Please observe:
The following listing is preliminary and not complete.

Index (Authors, Titles)


G. Adamidis, T. N. Kapetanakis, and I. O. Vardiambasis:
Digital Real-time Audio Frequency Spectrum Analyzer Development for Audio Devices.

G. Adamidis, I. O. Vardiambasis, A. Kaprana, T. N. Kapetanakis, and M. P. Ioannidou:
Versatile Experimental Equipment for Investigation of Auditory Brainstem Response Changes in Rabbits Due to GSM-900 Mobile Phone Radiation Exposure.

G. Adamidis, T. N. Kapetanakis, and I. O. Vardiambasis:
Development of a 28-bit 1.5GHz Frequency Counter.

Ioannis Chatzakis:
MCU based Control Unit for Battery Management Systems.

Pedro Marques, José Fonseca:
Using wireless communications in municipal irrigation systems.

K. Fysarakis, Charalampos Manifavas, Konstantinos Rantos:
Embedded Systems Security.

Luc Friant:
C# and .NET Micro Framework for embedded systems.

Ulrich Jetzek, David Kledtke:
Elgamal Encryption and its application to Ellicptic Curve Cryptography.

Jun Zhang, Chong Cao, Hannes Reimers, Huang Zhemin, Stefan Koß, Helmut Dispert:
Localization of WSN Nodes using Ultrasound Transducers.

G. Liodakis, A. Maras:
Spatial Context Issues based on Stochastic Geometry Modeling  for Ambient Wireless Networks.

Nikos Manias, George Palamas, George Papadourakis, Manolis Kavoussanos:
Free area mapping with the use of automobile robots.

Felipe Antonio Moura Miranda, Carlos Alberto dos Reis Filho:
Lifetime Maximization With Multiple Battery Levels in Irregularly Distributed Wireless Sensor Networks.

Ghodrat Moghadampour:
Introduction to QT Programming.

Heikki Palomäki:
GENSEN Project: New Platforms and Applications in Wireless Automation.

Giorgos Papadourakis, Michael Sfakiotakis, Hassan Kaghazchi:
Cooperative Network Training (CoNeT) Project.

Giorgos Papadourakis, Tsampikos Kounalakis, Deligiannis Ioannis, Nikos Manias, Georgios Triantafyllidis, Julie Vandenabeele, Ilkka Uusitalo:
A Guardian Angel For The Extended Home Environment (GUARANTEE) project.

George M. Papadourakis, Tsampikos Kounalakis, Deligiannis Ioannis, Nikos Manias, Georgios Triantafyllidis:
Decision Engine Design for GUARANTEE project.

Taxiarchis Papakostas, Demetrios A. Pliakis, Constantine Petrides, Spiros Thanasoulas:
Harmonic Contour Segmentation.

C. Petridis, K. Tsitou, E. Mavrogiorgou, I. Kaliakatsos and M. Tatarakis:
How to organize an Erasmus Intensive Program: A study case in the Department of Electronics of TEI of Crete.

Anssi Ikonen:
A follow-up on Challenge Based Learning project in Embedded Engineering Education.

Jasper Renders, Kevin Verwaest, Luc Friant, Marco Camilli, Richard Kleihorst:
A smart camera based on an optical mouse sensor.

J. Reynders, M. Spelier, N. Maes, G. Van Ham, B. Vande Meerssche, G. Deconinck:
Practical use of Energy Management Systems.

S. Ursella, G. Schoeneberg, A. Heinzelmann:
Hardware for Electro Cardiac and Respiratory Plethysmography Measurement in a Multi Vital Signs Monitoring System

Smail Menani:
Developing New Solutions for Smart Grid.

Helmut Dispert, Joseph A. Morgan, Mark McMahon, Christine Boudin:
ACE and ISPS – An Innovative Approach to Promoting International Student Exchange Programs.

 


Abtracts


Digital Real-time Audio Frequency Spectrum Analyzer Development for Audio Devices.

Spectrum analyzers are employed in most of the modern signal processing systems for measuring the distribution of signal energy in frequency. An audio spectrum analyzer is used for measurements in the audible frequency spectrum (from 0 to 20000 Hz) and can be a very powerful tool for keeping a studio well tuned. A digital, real-time audio frequency spectrum analyzer circuit for audio devices is presented in this work. This circuit could be useful to anyone who would like to embed it in an audio device or use it as a stand-alone unit.

The proposed digital, real-time audio spectrum analyzer circuit for audio devices can be connected to any audio device, as it is: (a) accepting an analogue audio signal as input, (b) digitizing and processing the audio signal using a DSP, (c) computing the distribution of the audio signal energy to 20 specific frequency bands, and (d) displaying the energy distribution on a 20x20 LED display.

The circuit is based on a dsPIC30F6012A, which is chosen for its feature set matching the requirements of this work. The built-in 12-bit A/D converter, the timer3 timer (for ADC timing) and a quad of dual MCP6022 op-amps for anti-aliasing filtering and gain, digitise the incoming analogue audio signal. The digital representation of the analogue audio signal is processed in real time using the processor’s DSP engine. The DSP processing includes windowing, fast Fourier transform and squaremagnitude (power) computation. This way, a discrete digital representation of the signal power in frequency is obtained. Furthermore, a filter-banking algorithm is applied to the obtained discrete spectralpower, resulting in the implementation of a 20 non uniform-band parallel analysis filter- bank. This filter bank is used to decompose the audio signal power into a set of 20 sub band signals. Each sub-band signal represents the total audio signal power in each of the 20 spectral bands and is displayed on a 20-LED bar graph. There are 20 bar graphs (one for each spectral band), each one consisting of 20 LEDs and, as such, a 20x20 LED-display is used.

The main advantages of the proposed circuit are the following:

index


Versatile Experimental Equipment for Investigation of Auditory Brainstem Response Changes in Rabbits Due to GSM-900 Mobile Phone Radiation Exposure.

International scientific research confirms that electromagnetic fields are biologically active in animals and humans, and in some cases can cause discomfort and disease [1]. Especially radiofrequency radiation from mobile phone use has been associated in many studies to an increased risk for brain tumors. Of all anatomical structures, the ear is closest to the mobile phone during usage and a number of studies have been carried out investigating the effect of mobile phone radiation on the auditory system. In a recent experimental animal study [2], the possible electrophysiological time-related changes in auditory pathway during mobile phone electromagnetic field exposure were investigated.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR) is an electrical signal evoked from the brainstem and the central auditory pathway after sound stimulation of the ear. The procedure is to generate a brief click or tone pip from earphones and to measure the elicited neuronal action potentials by surface electrodes, typically placed at the vertex of the scalp and ear lobes. The amplitude (microvoltage) of the signal is averaged and charted versus time (msec), similarly to electroencephalography. ABR audiometry provide a unique method for non-invasive study of the pathophysiology of the human or other mammal hearing system. Since 1971, the ABR recording method has been standardized and used increasingly in otorhinolaryngology clinics to evaluate symptoms and problems related to the auditory pathway.
The ABR signal is characterized by a series of vertex positive peaks labeled from I to VII. The latencies of the first five peaks, which represent brainstem transmission time and therefore brainstem auditory processing, are the most important parameters for evaluation and diagnosis by medical experts. The analysis of ABRs is usually conducted manually, following a four-step procedure: determination of the responses’ presence, detection of the main peaks, estimation of the different latencies between I, II, III, IV, and V peaks, and diagnosis of the possible problem.
As described in [2], several rabbits under general anesthesia were radiated via a power- and frequencyadjustable radio transmitter, which was designed and manufactured according to the needs of the experiment for GSM-900 mobile phone emission simulation. The transmitter was placed near the ear of each subject and the antenna was placed in the entrance of the external auditory bony canal. ABRs were recorded during radiation (real time measurements) at regular time intervals, using the EP25-Eclipse platform (Interacoustics). [2]’s experimental study concluded that exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones affects the normal electrophysiological activity of the auditory system in rabbits.
In order to minimize the cost of the experimental studies of short and long-term effects of mobile phone radiation on auditory and central nervous system, we have developed an adjustable power and frequency radio transmission system for GSM-900 mobile phone emission simulation, which is described in this work The system prototype has ten continuous wave radio transmitters which function independently, in order to have any number of them operating at the same time. Each transmitter sends a single unmodulated continuous wave radio-carrier signal. Thus, any transmitted radio-wave is an almost clean (sinusoidal) radio frequency (RF) tone. The frequency and power of each transmitter are adjustable at the range of 750-1050 MHz and 0-24 dbm (0-250 mW), respectively. The total output harmonic and spurious content of each transmitter is -20 dbc (100 times below carrier) and -30 dbc (1000 times below carrier), respectively. Thus, the transmitting signal is almost perfect sinusoidal.
Each transmitter has a LED indicator, a small wire antenna and a thin shielded-coaxial cable with a male RCA-type connector. Any transmitter radiates normally when connected to a power outlet of the power supply unit through its shielded-coaxial cable and male RCA-type connector. During normal operation, the LED indicator of each transmitter is turned on and the electromagnetic energy is radiated exclusively from the transmitter’s antenna. No radiation is emitted from any coaxial cable or the power supply unit. Any transmitter can be connected/ disconnected from the power supply unit even when the power supply unit is activated.
The transmitters are based on Maxim’s MAX2623 integrated voltage controlled oscillators and MAX2402 integrated transmitters. Spectrum analysis of the power received from a radiating transmitter and typical operating characteristics were obtained.

References
[1] A.E. Kaprana, A.D. Karatzanis, E.P. Prokopakis, I.E. Panagiotaki, I.O. Vardiambasis, G. Adamidis, P. Christodoulou, and G.A. Velegrakis, "Studying the effects of mobile phone use on the auditory system and the central nervous system: A review of the literature and future directions", European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, vol. 265, no. 9, pp. 1011 - 1019, Sep. 2008.
[2] A.E. Kaprana, T.S. Chimona, C.E. Papadakis, S.G. Velegrakis, I.O. Vardiambasis, G. Adamidis, and G.A. Velegrakis, “Auditory brainstem response changes during exposure to GSM-900 radiation. An experimental study”, Audiology & Neurotology, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 270-276, 2011.

index


Development of a 28-bit 1.5GHz Frequency Counter.

Some people say “you’d better build it than buy it”. Besides saving money you may also have a lot of fun, acquire new knowledge and experiences. This work started as a PIC learning project, since it uses a base 8-bit PIC but it turned out to be more than that. Although using an 8-bit PIC, a 28-bit counter is actually implemented. The device measures frequency from 0.1 Hz to 1.5 GHz and displays it on a 2x16 character LCD display. It offers a frequency resolution up to the amazing 0.1 Hz for frequencies in the range of 0.1 Hz to 100 MHz and up to 4 Hz for frequencies in the range of 100 MHz to 1.5 GHz. Min and max hold functions, frequency units’ selection and gate time adjustment are also supported.
The frequency (f) of any periodic waveform can be calculated by counting the instances (N) of the waveform during a precise time interval (dt) from f=N/dt. The frequency measurement unit is the Hz and 1 Hz is defined as one instance per second. According to this obvious frequency measuring technique, the input waveform must first be converted into an equivalent digital form. This digital form is actually a fast switching binary signal which preserves the frequency characteristics of the input waveform. Then, an edge-triggered digital counter is used to accurately count (starting from 0) the N occurred pulses in a precise time interval dt. This time interval is provided from an accurate (reference) time base. Afterwards,
a microcontroller can be used to calculate the measured frequency from f=N/dt and display the result on a common display unit.

index


MCU based Control Unit for Battery Management Systems.

This paper presents the design and implementation of a control unit for a Battery Management System that supports charge and discharge equalization. The proposed control system continuously checks the state of the battery bank and activates the equalization in order to protect the cells from overcharge, overdischarge, or to provide fault tolerance. The control system uses an equalizer capable to provide charge and discharge equalization and to stand the full load current. A number of sensors are added to the design to provide useful information to predict the battery state. Latch relays connect and disconnect the battery, in order to eliminate the losses when the system is not in use. The whole system is based on a microcontroller unit (MCU) and supports stand alone operation. It can also be interfaced with a PC, where an application program was developed capable to control the system, and also to collect measures from the battery bank, store and export them in other computer programs data form. This way the system will have the ability to equalize the battery bank, get commands from the PC and pass measures and error messages to the PC. Results are presented.

 

index


Using wireless communications in municipal irrigation systems.

Water is a scarce resource. Due to changes in the Portuguese legislation, municipalities are now required to pay the water they spend. Urban gardens are a use problem as they are scattered by the urban area and require either a massive work to irrigate or a poor management of the irrigation with significant water waste. For instance Vagueira, a beach village near Aveiro, has around 400 green spaces or small gardens that require irrigation. The need to increase the management of such areas as been recognized by the municipalities of the CIRA association that includes all the municipalities around Ria de Aveiro, a large salted lagoon in the region.

In this paper, a preliminary solution to develop a control system for irrigation targeted for such small urban green areas is presented. The system is autonomous, inexpensive and has a significant autonomy without mains supply. It has two distinctive features that differentiate it from traditional controllers:

The architecture of the system is presented in Figure 1.

The system includes battery powered valves with a 802.15.4 wireless interface with expected 5 years autonomy due to the type of valves used and to an efficient communication protocol. It includes also humidity sensors also with the same interface to support the decision of start or stop the irrigation. It includes a coordinator unit that acts as a gateway to a server interconnecting the field devices to a control center and can have other functionalities such as interconnection to a meter either specific or standard, e.g., M-bus based. The control center offers different services to the user including the definition of manual or automatic operation and the access to local information such as the battery status of each device.

The control center uses an operation model similar to the one used by Micro I/O in one of its products, a remote RFID card reader, which is being launched with support of one of the Portuguese telecommunication companies, Optimus. The control center can recognize the place where the coordinator unit is installed using the LBS (Location Based Services) offered by the telecommunication company. Using this data the control center can retrieve data from online meteorology sites and decode this data to define the irrigation rules, depending on the weather forecast. The coordinator unit can then pick up the irrigation commands to act on site.

Figure 1 

 Index


Embedded Systems Security.

Embedded Systems (ESs), account for a wide range of products and are employed in various heterogeneous domains, including but not limited to:
industrial systems (e.g. manufacturing plants), critical environments (e.g. military and avionics) nomadic environments (e.g. personal wearable nodes), private spaces (e.g. home) and public infrastructures (e.g. airports). These devices often need to access, store, manipulate, or communicate sensitive and/or critical information, making security (confidentiality, integrity and availability) of their resources and services an imperative concern in their design.
The problem is exacerbated by their resource constraints (namely computational capabilities, memory and power), their diversified application settings, frequently requiring unattended operation in physically insecure environments and dynamic network formulation, in conjunction with the ever-present need for smaller size and lower production costs.

This paper provides an overview of the challenges in ESs security, pertaining to node hardware and software as well as relevant network protocols and cryptographic algorithms, presents recent advances in the field and identifies opportunities for future research.


Index


C# and .NET Micro Framework for embedded systems.

Have you ever thought of some great idea for a product but you couldn't bring it to life.
Maybe because technology wasn't on your side?
Or maybe thought, “there's got to be an easier way!”.
Maybe you are a programmer that wanted to make a security system but then thought using PCs are too expensive to run a simple system?
The answer is C# and Microsoft's .NET Micro Framework for embedded systems!

An overview of the features of C # for embedded systems in a restricted list below.
- Digital Inputs & Outputs
- Puls With Modulation
- Analog input & output
- Serial interfaces
- Displays
- Time Services
- USB Host
- USB Client
- Networking
- Cryptograghy
- XML
- Watchdog
- Wireless
- etc.


Index


Elgamal Encryption and its application to Ellicptic Curve Cryptography.

The Elgamal encryption scheme is a well-known asymmetric encryption scheme. It may be considered as an extension of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol. Its security is based on the discrete logarithm problem and the Diffie-Hellman problem [1]. Asymmetric encryption schemes require rather long keys in order to provide a sufficient security level. Hence, there performance is worse as compared to symmetric encryption schemes.

With the invention of elliptic curve cryptography in recent years it is now possible to reach the same security level as for asymmetric encryption schemes like the Elgamal encryption with much shorter key lengths. E.g. if a 7680-bit key is used for Elgamal encryption Elliptic curve cryptography only requires a key length of 384 bit to reach the same security level [1].

Within this talk it shall be demonstrated how the Elgamal encryption scheme may be applied to Elliptic curve cryptography [2]. Throughout the corresponding project the Elgamal encryption on Elliptic curves has been implemented on a Spartan 3e-FPGA.

References:

[1] "Understanding Cryptography", Authors: Christof Paar, Jan Pelzl, Springer Verlag, 2010

[2] "Guide to Elliptic Curve Cryptography", Authors: Darrel Hankerson, Alfred Menezes, Scott Vanstone, Springer Verlag, 2004


Index


Localization of WSN Nodes using Ultrasound Transducers.

Since the first introduction of mobile devices a crucial problem has been the determination of their localization. With the accelerated development of low power and highly miniaturized wireless sensor network (WSN) nodes used in a high variety of applications like environenmental monitoring, ambient assisted living systems, etc. the necessity for providing positional information has become even more important. Several options have been suggested, but especially for indoor position or navigation systems reliable, simple and cost effective solutions are not available.

Using angulation or lateration methods, different physical signals can be applied, e.g. RF, light (visible, infrared), etc.
In this paper we discuss the enhancement of a ZigBee-based wireless sensor network system using ultrasound transducers. Ultrasonic sound has been successfully applied to proximity and distance measurement systems, the combination of RF and sound allows for the precise  localization of network nodes.


Index


Spatial Context Issues based on Stochastic Geometry Modeling for Ambient Wireless Networks.

The increasing variety and number of everyday devices (mobile phones, domestic appliances, security cameras, traffic lights and signs, etc.) equipped with embedded sensing, computing and networking capabilities and distributed throughout the physical space, leads to the creation of a ubiquitous environment for numerous Ambient Intelligence (AmI) applications. A desirable feature of such applications is that of context-awareness, i.e., the ability of applications to recognize the environment in which they are executing.

 

Taking into account the aforementioned framework, we are concerned with the spatial context issues that arise. In particular, as space (defined in terms of area, length, proximity, or spatial relationships) and physical location (of users, wireless communication devices, corresponding applications) are of primary importance for context-aware applications, an appropriate modeling should be devised. Moreover, as reported by previous research, geometrical approaches may address problems at structural, functional and application levels of sensor networks.  

The objective, thus, of the paper is to examine the suitability of a stochastic geometry modeling approach for ambient wireless networks. More specifically, with reference to two representative AmI applications (the implementation of intelligent traffic systems for smart urban transport, the targeted advertisement application used in a mall for addressing a person’s shopping preferences), our main interest is to examine the suitability of stochastic geometry tools for the dimensioning, design and performance evaluation of such wireless networks. As it concerns the statistical spatial models for wireless nodes’ locations, we consider other models than the Poisson point process model  usually employed as a first  approximation. Furthermore, going beyond the ordinary planar Voronoi diagram for spatial proximity modeling, we propose the use of the network Voronoi diagrams in order to account for the network space (such as a road network) and to deal with distances defined on a network (such as the shortest-path distance instead of the Euclidean distance).


Index


Free area mapping with the use of automobile robots.

In our times, the need of automation of many processes becomes stronger and stronger. All the time we listen to words such as “Smart homes”, “robots”, “improve life quality”, “automation in production” etc. But, why there are no robots in our home yet? What  holds robots back from making dangerous, impossible or even boring from a human being? The answer to these questions is a problem that exists in the area of robotics and automation : the problem of localization and navigation. This problem involves matters such as where a robot is and how to move from points A to point B.
The main purpose of this paper is to present the work that has been done in the area of mapping of auto-mobile robots in a free area. The goal of this project is to analyze different ways of extracting appearing-based information from an image and use them to create a general  idea of the room the robot is in and to try and solve the problem of localization and navigation. In the image analysis part, histograms of two different color spaces were used to compare with each other while the robot tries to understand its position and the way it has to move.  Moreover, decision making algorithms are used by the robot to help it navigate through the room with the assistance of waypoints that were created previously. Those algorithms are based in three classification ways : Classification with prototypes, Classification with the help of nearest neighbor and classification using  neural networks.
Finally, after an experiment is presented, future prospects as well are discussed.


Index


Lifetime Maximization With Multiple Battery Levels in Irregularly Distributed Wireless Sensor Networks.


The recent advances in Wireless Sensor Networks technologies showed that while computational limitations are transient issues, energy limitations are much more complicated problems. In this work, a strategy aiming the lifetime increment of Wireless Sensor Networks is proposed. The main motivation of this work is that energy limitation is a serious inherent problem to Wireless Sensor Networks, caused by the fact that their motes generally use small batteries, consequently, with a small amount of energy. Besides that, changing batteries after all motes deployment is such a hard task, resulting in short lifetimes and energy waste.

The strategy proposed in this work is based on the energy allocation guided by the estimation of each node's consumption, no matter what is the network topology. The validation of this strategy was made by mean of simulations using motes made with models of many commercial devices used in real networks. To evaluate the strategy effectiveness, it was tested on different networks topologies, achieving network lifetime increment and energy waste reduction on all scenarios.

Index


Introduction to QT Programming.

Qt is a cross-platform application framework widely used for developing different types of application software. Qt is used by some famous organizations like European Space Agency, Siemens,[Samsung Philips and Panasonic in some well-known applications like Google Earth, KDE, Skype.
Qt uses standard C++ but makes extensive use of Meta Object Compiler (MOC) together with several macros to enrich the language. Qt runs on the major desktop platforms and some mobile platforms. It has extensive internationalization support and includes tools for SQL database access, XML parsing, thread management, network support, and a unified cross-platform API for file handling.
Qt is free open source software. All editions support a wide range of compilers, including the GCC C++ compiler and the Visual Studio suite.
In this introduction we go through the background and philosophy behind QT programming language and learn how to develop mobile applications using QT language.

Index


GENSEN Project: New Platforms and Applications in Wireless Automation.

Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences took part in the research and developing project Generic Sensor Networks for Wireless Automation (GENSEN). The project was done in cooperation with Vaasa University and Aalto University. The project was funded mainly by the Finnish Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES). Also seven companies from variable application areas participated in funding. The main objectives of the project were the development of generic sensor networking platform for wireless automation, protocol stack developing, system validation and testing through case studies and evaluation of the commercialization capabilities.
The GENSEN research group in Seinäjoki developed a mesh topology wireless network, programming environment for ultra-low-power small-size sensor nodes and a new stackable hardware platform with several sensors. The research groups in Vaasa and Helsinki developed a high performance, versatile and modular sensor platform structure for demanding time-critical applications. They researched also the business potential of the wireless sensor systems. The Helsinki research group developed a universal A-stack communication protocol for wireless sensor devices. The existing and new platforms are tested in some application areas: crane control, greenhouse sensors, condition monitoring, cattle house automation, and energy production systems. Seinäjoki UAS tested the low-power sensors in a greenhouse, the mesh network topology in a cattle house and the data flow in a wind turbine. Vaasa University and Aalto University tested the existing commercial platform and the new platform in a greenhouse, in a cattle house, in trolley cranes and in the distributed energy production.

Index


Cooperative Network Training (CoNeT) Project.

Technological development has brought the use of networks in control to the mainstream.  Ethernet-based systems are becoming an increasingly attractive technology as they combine large capacity and high speed with flexibility. New trends in control technology must be reflected in the respective teaching activity. 

In the response to the demands the concept of mobile laboratory was proposed and has been implemented by the consortium of university and industrial partners from six European  countries and two partners from Turkey.  Karel de Grote-University College and  Limburgs Technologie-Centrum from Belgium, University of Rousse from Bulgaria, Fachhochschule Düsseldorf  and Germany-Phoenix Contact from Germany,  Technological Educational Institute of Crete from Greece, AGH University of Science and Technology from Poland, TelePedagogic Knowledge Center from Sweden, Yildiz Technical University and Enosad Industrial Automation from Turkey, aUniversity of Limerick, Ireland – all these partner institution have recognized the demand for efficient development of quality industrial Ethernet systems  and need for development of  international learning environment.

CoNeT, the EU-funded project, stands for Cooperative Network Training. The project  aims at training of  automation engineers, maintenance engineers, process workers and students both graduate and undergraduate in modern wired and wireless industrial network technology applied to control operations and automated solutions. The current trend in engineering curricula applies the concept of “learning by experiments” or “learning by projects”.  Such “learning by doing” concept was also proposed for the collaborative project as a part of the pilot CoNeT implementation phase.
The overall objective of the CoNeT project is to contribute to the qualification of future Ethernet-based network-specialists. The specific objective of the project  is to develop training modules in the field of Industrial Ethernet for students, technicians and engineers in industry. It is anticipated that trainees who are already employed will need to fit their learning around existing family or work commitments, therefore the laboratory will be broken up into ‘bite-sized’ discrete modules and flexible modes of delivery will be used including the use of both distance  and face-to-face teaching. These mobile  labs can be transported between companies and universities and used to complement the training courses.


Index


A Guardian Angel For The Extended Home Environment (GUARANTEE) project.

The main purpose of this paper is to introduce the European Project entitled “A Guardian Angel For The Extended Home Environment”  (GUARANTEE) which is supported by the Information Technology for European Advancement (ITEA2).  The goal of GUARANTEE is to research software products and services that provide personal safety in the residential environment. These products and services provide direct support and advice to people in unsafe situations, or they connect people and enab le the support of others. The project will investigate the consumer needs and the commercial opportunity for this type of product. Further, the project will develop the software components and personal safety services as well as the system and software architecture.  GUARANTEE will develop 3 demonstrators: for children’s safety, elderly safety, and home security. The demonstrators integrate components for sensing, decision making, and alerting of users. The demonstrators comprise both an in-home and networked system for commercial or community services.  This presentation will be organized as follows:  Initially, an introduction to Smart Homes and background information will be presented followed by a detailed description of the project; the various possbile senarios to be implemented  as well as the various available sensors for these senarios will then be outlined. Finally,  possible decision support  techniques will be discussed.


Index


Decision Engine Design for GUARANTEE project.

The goal of GUARANTEE a European Project entitled “A Guardian Angel For The Extended Home Environment”  supported by the Information Technology for European Advancement (ITEA2) and  lead by Philips) is to research software products and services that provide personal safety in the residential environment. These products and services provide direct support and advice in unsafe situations, or they connect people and enable the support of others. The project investigates the consumer needs and the commercial opportunity for this type of product. Further, the project will develop the software components and services for personal safety as well as the system and software architecture.

After a year in the project and many discussions, the GURANTEE partners decided to concentrate on three main cases, one for babies, one for children in the age of school and elderly people with health problems. The demonstrators integrate components for sensing, decision making, and alerting of users. The demonstrators comprise both an in-home and networked system for commercial or community services.

The main purpose of this paper is to introduce and to provide information about the decision making algorithms that are being developed for the demonstrators and specifically for children in the age of school.  Initially, the decision engine needs to be simple and efficient.

This paper will be organized as follows:  Initially, an introduction to Smart Homes and background information will be presented followed by a detailed description of the decision engine. The architecture of the design will be discussed and its ability to receive any input sensor will be illustrated. The actual engine consists of simple if-then-else statements that were evaluated by the TEI of Crete designers. The generalization of the engine will be discussed next, followed by the future plans for the decision making algorithms which are consisted of using neural networks, genetic algorithms and other algorithms that will be used for the user cases provided.

Index


Harmonic Contour Segmentation.


We implement the standard geodesic active contours method with the introduction of weighted estimates for the related nonlinear heat equation. These estimates control locally the variation of intensity, relying on elaboration of harmonic inpainting.Initially a calculation of the gradient provides us a crude calculation of the level sets. Then by solving the laplace equation in these domains we create weights that affect the parabolic term in the evolution of the active contour. This scheme can be used to initially select a sophisticated starting contour that will converge rapidly. Also it provides a way to accurately control the global stopping criterion of the algorithm. In addition we provide an implementation in a functional LISP variant that can exploit parallel architectures using MPI and the Map/Reduce paradigm.

Index


How to organize an Erasmus Intensive Program: A study case in the Department of Electronics of TEI of Crete.

The Department of Electronics of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete has demonstrated a 20 years experience in European students and staff mobility programs.
This involvement has advertized the Department across Europe and was the driving force of the initiation of the cooperation with top Universities and research groups worldwide.
More specifically the Department of Electronics the last 5 years has successfully organized and still hosts a number of Erasmus Intensive Programs in the fields of (a) Optoelectronics & Lasers (OLA 2006 -08), (b) Organic Electronics & Applications (OREA 2010 – 12) and (c) in Laser Fusion & Applications (APEPLA 2010 – 12).

The successful organization of these events is very important in order to:

(a) Establish new research collaborations in the corresponding fields and technologies.
(b) Exchange of ideas concerning teaching and presentation methods
(c) Develop new Intensive Programs in other scientific fields
(d) Enrich the curriculum of your University with a new innovative module
(e) Sign Erasmus Bilateral Agreements between the collaborating Institutions
(f) Develop collaboration in other Erasmus Projects (Mundus, Curriculum Development) 

The objective, thus, of the paper is to present the experience that the Department of Electronics has acquired through its involvement in the Erasmus Intensive Programs. The implementation of (a) – (e) targets will be presented through the evaluation of the questionnaire sheets that had been distributed to the participants and through the presentation of new Erasmus projects and bilateral agreements that have been signed among the collaborating Universities.
It is hoped that this paper will work as a “recipe book” for new scientists how to start, organize, run and finalize successfully an IP Program. 

Index


A follow-up on Challenge Based Learning project in Embedded Engineering Education.

Paper provides a follow up on a project based learning project which was introduced in AmiEs-2010 Symposium in Geel, Belgium. The project described in this paper and presentation is based on a study of project based learning in engineering education which started in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences on academic year 2004. The project is the 7th annual project which took place during the spring semester of the academic year 2010 – 2011. The paper describes the current implementation of the project, analysis of learning outcomes as well as analysis of the implementation of the project.
The learning project is targeted to 2nd year engineering students in the department of Information Technology in Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences as part of their basic studies. It is the first research and development project for the engineering students providing an insight to R&D process. Unique characteristic of the project is the challenging nature of the project where the goal is to design a product based on embedded system that will succeed in a competition against other similar products designed by other project teams. Due the competitive nature of the project it has been named by the authors as Challenge Based Learning project. Assessment of the project is based partly on the success as well as on the learning process and documentation.
The project was introduced in AmiEs-2010 symposium and this paper and presentation offers a follow up on the implementation of the product. In AmiEs-2010 valuable feedback for the project and its implementation was received and the project was developed further.

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A smart camera based on an optical mouse sensor.

We developed a low-cost and low power smart camera based on an optical mouse (or laser mouse) sensor chip. It is intended for systems that use an ambient sensor network to give information on the scene and report to a control system (Figure 1).

Figure 1, The lens side of the developed visual sensor node. The board fits in a space of 62x41x20mm.

Figure 2, the HW/SW architecture of the visual sensor node. A DMA does the data streaming giving all processing power to the user program.

It uses a dsPIC microcontroller for image processing an RF module, (now 433MHz) for communication and a DC to DC converter that allows the battery to be depleted down to 0.3V. The microcontroller is a tiny DSP (dsPIC33), having a double Harvard bus for processing, on-chip flash and RAM memory and a DMA controller working with hardware blocks for SPI/I2C/UART interfaces. The DMA and hardware interfaces leave much of the processing power for user vision end-applications (Figure 2). While the performance is (only) 40MIPS on 16bit data, the 30x30 image allows around 1000 instructions per pixel at 30 fps. A user program can be written in ANSI C and compiled with commercial and free compilers for the dsPIC.

 

For proof of concept, we ported some vision algorithms to the mouse sensor. In order of complexity: edge detection, dual slope background subtraction, 3D recursive search block-matching for motion estimation and Viola Jones’s face detection. (Figure 3).

Figure 3, the images show snapshots of mouse-based video analytics: edge detection, 3DRS motion estimation (the motion vectors are displayed as colours), the foreground image of a dual slope background estimation algorithm and Viola Jones’ face detection.

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Practical use of Energy Management Systems.

This paper discusses different off-the-shelf technologies for energy measurement and communication that are useful for a global energy management system (EMS). These technologies are aimed to be used in an energy management system that is implemented in LabVIEW to control the electricity demand in a more efficient way. In addition a SWOT-analysis of the different considered systems summarizes the practical experiences and gives some opportunities for further development of EMS.

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Hardware for Electro Cardiac and Respiratory Plethysmography Measurement in a Multi Vital Signs Monitoring System.

Monitoring and recording the vital medical parameters of patients in hospitals is of profound importance and requires much effort by medical staff. However, this monitoring means reduced comfort and ease for more mobile or ambulant patients.

This project developed a first design prototype capable of tracking, in a non-invasive manner, important parameters such as the electrocardiogram (ECG), body temperature, oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse and respiration. The method of respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP) for thorax and/or abdomen was investigated. Also, an acceleration sensor for movement and fall detection was realized. In future, if feasible, better algorithms for the above-mentioned vital signs will be implemented. The described prototype is a first approach to combining measurement of these vital signs in one device on the human body. The goal is to obtain the best possible medical data with optimal comfort and normal mobility for patients.

The project also includes ways to implement and optimize an adaptive 1 to 12 - channel ECG in the new system. Also, an impedance analysis of a RIP-belt and a compilation of measurement methods for respiratory parameters are described. As well as further improving the sensor signals and the algorithms, one of the next steps will be to expand the embedded system with wireless communication at 2.4 GHz.

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Developing New Solutions for Smart Grid.

The paper describes the design requirements for Smart Meter based on the most recent technologies in this field.

To a carry on the design it was necessary to investigate the grid infrastructure, the data requirement and other technical constraints to plan the system architecture and choose the most adequate technology to support new solutions for the smart grid. Back-end applications integrated with Oracle data base was also developed to implement new functions and solutions as required by both utility and customers of the electrical grid.

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ACE and ISPS – An Innovative Approach to Promoting International Student Exchange Programs.

Institutions of higher education have to develop new infrastructures and expertise to cope with changing student requirements and shifting demands from industry and government.

New educational approaches are needed to keep up with globalization and other technological advances.

This paper outlines a new innovative approach to allow students to get both – international experience and practical, project-oriented know-how. The International Study and Project Semester (ISPS) defines a study period fully integrated into a bachelor's or master's study program during which students will spend a study-abroad semester at a selected partner institution. Participating students will be actively involved in a multidisciplinary team-oriented project strongly related to university or industry based research and development. Additionally they will study a predefined number of subjects related to their area of focus.

The emphasis of ISPS is on high-quality project work carried out by international teams, accompanied by a specialized study program from the host university's standard repertoire.
To coordinate the ISPS activities, the recently introduced Academic Clearing-House of Excellence (ACE) will be employed, giving potential candidates easy access to globally available ISPS-compatible R&D projects offered in new innovative growth areas.


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