The average American worker sits for thirteen hours a day, often with poor posture and infrequent breaks, which can lead to health issues and back problems. The Smart Cushion was created to alert individuals of their poor postures, and may potentially alleviate back problems and correct poor posture. The Smart Cushion is a portable, rectangular, foam cushion, with five strategically placed pressure sensors, that utilizes an Arduino Uno circuit board and specifically designed software, allowing it to collect data from the five pressure sensors and store the data on an SD card. The data is then compiled into graphs and compared to controlled postures. Before volunteers sat on the cushion, their levels of back pain were recorded on a scale from 1-10. Data was recorded for an hour during sitting, and then a new, corrected posture was suggested. After using the suggested posture for an hour, the volunteers described their level of discomfort on a scale from 1-10. Different patterns of sitting postures were generated that were able to serve as early warnings of potential back problems. By using the Smart Cushion, the areas where different volunteers were applying the most pressure while sitting could be identified, and the sitting postures could be corrected. Further studies regarding the relationships between posture and specific regions of the body are necessary to better understand the origins of back pain; however, the Smart Cushion is sufficient for correcting sitting posture and preventing the development of additional back pain.
The understanding of generation and collapse of acoustic cavitation bubbles are prerequisites for application of cavitation erosion. Microbubbles generated due to rapid fluctuation of pressure induced by propagation of ultrasonic wave lead to formation of high velocity microjets and or shock waves upon collapse. Due to vast application of ultrasonic, it is important to characterize and understand cavitation collapse pressure under the radiating surface at different conditions. A comparative investigation is carried out to determine impact load and dynamic pressure distribution exerted upon bubble collapse using thin film pressure sensors. Measurements were recorded at different input conditions such as amplitude, stand-off distance, insertion depth of the horn inside the liquid and pulse on-off time of acoustic vibrations. Impact force of 2.97 N is recorded at amplitude of 108 μm and stand-off distance of 1 mm from the sensor film, whereas impulsive force as low as 0.4 N is recorded at amplitude of 12 μm and stand-off distance of 5 mm from the sensor film. The results drawn from the investigation indicated that variety of impact loads can be achieved by controlling generation and collapse of bubbles, making it suitable to use for numerous application.
The paper describes conceptual design, control strategies, and partial simulation for a new fully autonomous lower limb wearable exoskeleton system for human motion enhancement that can support its weight and increase strength and endurance. Various problems still remain to be solved where the most important is the creation of a power and cost efficient system that will allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended period without batteries being frequently recharged. The designed exoskeleton is enabling to decouple the weight/mass carrying function of the system from the forward motion function which reduces the power and size of propulsion motors and thus the overall weight, cost of the system. The decoupling takes place by blocking the motion at knee joint by placing passive air cylinder across the joint. The cylinder is actuated when the knee angle has reached the minimum allowed value to bend. The value of the minimum bending angle depends on usual walk style of the subject. The mechanism of the exoskeleton features a seat to rest the subject’s body weight at the moment of blocking the knee joint motion. The mechanical structure of each leg has six degrees of freedom: four at the hip, one at the knee, and one at the ankle. Exoskeleton legs are attached to subject legs by using flexible cuffs. The operation of all actuators depends on the amount of pressure felt by the feet pressure sensors and knee angle sensor. The sensor readings depend on actual posture of the subject and can be classified in three distinct cases: subject stands on one leg, subject stands still on both legs and subject stands on both legs but transit its weight from one leg to other. This exoskeleton is power efficient because electrical motors are smaller in size and did not participate in supporting the weight like in all other existing exoskeleton designs.
A game for training of breath (TRABR) for continuous monitoring of pulmonary ventilation during the patients’ therapy focuses especially on monitoring of their ventilation processes. It is necessary to detect, monitor and differentiate abdominal and thoracic breathing during the therapy. It is a fun form of rehabilitation where the patient plays and also practicing isolated breathing. Finally the game to practice breath was designed to evaluate whether the patient uses two types of breathing or not.
The aim of study was to evaluate pressure distribution characteristics of the elastic textile bandages using two instrumental techniques: a prototype Instrument and a load Transference. The prototype instrument which simulates shape of real leg has pressure sensors which measure bandage pressure. Using this instrument, the results show that elastic textile bandages presents different pressure distribution characteristics and none produces a uniform distribution around lower limb.
The load transference test procedure is used to determine whether a relationship exists between elastic textile bandage structure and pressure distribution characteristics. The test procedure assesses degree of load, directly transferred through a textile when loads series are applied to bandaging surface. A range of weave fabrics was produced using needle weaving machine and a sewing technique. A textile bandage was developed with optimal characteristics far superior pressure distribution than other bandages. From results, we find that theoretical pressure is not consistent exactly with practical pressure. It is important in this study to make a practical application for specialized nurses in order to verify the results and draw useful conclusions for predicting the use of this type of elastic band.
This paper presents a resonant-based read-out circuit for capacitive pressure sensors. The proposed read-out circuit consists of an LC oscillator and a counter. The circuit detects the capacitance changes of a capacitive pressure sensor by means of frequency shifts from its nominal operation frequency. The proposed circuit is designed in 0.18m CMOS with an estimated power consumption of 43.1mW. Simulation results show that the circuit has a capacitive resolution of 8.06kHz/fF, which enables it for high resolution pressure detection.
Due to their high power-to-weight ratio and low cost, pneumatic actuators are attractive for robotics and automation applications; however, achieving fast and accurate control of their position have been known as a complex control problem. The paper presents a methodology for obtaining controllers that achieve high position accuracy and preserve the closed-loop characteristics over a broad operating range. Experimentation with a number of conventional (or "classical") three-term controllers shows that, as repeated operations accumulate, the characteristics of the pneumatic actuator change requiring frequent re-tuning of the controller parameters (PID gains). Furthermore, three-term controllers are found to perform poorly in recovering the closed-loop system after the application of load or other external disturbances. The key reason for these problems lies in the non-linear exchange of energy inside the cylinder relating, in particular, to the complex friction forces that develop on the piston-wall interface. In order to overcome this problem but still remain within the boundaries of classical control methods, we designed an auto selective classicaql controller so that the system performance would benefit from all three control gains (KP, Kd, Ki) according to system requirements and the characteristics of each type of controller. This challenging experimentation took place for consistent performance in the face of modelling imprecision and disturbances. In the work presented, a selective PID controller is presented for an experimental rig comprising an air cylinder driven by a variable-opening pneumatic valve and equipped with position and pressure sensors. The paper reports on tests carried out to investigate the capability of this specific controller to achieve consistent control performance under, repeated operations and other changes in operating conditions.