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.
From several years till now the aerospace industry is developing more and more small satellites for Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) missions. Such satellites have a low cost of making and launching since they have a size and weight smaller than other types of satellites. However, because of size limitations, small satellites need integrated electronic equipment based on digital logic. Moreover, the LEOs require telecommunication modules with high throughput to transmit to earth a big amount of data in a short time. In order to meet such requirements, in this paper we propose a Telemetry, Tracking & Command module optimized through the use of the Commercial Off-The-Shelf components. The proposed approach exploits the major flexibility offered by these components in reducing costs and optimizing the performance. The method has been applied in detail for the design of the front-end receiver, which has a low noise figure (1.5 dB) and DC power consumption (smaller than 2 W). Such a performance is particularly attractive since it allows fulfilling the energy budget stringent constraints that are typical for LEO small platforms.
The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.
Objectives/Hypotheses: The adverse health effect potential of dietary lipid oxidation products (LOPs) has evoked much clinical interest. Therefore, we employed a 1H NMR-linked Principal Component Regression (PCR) chemometrics modelling strategy to explore relationships between data matrices comprising (1) aldehydic LOP concentrations generated in culinary oils/fats when exposed to laboratory-simulated shallow frying practices, and (2) the prior saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) contents of such frying media (FM), together with their heating time-points at a standard frying temperature (180 oC). Methods: Corn, sunflower, extra virgin olive, rapeseed, linseed, canola, coconut and MUFA-rich algae frying oils, together with butter and lard, were heated according to laboratory-simulated shallow-frying episodes at 180 oC, and FM samples were collected at time-points of 0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 60, and 90 min. (n = 6 replicates per sample). Aldehydes were determined by 1H NMR analysis (Bruker AV 400 MHz spectrometer). The first (dependent output variable) PCR data matrix comprised aldehyde concentration scores vectors (PC1* and PC2*), whilst the second (predictor) one incorporated those from the fatty acid content/heating time variables (PC1-PC4) and their first-order interactions. Results: Structurally complex trans,trans- and cis,trans-alka-2,4-dienals, 4,5-epxy-trans-2-alkenals and 4-hydroxy-/4-hydroperoxy-trans-2-alkenals (group I aldehydes predominantly arising from PUFA peroxidation) strongly and positively loaded on PC1*, whereas n-alkanals and trans-2-alkenals (group II aldehydes derived from both MUFA and PUFA hydroperoxides) strongly and positively loaded on PC2*. PCR analysis of these scores vectors (SVs) demonstrated that PCs 1 (positively-loaded linoleoylglycerols and [linoleoylglycerol]:[SFA] content ratio), 2 (positively-loaded oleoylglycerols and negatively-loaded SFAs), 3 (positively-loaded linolenoylglycerols and [PUFA]:[SFA] content ratios), and 4 (exclusively orthogonal sampling time-points) all powerfully contributed to aldehydic PC1* SVs (p 10-3 to < 10-9), as did all PC1-3 x PC4 interaction ones (p 10-5 to < 10-9). PC2* was also markedly dependent on all the above PC SVs (PC2 > PC1 and PC3), and the interactions of PC1 and PC2 with PC4 (p < 10-9 in each case), but not the PC3 x PC4 contribution. Conclusions: NMR-linked PCR analysis is a valuable strategy for (1) modelling the generation of aldehydic LOPs in heated cooking oils and other FM, and (2) tracking their unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) triacylglycerol sources therein.
Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.
The study aims to use a mathematical approach with the fractional calculus which is developed to have the ability to continuously analyze the factors related to the children’s height development. Until now, tracking the development of the child is getting more important and meaningful. Knowing and determining the factors related to the physical development of the child any desired time would provide better, reliable and accurate results for childcare. In this frame, 7 groups for height percentile curve (3th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, and 97th) of Turkey are used. By using discrete height data of 0-18 years old children and the least squares method, a continuous curve is developed valid for any time interval. By doing so, in any desired instant, it is possible to find the percentage and location of the child in Percentage Chart. Here, with the help of the fractional calculus theory, a mathematical model is developed. The outcomes of the proposed approach are quite promising compared to the linear and the polynomial method. The approach also yields to predict the expected values of children in the sense of height.
This paper appraises the performances of two control scenarios, for doubly fed induction generator (DFIG) operating in wind generation system (WGS), which are the direct decoupled control (DDC) and indirect decoupled control (IDC). Both control scenarios studied combines vector control and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) control theory so as to maximize the captured power through wind turbine. Modeling of DFIG based WGS and details of both control scenarios have been presented, a proportional integral controller is employed in the active and reactive power control loops for both control methods. The performance of the both control scenarios in terms of power reference tracking and robustness against machine parameters inconstancy has been shown, analyzed and compared, which can afford a reference to the operators and engineers of a wind farm. All simulations have been implemented via MATLAB/Simulink.
This paper aims at introducing nondeterministic finite automata with ε value which is used to perform some operations on languages. a program is created to implement the algorithm that converts nondeterministic finite automata with ε value (ε-NFA) to deterministic finite automata (DFA).The program is written in c++ programming language. The program inputs are FA 5-tuples from text file and then classifies it into either DFA/NFA or ε -NFA. For DFA, the program will get the string w and decide whether it is accepted or rejected. The tracking path for an accepted string is saved by the program. In case of NFA or ε-NFA automation, the program changes the automation to DFA to enable tracking and to decide if the string w exists in the regular language or not.
The agricultural sector is becoming more critical than ever in view of the expected overpopulation of the Earth. The introduction of robotic solutions in this field is an increasingly researched topic to make the most of the Earth's resources, thus going to avoid the problems of wear and tear of the human body due to the harsh agricultural work, and open the possibility of a constant careful processing 24 hours a day. This project is realized for a terrestrial autonomous robot aimed to navigate in an orchard collecting fallen peaches below the trees. When it receives the signal indicating the low battery, it has to return to the docking station where it will replace its battery and then return to the last work point and resume its routine. Considering a preset path in orchards with tree rows with variable length by which the robot goes iteratively using the algorithm D*. In case of low battery, the D* algorithm is still used to determine the fastest return path to the docking station as well as to come back from the docking station to the last work point. MATLAB simulations were performed to analyze the flexibility and adaptability of the developed algorithm. The simulation results show an enormous potential for adaptability, particularly in view of the irregularity of orchard field, since it is not flat and undergoes modifications over time from fallen branch as well as from other obstacles and constraints. The D* algorithm determines the best route in spite of the irregularity of the terrain. Moreover, in this work, it will be shown a possible solution to improve the initial points tracking and reduce time between movements.
Automation technologies for agriculture field are needed to promote labor-saving. One of the most relevant problems in automated agriculture is represented by controlling the robot along a predetermined path in presence of rough terrain or incline ground. Unfortunately, disturbances originating from interaction with the ground, such as slipping, make it quite difficult to achieve the required accuracy. In general, it is required to move within 5-10 cm accuracy with respect to the predetermined path. Moreover, lateral velocity caused by gravity on the incline field also affects slipping. In this paper, a path-tracking controller for tracked mobile robots moving on rough terrains of incline field such as vineyard is presented. The controller is composed of a disturbance observer and an adaptive controller based on the kinematic model of the robot. The disturbance observer measures the difference between the measured and the reference yaw rate and linear velocity in order to estimate slip. Then, the adaptive controller adapts “virtual” parameter of the kinematics model: Instantaneous Centers of Rotation (ICRs). Finally, target angular velocity reference is computed according to the adapted parameter. This solution allows estimating the effects of slip without making the model too complex. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed solution is tested in a simulation environment.
Radiologists routinely make follow-up imaging recommendations, usually based on established clinical practice guidelines, such as the Fleischner Society guidelines for managing lung nodules. In order to ensure optimal care, it is important to make guideline-compliant recommendations, and also for patients to follow-up on these imaging recommendations in a timely manner. However, determining such compliance rates after a specific finding has been observed usually requires many time-consuming manual steps. To address some of these limitations with current approaches, in this paper we discuss a methodology to automatically detect finding-specific follow-up recommendations from radiology reports and create a visualization for relevant subsequent exams showing the modality transitions. Nearly 5% of patients who had a lung related follow-up recommendation continued to have at least eight subsequent outpatient CT exams during a seven year period following the recommendation. Radiologist and section chiefs can use the proposed tool to better understand how a specific patient population is being managed, identify possible deviations from established guideline recommendations and have a patient-specific graphical representation of the imaging pathways for an abstract view of the overall treatment path thus far.
In this paper we present a contribution for the modelling and control of the inverter voltage of a permanent magnet linear generator with multi air-gap structure. The time domain control method is based on instant comparison of reference signals, in the form of current or voltage, with actual or measured signals. The reference current or voltage must be kept close to the actual signal with a reasonable tolerance. In this work, the time domain control method is used to control tracking signals. The performance evaluation concerns the continuation of reference signal. Simulations validate very well the tracking of reference variables (current, voltage) by measured or actual signals. All is simulated and presented under PSIM Software to show the performance and robustness of the proposed controller.
This paper presents a real time video surveillance system which is capable of tracking multiple real time objects using Polar Vector Median (PVM) and Block Coding Modes (BCM) with Global Motion Compensation (GMC). This strategy works in the packed area and furthermore utilizes the movement vectors and BCM from the compressed bit stream to perform real time object tracking. We propose to do this in view of the neighboring Motion Vectors (MVs) using a method called PVM. Since GM adds to the object’s native motion, for accurate tracking, it is important to remove GM from the MV field prior to further processing. The proposed method is tested on a number of standard sequences and the results show its advantages over some of the current modern methods.
The use of renewable energies is growing significantly worldwide. Faced with the increasing demand for electrical energy, mainly for the needs of remote, deserted and mountainous regions, numerous applications use photovoltaic energy. In this sense, the proposed study concerns a mathematical modeling and an experimental validation for the recovery of essential oil by a steam distillation system using photovoltaic energy. In this paper, we proceed to a modeling of the solar system that includes a photovoltaic (PV) generator with an electronic power converter allowing a continuation of the optimum operating point. The results obtained are promising and are validated practically.
The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.
Usability is one of the most important quality attributes for web-based information systems. Specifically, for e-commerce applications, usability becomes more prominent. In this study, we aimed to explore the features that experienced users seek in e-commerce applications. We used eye tracking method in evaluations. Eye movement data are obtained from the eye-tracking method and analyzed based on task completion time, number of fixations, as well as heat map and gaze plot measures. The results of the analysis show that the eye movements of participants' are too static in certain areas and their areas of interest are scattered in many different places. It has been determined that this causes users to fail to complete their transactions. According to the findings, we outlined the issues to improve the usability of e-commerce websites. Then we propose solutions to identify the issues. In this way, it is expected that e-commerce sites will be developed which will make experienced users more satisfied.
In the last decade, automotive companies have invested a lot in terms of innovation about many aspects regarding the automatic driver assistance systems. One innovation regards the usage of a smart camera placed on the car’s side mirror for monitoring the back and lateral road situation. A common road scenario is the overtaking of the preceding car and, in this case, a brief distraction or a loss of concentration can lead the driver to undertake this action, even if there is an already overtaking vehicle, leading to serious accidents. A valid support for a secure drive can be a smart camera system, which is able to automatically analyze the road scenario and consequentially to warn the driver when another vehicle is overtaking. This paper describes a method for monitoring the side view of a vehicle by using camera optical flow motion vectors. The proposed solution detects the presence of incoming vehicles, assesses their distance from the host car, and warns the driver through different levels of alert according to the estimated distance. Due to the low complexity and computational cost, the proposed system ensures real time performances.
In this paper, an observer-based direct adaptive fuzzy sliding mode (OAFSM) algorithm is proposed. In the proposed algorithm, the zero-input dynamics of the plant could be unknown. The input connection matrix is used to combine the sliding surfaces of individual subsystems, and an adaptive fuzzy algorithm is used to estimate an equivalent sliding mode control input directly. The fuzzy membership functions, which were determined by time consuming try and error processes in previous works, are adjusted by adaptive algorithms. The other advantage of the proposed controller is that the input gain matrix is not limited to be diagonal, i.e. the plant could be over/under actuated provided that controllability and observability are preserved. An observer is constructed to directly estimate the state tracking error, and the nonlinear part of the observer is constructed by an adaptive fuzzy algorithm. The main advantage of the proposed observer is that, the measured outputs is not limited to the first entry of a canonical-form state vector. The closed-loop stability of the proposed method is proved using a Lyapunov-based approach. The proposed method is applied numerically on a multi-link robot manipulator, which verifies the performance of the closed-loop control. Moreover, the performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with some conventional control algorithms.
Hand gesture recognition is a technique used to locate, detect, and recognize a hand gesture. Detection and recognition are concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI concepts are applicable in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Expert systems (ES), etc. Hand gesture recognition can be used in sign language interpretation. Sign language is a visual communication tool. This tool is used mostly by deaf societies and those with speech disorder. Communication barriers exist when societies with speech disorder interact with others. This research aims to build a hand recognition system for Lesotho’s Sesotho and English language interpretation. The system will help to bridge the communication problems encountered by the mentioned societies. The system has various processing modules. The modules consist of a hand detection engine, image processing engine, feature extraction, and sign recognition. Detection is a process of identifying an object. The proposed system uses Canny pruning Haar and Haarcascade detection algorithms. Canny pruning implements the Canny edge detection. This is an optimal image processing algorithm. It is used to detect edges of an object. The system employs a skin detection algorithm. The skin detection performs background subtraction, computes the convex hull, and the centroid to assist in the detection process. Recognition is a process of gesture classification. Template matching classifies each hand gesture in real-time. The system was tested using various experiments. The results obtained show that time, distance, and light are factors that affect the rate of detection and ultimately recognition. Detection rate is directly proportional to the distance of the hand from the camera. Different lighting conditions were considered. The more the light intensity, the faster the detection rate. Based on the results obtained from this research, the applied methodologies are efficient and provide a plausible solution towards a light-weight, inexpensive system which can be used for sign language interpretation.
An online performance management system was evaluated, and recommendations were made to improve the system. The study shows the effects of not adhering to the established web design principles and conventions. Furthermore, the study indicates that if the online performance management system is not well designed, it may have negative effects on the overall usability of the system and these negative effects will have consequences for both the employer and employees. The evaluation was done in terms of the usability metrics of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction. Effectiveness was measured in terms of the success rate with which users could execute prescribed tasks in a sandbox system. Efficiency was expressed in terms of the time it took participants to understand what is expected of them and to execute the tasks. Post-test questionnaires were used in order to determine the satisfaction of the participants. Recommendations were made to improve the usability of the online performance management system.
In this paper, an intelligent approach is proposed to optimize the orientation of continuous solar tracking systems on cloudy days. Considering the weather case, the direct sunlight is more important than the diffuse radiation in case of clear sky. Thus, the panel is always pointed towards the sun. In case of an overcast sky, the solar beam is close to zero, and the panel is placed horizontally to receive the maximum of diffuse radiation. Under partly covered conditions, the panel must be pointed towards the source that emits the maximum of solar energy and it may be anywhere in the sky dome. Thus, the idea of our approach is to analyze the images, captured by ground-based sky camera system, in order to detect the zone in the sky dome which is considered as the optimal source of energy under cloudy conditions. The proposed approach is implemented using experimental setup developed at PROMES-CNRS laboratory in Perpignan city (France). Under overcast conditions, the results were very satisfactory, and the intelligent approach has provided efficiency gains of up to 9% relative to conventional continuous sun tracking systems.