%, sensitivity 95%, and specificity 93.86%. Predicted decisions would be supported by visual evidence to help clinicians speed up the initial assessment process of new suspected cases, especially in a resource-constrained environment.
In an attempt to enrich the lives of billions of people by providing proper information, security and a way of communicating with others, the need for efficient and improved satellites is constantly growing. Thus, there is an increasing demand for better error detection and correction (EDAC) schemes, which are capable of protecting the data onboard the satellites. The paper is aimed towards detecting and correcting such errors using a special algorithm called the Hamming Code, which uses the concept of parity and parity bits to prevent single-bit errors onboard a satellite in Low Earth Orbit. This paper focuses on the study of Low Earth Orbit satellites and the process of generating the Hamming Code matrix to be used for EDAC using computer programs. The most effective version of Hamming Code generated was the Hamming (16, 11, 4) version using MATLAB, and the paper compares this particular scheme with other EDAC mechanisms, including other versions of Hamming Codes and Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC), and the limitations of this scheme. This particular version of the Hamming Code guarantees single-bit error corrections as well as double-bit error detections. Furthermore, this version of Hamming Code has proved to be fast with a checking time of 5.669 nanoseconds, that has a relatively higher code rate and lower bit overhead compared to the other versions and can detect a greater percentage of errors per length of code than other EDAC schemes with similar capabilities. In conclusion, with the proper implementation of the system, it is quite possible to ensure a relatively uncorrupted satellite storage system.
The Nigerian hip-hop music genre, like the African American scene where it was adopted from, is riddled with musical lyrics that amplify and normalize hypermasculinity, homophobia, sexism, and objectification of women. Several factors are responsible for this anomaly; however, the greatest factor is the urge of hip-hop musicians to achieve the commercial success that is dependent on selling records and appealing to the established societal accepted norm for hip-hop music. Consequently, this paper presents a counter-narrative of this gender representation within the Nigerian hip-hop industry. This study analyzed the musical lyrics of the ‘Hypocrisy’ track on the 2019 album of famous Nigerian rapper, Falz the Bahd Guy; and argued that Falz in this album challenged the predominant ideas of hegemonic masculinity by singing in favor of LGBT people and women. Also, based on the success of this album, this paper argues that a hip-hop album can achieve commercial success without aligning with predominant hip-hop parameters of gender representation. The study recommends that future studies should evaluate the reactions of Nigerians to these gender presentations by Falz the Bahd guy.
Located within the context of accelerating globalization in the 21st-century knowledge society, this paper focuses on one selected university in Chile at which radical curriculum policy changes have been taking place, diverging from the traditional curriculum in Chile at the undergraduate level as a section of a larger investigation. Using a ‘policy trajectory’ framework, and guided by the interpretivist approach to research, interview transcripts and institutional documents were analyzed in relation to the meso (university administration) and the micro (academics) level. Inside the case study, participants from the university administration and academic levels were selected both via snow-ball technique and purposive selection, thus they had different levels of seniority, with some participating actively in the curriculum reform processes. Guided by an interpretivist approach to research, documents and interview transcripts were analyzed to reveal major themes emerging from the data. A further ‘bigger picture’ analysis guided by critical theory was then undertaken, involving interrogation of underlying ideologies and how political and economic interests influence the cultural production of policy. The case-study university was selected because it represents a traditional and old case of university setting in the country, undergoing curriculum changes based on international trends such as the competency model and the liberal arts. Also, it is representative of a particular socioeconomic sector of the country. Access to the university was gained through email contact. Qualitative research methods were used, namely interviews and analysis of institutional documents. In all, 18 people were interviewed. The number was defined by when the saturation criterion was met. Semi-structured interview schedules were based on the four research questions about influences, policy texts, policy enactment and longer-term outcomes. Triangulation of information was used for the analysis. While there was no intention to generalize the specific findings of the case study, the results of the research were used as a focus for engagement with broader themes, often evident in global higher education policy developments. The research results were organized around major themes in three of the four contexts of the ‘policy trajectory’. Regarding the context of influences and the context of policy text production, themes relate to hegemony exercised by first world countries’ universities in the higher education field, its associated neoliberal ideology, with accountability and the discourse of continuous improvement, the local responses to those pressures, and the value of interdisciplinarity. Finally, regarding the context of policy practices and effects (enactment), themes emerged around the impacts of the curriculum changes on university staff, students, and resistance amongst academics. The research concluded with a few recommendations that potentially provide ‘food for thought’ beyond the localized settings of this study, as well as possibilities for further research.
Empathy has been an important issue in psychology, education, as well as cognitive neuroscience. Empathy has two major components: cognitive and emotional. Cognitive component refers to the ability to understand others’ perspectives, thoughts, and actions, whereas emotional component refers to understand how others feel. Empathy can be induced, attitude can then be changed, and with enough attitude change, helping behavior can occur. This finding leads us to two questions: is attitude change really necessary for prosocial behavior? And, what roles cognitive and affective empathy play? For the second question, participants with different psychopathic personality (PP) traits are critical because high PP people were found to suffer only affective empathy deficit. Their cognitive empathy shows no significant difference from the control group. 132 college students voluntarily participated in the current three-stage study. Stage 1 was to collect basic information including Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R), Attitude Scale, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and demographic data. Stage two was for empathy induction with three controversial scenarios, namely domestic violence, depression with a suicide attempt, and an ex-offender. Participants read all three stories and then rewrite the stories by one of two perspectives (empathetic vs. objective). They would then complete the VAS and Attitude Scale one more time for their post-attitude and emotional status. Three IVs were introduced for data analysis: PP (High vs. Low), Responsibility (whether or not the character is responsible for what happened), and Perspective-taking (Empathic vs. Objective). Stage 3 was for the action. Participants were instructed to freely use the 17 tokens they received as donations. They were debriefed and interviewed at the end of the experiment. The major findings were people with higher empathy tend to take more action in helping. Attitude change is not necessary for prosocial behavior. The controversy of the scenarios and how familiar participants are towards target groups play very important roles. Finally, people with high PP tend to show more public prosocial behavior due to their affective empathy deficit. Pre-existing value and belief as well as recent dramatic social events seem to have a big impact and possibly reduce the effect of the independent variables (IV) in our paradigm.
Mobile phones are one of the main tools for promoting the wellbeing of people and supporting the integration of communities on the margins such as refugees. Information and Communication Technology has the potential to contribute towards reducing isolation, loneliness, and to assist in improving interpersonal relations and fostering acculturation processes. Therefore, the use of mobile phones by refugees might contribute to their social connectedness. This paper aims to demonstrate how existing literature has shown how the use of mobile phones by refugees should engender social connectedness amongst the refugees. Data for the study are drawn from existing literature; we searched a number of electronic databases for papers published between 2010 and 2019. The main findings of the study relate to the use of mobile phones by refugees to (i) create a sense of belonging, (ii) maintain relationships, and (iii) advance the acculturation process. The analysis highlighted a gap in the research over refugees and social connectedness. In particular, further studies should consider evaluating the differences between those who have a refugee permit, those who are waiting for the refugee permit, and those whose request was denied.
The notion of sustainable chemistry has become significant in the discourse for a global post-colonial era, including South Africa, especially when it comes to access to the general health system and related policies in relation to disease or ease of human life. In view of the stubborn vestiges of coloniality in the daily lives of indigenous African people in general, the fundamentals of present Western medical and traditional medicine systems and related policies in the democratic era were examined in this study. The situation of traditional healers in relation to current policy was also reviewed. The advent of democracy in South Africa brought about a variety of development opportunities and limitations, particularly with respect to indigenous African knowledge systems such as traditional medicine. There were high hopes that the limitations of previous narrow cultural perspectives would be rectified in the democratic era through development interventions, but some sections of society, such as traditional healers, remain marginalised. The Afrocentric perspective was explored in dissecting government interventions related to traditional medicine. This article highlights that multiple medical systems should be adopted and that health policies should be aligned in order to guarantee mutual respect and to address the remnants of colonialism in South Africa, Africa and the broader global community.
Along with the global aging of population, the number of people with somatic diseases is increasing, including such interrelated pathologies as obesity, osteoarthritis (OA) and osteoporosis (OP). The objective of the study is to examine the connection between body mass index (BMI), OA and bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine, femoral neck and trabecular bone score (TBS) in postmenopausal women with OA. We have observed 359 postmenopausal women (50-89 years old) and divided them into four groups by age: 50-59 yrs, 60-69 yrs, 70-79 yrs and over 80 years old. In addition, according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Clinical classification criteria for knee and hip OA, we divided them into 2 groups: group I – 117 females with symptomatic OA (including 89 patients with knee OA, 28 patients with hip OA) and group II –242 women with a normal functional activity of large joints. Analysis of data was performed taking into account their BMI, classified by World Health Organization (WHO). Diagnosis of obesity was established when BMI was above 30 kg/m2. In woman with obesity, a symptomatic OA was detected in 44 postmenopausal women (41.1%), a normal functional activity of large joints - in 63 women (58.9%). However, in women with normal BMI – 73 women, who account for 29.0% of cases, a symptomatic OA was detected. According to a chi-squared (χ2) test, a significantly higher level of BMI was detected in postmenopausal women with OA (χ2 = 5.05, p = 0.02). Women with a symptomatic OA had a significantly higher BMD of lumbar spine compared with women who had a normal functional activity of large joints. No significant differences of BMD of femoral necks or TBS were detected in either the group with OA or with a normal functional activity of large joints.
Electrocardiographic (ECG) machine is an important equipment to diagnose heart problems. Besides, the ECG signals are used to detect many other features of human body and behavior. But it is not so cheap and simple in operation to be used in the countries like Bangladesh, where most of the people are very low income earners. Therefore, in this paper, we have tried to implement a simple and portable ECG machine. Since Arduino Uno microcontroller is very cheap, we have used it in our system to minimize the cost. Our designed system is powered by a 2-voltage level DC power supply. It provides wireless connectivity to have ECG data either in smartphone having android operating system or a PC/laptop having Windows operating system. To get the data, a graphic user interface has been designed. Android application has also been made using IDE for Android 2.3 and API 10. Since it requires no USB host API, almost 98% Android smartphones, available in the country, will be able to use it. We have calculated the heart rate from the measured ECG by our designed machine and by an ECG machine of a reputed diagnostic center in Dhaka city for the same people at the same time on same day. Then we calculated the percentage of errors between the readings of two machines and computed its average. From this computation, we have found out that the average percentage of error is within an acceptable limit.
The construction of coastal polders to reduce salinity ingress at greater Khulna-Jashore region area was initiated in the 1960s by Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). Although successful in a short run the, the Coastal Embankment Project (CEP) and its predecessors are often held accountable for the entire ecological disasters that affected many people. To overcome the water-logging crisis the first Tidal River Management (TRM) at Beel Bhaiana, Bhabodaho was implemented by the affected local people in an unplanned. TRM is an eco-engineering, low cost and participatory approach that utilizes the natural tidal characteristics and the local community’s indigenous knowledge for design and operation of watershed management. But although its outcomes were overwhelming in terms of reducing water-logging, increasing navigability etc. at Beel Bhaina the outcomes of its consequent schemes were debatable. So this study aims to examine the effectiveness and impact of the TRM schemes. Primary data were collected through questionnaire survey, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and Key Informant Interview (KII) so as to collect mutually complementary quantitative and qualitative information along with extensive literature review. The key aspects that were examined include community participation, community perception on effectiveness and operational challenges.
The Arabic language is one of the most important languages. Learning it is so important for many people around the world because of its religious and economic importance and the real challenge lies in practicing it without grammatical or syntactical mistakes. This research focused on detecting and correcting the syntactic mistakes of Arabic syntax according to their position in the sentence and focused on two of the main syntactical rules in Arabic: Dual and Plural. It analyzes each sentence in the text, using Stanford CoreNLP morphological analyzer and machine-learning approach in order to detect the syntactical mistakes and then correct it. A prototype of the proposed system was implemented and evaluated. It uses support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to detect Arabic grammatical errors and correct them using the rule-based approach. The prototype system has a far accuracy 81%. In general, it shows a set of useful grammatical suggestions that the user may forget about while writing due to lack of familiarity with grammar or as a result of the speed of writing such as alerting the user when using a plural term to indicate one person.
Water plays a major role in maintaining life on earth, but it can also serve as a matrix for pathogenic organisms, posing substantial health threats to humans. Although, outbreaks of diseases attributable to drinking water may not be common in industrialized countries, they still occur and can lead to serious acute, chronic, or sometimes fatal health consequences. The analysis of drinking water samples from different regions of Kuwait was performed in this study for bacterial and viral contaminations. Drinking tap water samples were collected from 15 different locations of the six Kuwait governorates. All samples were analyzed by confocal microscopy for the presence of bacteria. The samples were cultured in vitro to detect cultivable organisms. DNA was isolated from the cultured organisms and the identity of the bacteria was determined by sequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA genes, followed by BLAST analysis in the database of NCBI, USA. RNA was extracted from water samples and analyzed by real-time PCR for the detection of viruses with potential health risks, i.e. Astrovirus, Enterovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and Hepatitis A. Confocal microscopy showed the presence of bacteria in some water samples. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing of culture grown organisms, followed by BLAST analysis, identified the presence of several non-pathogenic bacterial species. However, one sample had Acinetobacter baumannii, which often causes opportunistic infections in immunocompromised people, but none of the studied viruses could be detected in the drinking water samples analyzed. The results indicate that drinking water samples analyzed from various locations in Kuwait are relatively safe for drinking and do not contain many harmful pathogens.
Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.
There are currently many people living with limb loss in the USA. The main causes for amputation can range from vascular disease, to trauma, or cancer. This number is expected increase over the next decade. Many patients have a single prosthetic for the first year but end up getting a second one to accommodate their changing physique. Afterwards, the prosthesis gets replaced every three to five years depending on how often it is used. This could cost the patient up to $500,000 throughout their lifetime. Complications do not end there, however. Due to the absence of nerves, it becomes more difficult to traverse terrain with a prosthetic. Moving on an incline or decline becomes difficult, thus curbs and stairs can be a challenge. Certain physical activities, such as cycling, could be even more strenuous. It will need to be relearned to accommodate for the change in weight, center of gravity, and transfer of energy from the leg to the pedal. The purpose of this research project is to develop a new, alternate below-knee cycling prosthetic using Dieter & Schmidt’s design process approach. It will be subjected to fatigue analysis under dynamic loading to observe the limitations as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the prosthetic. Benchmark comparisons will be made between existing prosthetics and the proposed one, examining the benefits and disadvantages. The resulting prosthetic will be 3D printed using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polycarbonate (PC) plastic.
Specific learning disability (SLD) in higher education has been partially explored in Greece so far. Moreover, opinions on professional perspectives for university students with SLD, is scarcely encountered in Greek research. The perceptions of the hidden character of SLD along with the university policy towards it and professional perspectives that result from this policy have been examined in the present research. This study has applied the paradigm of a Greek Tertiary Pedagogical Education Department (Early Childhood Education). Via mixed methods, data have been collected from different groups of people in the Pedagogical Department: students with SLD and without SLD, academic staff and administration staff, all of which offer the opportunity for triangulation of the findings. Qualitative methods include ten interviews with students with SLD and 15 interviews with academic staff and 60 hours of observation of the students with SLD. Quantitative methods include 165 questionnaires completed by third and fourth-year students and five questionnaires completed by the administration staff. Thematic analyses of the interviews’ data and descriptive statistics on the questionnaires’ data have been applied for the processing of the results. The use of medical terms to define and understand SLD was common in the student cohort, regardless of them having an SLD diagnosis. However, this medical model approach is far more dominant in the group of students without SLD who, by majority, hold misconceptions on a definitional level. The academic staff group seems to be leaning towards a social approach concerning SLD. According to them, diagnoses may lead to social exclusion. The Pedagogical Department generally endorses the principles of inclusion and complies with the provision of oral exams for students with SLD. Nevertheless, in practice, there seems to be a lack of regular academic support for these students. When such support does exist, it is only through individual initiatives. With regards to their prospective profession, students with SLD can utilize their personal experience, as well as their empathy; these appear to be unique weapons in their hands –in comparison with other educators− when it comes to teaching students in the future. In the Department of Pedagogy, provision towards SLD results sporadic, however the vision of an inclusive department does exist. Based on their studies and their experience, pedagogy students with SLD claim that they have an experiential internalized advantage for their future career as educators.