Electronics

Vote for NASA Tech Briefs’ 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards

It’s that time of year when we ask NASA Tech Briefs readers to vote for the annual Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards.Each month, our editors choose a Product of the Month that has exceptional technical merit and practical value for our design engineering readers.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Robotics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

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2013 Create the Future Design: Electronics Category Winner

iPecs Pro Clinical Prosthetic Alignment and Assessment Tool Michael Leydet, Richard Harrington, Alan Hutchenreuther, Vinay Bharadwaj, Chuck Krapf, Michael Link, Megan Toscas, Steven Hoover, Chris Nowak, Aaron Taszreak, Douglas Briggs, and Frank Fedel College Park Industries Inc., Warren, MI iPecs Pro Historically, the fitting, adjustment, and alignment of prosthetic devices has been a highly skilled art relying on the training and experience of the prosthetist with input from the patient, but with limited access to objective quantifiable measures. The iPecs Pro software will have clinical real-time functional assessment features. This will guide the user through a series of subjective and objective questions and physical tests to determine the functional level of the patient. A report using the scale of the questions and the measured results from the physical tests will be produced for summation to the payer as support of the prostheses selection and prescription. After the sensor is used on each patient, the iPecs Pro will be removed and iPyramid (dummy unit or replacement adaptor) is placed into the prosthetic build as a placekeeper for future visits.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics

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2013 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2013 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, SAE International, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in eight categories: Aerospace & Defense (new this year), Consumer Products, Electronics, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation & Automotive. On the following pages, you’ll meet the Grand Prize Winner, as well as the winners and Honorable Mentions in all eight categories. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to the more than 900 entrants from across the globe who submitted their design ideas. To view the entries online, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics, Green Design & Manufacturing, Medical, Machinery & Automation, Transportation

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Electron Beam Writer Enables Microfabrication

Integrated electronics could activate prosthetics. The new electron beam writer housed in the cleanroom facility at the Qualcomm Institute, previously the UCSD division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, is important for two major areas of research by Shadi Dayeh, PhD, an electrical and computer engineering professor. He is developing next-generation, nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics. At the same time, he is working to develop neural probes that can extract electrical signals from brain cells and transmit the information to a prosthetic device or computer. To achieve this level of signal extraction or manipulation requires tiny sensors spaced very closely together for the highest resolution and signal acquisition. Enter the new electron beam writer. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs, Sensors

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Heart Pump with Behind-the-Ear Power Connector

One-third of patients with heart pumps develop infection at abdominal connection. Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists at the University of Maryland Heart Center are part of a multi-center clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of powering heart pumps through a skull-based connector behind the ear. The pumps, called left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), support the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. LVADs are implanted in the chest and powered with external batteries. Typically, these devices, which are used for patients with severe heart failure, are powered through an electrical cord connected at the abdomen, where potentially deadly infections can develop.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Fluid Handling, Power Transmission

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Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life

Worldwide an estimated 185 million people use a wheelchair daily. A company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed an innovative robotic technology that helps people with mobility impairment get back on their feet— the Rex Bionics robotic exoskeleton. Its integrated maxon motors help to ensure smooth limb movement.

Posted in: Features, MDB, Articles, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Power Transmission, Sensors

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Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Monitoring

A wireless personal health monitoring system using smartphones to upload data could revolutionize US healthcare. Faculty in the departments of electrical and computer engineering are leading research in mHealth at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. mHealth capitalizes on what Dr. Emil Jovanov, associate dean for graduate education and research in the College of Engineering, calls “major revolutions” in computer informatics, smartphones, and energy-efficient and miniaturized electronics and sensors. It can provide health information to the patient directly, to the physician via the Internet, and to researchers as aggregated databases.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronics, Diagnostics, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Imaging, Medical, Software, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Diagnosis, Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies

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