Embedded Hardware and Software Design of Omnidirectional Autonomous Robotic Platform Suitable for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Testing with Focus on Modularity and Safety

This paper deals with the problem of using Autonomous Robotic Platforms (ARP) for the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) testing in automotive. There are different possibilities of the testing already in development and lately, the ARP are beginning to be used more and more widely. ARP discussed in this paper explores the hardware and software design possibilities related to the field of embedded systems. The paper focuses in its chapters on the introduction of the problem in general, then it describes the proposed prototype concept and its principles from the embedded HW and SW point of view. It talks about the key features that can be used for the innovation of these platforms (e.g., modularity, omnidirectional movement, common and non-traditional sensors used for localization, synchronization of more platforms and cars together or safety mechanisms). In the end, the future possible development of the project is discussed as well.

Film Sensors for the Harsh Environment Application

A capacitance level sensor with a segmented film electrode and a thin-film volume flow sensor with an innovative by-pass sleeve is presented as industrial products for the application in a harsh environment. The working principle of such sensors is well known; however, the traditional sensors show some limitations for certain industrial measurements. The two sensors presented in this paper overcome this limitation and enlarge the application spectrum. The problem is analyzed, and the solution is given. The emphasis of the paper is on developing the problem-solving concepts and the realization of the corresponding measuring circuits. These should give advice and encouragement, how we can still develop electronic measuring products in an almost saturated market.

Electrical Effects during the Wetting-Drying Cycle of Porous Brickwork: Electrical Aspects of Rising Damp

Rising damp is an extremely complex phenomenon that is of great practical interest to the field of building conservation due to the irreversible damages it can make to old and historic structures. The electrical effects occurring in damp masonry have been scarcely researched and are a largely unknown aspect of rising damp. Present paper describes the typical electrical patterns occurring in porous brickwork during a wetting and drying cycle. It has been found that in contrast with dry masonry, where electrical phenomena are virtually non-existent, damp masonry exhibits a wide array of electrical effects. Long-term real-time measurements performed in the lab on small-scale brick structures, using an array of embedded micro-sensors, revealed significant voltage, current, capacitance and resistance variations which can be linked to the movement of moisture inside porous materials. The same measurements performed on actual old buildings revealed a similar behaviour, the electrical effects being more significant in areas of the brickwork affected by rising damp. Understanding these electrical phenomena contributes to a better understanding of the driving mechanisms of rising damp, potentially opening new avenues of dealing with it in a less invasive manner.

Developing Manufacturing Process for the Graphene Sensors

Biosensors play a significant role in the healthcare sectors, scientific and technological progress. Developing electrodes that are easy to manufacture and deliver better electrochemical performance is advantageous for diagnostics and biosensing. They can be implemented extensively in various analytical tasks such as drug discovery, food safety, medical diagnostics, process controls, security and defence, in addition to environmental monitoring. Development of biosensors aims to create high-performance electrochemical electrodes for diagnostics and biosensing. A biosensor is a device that inspects the biological and chemical reactions generated by the biological sample. A biosensor carries out biological detection via a linked transducer and transmits the biological response into an electrical signal; stability, selectivity, and sensitivity are the dynamic and static characteristics that affect and dictate the quality and performance of biosensors. In this research, a developed experimental study for laser scribing technique for graphene oxide inside a vacuum chamber for processing of graphene oxide is presented. The processing of graphene oxide (GO) was achieved using the laser scribing technique. The effect of the laser scribing on the reduction of GO was investigated under two conditions: atmosphere and vacuum. GO solvent was coated onto a LightScribe DVD. The laser scribing technique was applied to reduce GO layers to generate rGO. The micro-details for the morphological structures of rGO and GO were visualised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy so that they could be examined. The first electrode was a traditional graphene-based electrode model, made under normal atmospheric conditions, whereas the second model was a developed graphene electrode fabricated under a vacuum state using a vacuum chamber. The purpose was to control the vacuum conditions, such as the air pressure and the temperature during the fabrication process. The parameters to be assessed include the layer thickness and the continuous environment. Results presented show high accuracy and repeatability achieving low cost productivity.

State Estimation Method Based on Unscented Kalman Filter for Vehicle Nonlinear Dynamics

This paper provides a state estimation method for automatic control systems of nonlinear vehicle dynamics. A nonlinear tire model is employed to represent the realistic behavior of a vehicle. In general, all the state variables of control systems are not precisedly known, because those variables are observed through output sensors and limited parts of them might be only measurable. Hence, automatic control systems must incorporate some type of state estimation. It is needed to establish a state estimation method for nonlinear vehicle dynamics with restricted measurable state variables. For this purpose, unscented Kalman filter method is applied in this study for estimating the state variables of nonlinear vehicle dynamics. The objective of this paper is to propose a state estimation method using unscented Kalman filter for nonlinear vehicle dynamics. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by numerical simulations.

Embedded Semantic Segmentation Network Optimized for Matrix Multiplication Accelerator

Autonomous driving systems require high reliability to provide people with a safe and comfortable driving experience. However, despite the development of a number of vehicle sensors, it is difficult to always provide high perceived performance in driving environments that vary from time to season. The image segmentation method using deep learning, which has recently evolved rapidly, provides high recognition performance in various road environments stably. However, since the system controls a vehicle in real time, a highly complex deep learning network cannot be used due to time and memory constraints. Moreover, efficient networks are optimized for GPU environments, which degrade performance in embedded processor environments equipped simple hardware accelerators. In this paper, a semantic segmentation network, matrix multiplication accelerator network (MMANet), optimized for matrix multiplication accelerator (MMA) on Texas instrument digital signal processors (TI DSP) is proposed to improve the recognition performance of autonomous driving system. The proposed method is designed to maximize the number of layers that can be performed in a limited time to provide reliable driving environment information in real time. First, the number of channels in the activation map is fixed to fit the structure of MMA. By increasing the number of parallel branches, the lack of information caused by fixing the number of channels is resolved. Second, an efficient convolution is selected depending on the size of the activation. Since MMA is a fixed, it may be more efficient for normal convolution than depthwise separable convolution depending on memory access overhead. Thus, a convolution type is decided according to output stride to increase network depth. In addition, memory access time is minimized by processing operations only in L3 cache. Lastly, reliable contexts are extracted using the extended atrous spatial pyramid pooling (ASPP). The suggested method gets stable features from an extended path by increasing the kernel size and accessing consecutive data. In addition, it consists of two ASPPs to obtain high quality contexts using the restored shape without global average pooling paths since the layer uses MMA as a simple adder. To verify the proposed method, an experiment is conducted using perfsim, a timing simulator, and the Cityscapes validation sets. The proposed network can process an image with 640 x 480 resolution for 6.67 ms, so six cameras can be used to identify the surroundings of the vehicle as 20 frame per second (FPS). In addition, it achieves 73.1% mean intersection over union (mIoU) which is the highest recognition rate among embedded networks on the Cityscapes validation set.

Air Handling Units Power Consumption Using Generalized Additive Model for Anomaly Detection: A Case Study in a Singapore Campus

The emergence of digital twin technology, a digital replica of physical world, has improved the real-time access to data from sensors about the performance of buildings. This digital transformation has opened up many opportunities to improve the management of the building by using the data collected to help monitor consumption patterns and energy leakages. One example is the integration of predictive models for anomaly detection. In this paper, we use the GAM (Generalised Additive Model) for the anomaly detection of Air Handling Units (AHU) power consumption pattern. There is ample research work on the use of GAM for the prediction of power consumption at the office building and nation-wide level. However, there is limited illustration of its anomaly detection capabilities, prescriptive analytics case study, and its integration with the latest development of digital twin technology. In this paper, we applied the general GAM modelling framework on the historical data of the AHU power consumption and cooling load of the building between Jan 2018 to Aug 2019 from an education campus in Singapore to train prediction models that, in turn, yield predicted values and ranges. The historical data are seamlessly extracted from the digital twin for modelling purposes. We enhanced the utility of the GAM model by using it to power a real-time anomaly detection system based on the forward predicted ranges. The magnitude of deviation from the upper and lower bounds of the uncertainty intervals is used to inform and identify anomalous data points, all based on historical data, without explicit intervention from domain experts. Notwithstanding, the domain expert fits in through an optional feedback loop through which iterative data cleansing is performed. After an anomalously high or low level of power consumption detected, a set of rule-based conditions are evaluated in real-time to help determine the next course of action for the facilities manager. The performance of GAM is then compared with other approaches to evaluate its effectiveness. Lastly, we discuss the successfully deployment of this approach for the detection of anomalous power consumption pattern and illustrated with real-world use cases.

Low-Cost Mechatronic Design of an Omnidirectional Mobile Robot

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.

Design and Simulation of Heartbeat Measurement System Using Arduino Microcontroller in Proteus

If a person can monitor his/her heart rate regularly then he/she can detect heart disease early and thus he/she can enjoy longer life span. Therefore, this disease should be taken seriously. Hence, many health care devices and monitoring systems are being designed to keep track of the heart disease. This work reports a design and simulation processes of an Arduino microcontroller based heart rate measurement and monitoring system in Proteus environment. Clipping sensors were utilized to sense the heart rate of an individual from the finger tips. It is a digital device and uses mainly infrared (IR) transmitter (mainly IR LED) and receiver (mainly IR photo-transistor or IR photo-detector). When the heart pumps the blood and circulates it among the blood vessels of the body, the changed blood pressure is detected by the transmitter and then reflected back to the receiver accordingly. The reflected signals are then processed inside the microcontroller through a software written assembly language and appropriate heart rate (HR) is determined by it in beats per minute (bpm) from the detected signal for a duration of 10 seconds and display the same in bpm on the LCD screen in digital format. The designed system was simulated on several persons with varying ages, for example, infants, adult persons and active athletes. Simulation results were found very satisfactory.

Inferential Reasoning for Heterogeneous Multi-Agent Mission

We describe issues bedeviling the coordination of heterogeneous (different sensors carrying agents) multi-agent missions such as belief conflict, situation reasoning, etc. We applied Bayesian and agents' presumptions inferential reasoning to solve the outlined issues with the heterogeneous multi-agent belief variation and situational-base reasoning. Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) was used in modeling the agents' belief conflict due to sensor variations. Simulation experiments were designed, and cases from agents’ missions were used in training the BBN using gradient descent and expectation-maximization algorithms. The output network is a well-trained BBN for making inferences for both agents and human experts. We claim that the Bayesian learning algorithm prediction capacity improves by the number of training data and argue that it enhances multi-agents robustness and solve agents’ sensor conflicts.

Intelligent Transport System: Classification of Traffic Signs Using Deep Neural Networks in Real Time

Traffic control has been one of the most common and irritating problems since the time automobiles have hit the roads. Problems like traffic congestion have led to a significant time burden around the world and one significant solution to these problems can be the proper implementation of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS). It involves the integration of various tools like smart sensors, artificial intelligence, position technologies and mobile data services to manage traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance driver's ability to avoid accidents during adverse weather. Road and traffic signs’ recognition is an emerging field of research in ITS. Classification problem of traffic signs needs to be solved as it is a major step in our journey towards building semi-autonomous/autonomous driving systems. The purpose of this work focuses on implementing an approach to solve the problem of traffic sign classification by developing a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) classifier using the GTSRB (German Traffic Sign Recognition Benchmark) dataset. Rather than using hand-crafted features, our model addresses the concern of exploding huge parameters and data method augmentations. Our model achieved an accuracy of around 97.6% which is comparable to various state-of-the-art architectures.

Clean Sky 2 – Project PALACE: Aeration’s Experimental Sound Velocity Investigations for High-Speed Gerotor Simulations

A Gerotor pump is composed of an external and internal gear with conjugate cycloidal profiles. From suction to delivery ports, the fluid is transported inside cavities formed by teeth and driven by the shaft. From a geometric and conceptional side it is worth to note that the internal gear has one tooth less than the external one. Simcenter Amesim v.16 includes a new submodel for modelling the hydraulic Gerotor pumps behavior (THCDGP0). This submodel considers leakages between teeth tips using Poiseuille and Couette flows contributions. From the 3D CAD model of the studied pump, the “CAD import” tool takes out the main geometrical characteristics and the submodel THCDGP0 computes the evolution of each cavity volume and their relative position according to the suction or delivery areas. This module, based on international publications, presents robust results up to 6 000 rpm for pressure greater than atmospheric level. For higher rotational speeds or lower pressures, oil aeration and cavitation effects are significant and highly drop the pump’s performance. The liquid used in hydraulic systems always contains some gas, which is dissolved in the liquid at high pressure and tends to be released in a free form (i.e. undissolved as bubbles) when pressure drops. In addition to gas release and dissolution, the liquid itself may vaporize due to cavitation. To model the relative density of the equivalent fluid, modified Henry’s law is applied in Simcenter Amesim v.16 to predict the fraction of undissolved gas or vapor. Three parietal pressure sensors have been set up upstream from the pump to estimate the sound speed in the oil. Analytical models have been compared with the experimental sound speed to estimate the occluded gas content. Simcenter Amesim v.16 model was supplied by these previous analyses marks which have successfully improved the simulations results up to 14 000 rpm. This work provides a sound foundation for designing the next Gerotor pump generation reaching high rotation range more than 25 000 rpm. This improved module results will be compared to tests on this new pump demonstrator.

Evaluation of the Accuracy of Time of Arrival Source Location Algorithm of Acoustic Emission in Concrete-Mortar Structure

Acoustic Emission (AE) is one of the most effective non-destructive tests that can be used to detect the defect process as it is occurring. AE techniques can be used to monitor a wide range of structures and materials such as metals, non-metals and combinations of these when load is applied. The current work investigates the effectiveness and accuracy of TOA method in AE tests involving reinforced composite concrete-mortar structures. A series of experimental tests were performed using the Hsu-Neilson (H-N) source to study 2-D location accuracy using this method on concrete-mortar (400×400 mm) specimens. Four AE sensors (R3I – resonant frequency 30 kHz) were mounted to the mortar surface and six sources were performed at each point of preselected locations on the upper surface of the mortar. Results show that the TOA method can be used effectively to locate signals on composite concrete/mortar specimen and has high accuracy.

Vision-Based Daily Routine Recognition for Healthcare with Transfer Learning

We propose to record Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of elderly people using a vision-based system so as to provide better assistive and personalization technologies. Current ADL-related research is based on data collected with help from non-elderly subjects in laboratory environments and the activities performed are predetermined for the sole purpose of data collection. To obtain more realistic datasets for the application, we recorded ADLs for the elderly with data collected from real-world environment involving real elderly subjects. Motivated by the need to collect data for more effective research related to elderly care, we chose to collect data in the room of an elderly person. Specifically, we installed Kinect, a vision-based sensor on the ceiling, to capture the activities that the elderly subject performs in the morning every day. Based on the data, we identified 12 morning activities that the elderly person performs daily. To recognize these activities, we created a HARELCARE framework to investigate into the effectiveness of existing Human Activity Recognition (HAR) algorithms and propose the use of a transfer learning algorithm for HAR. We compared the performance, in terms of accuracy, and training progress. Although the collected dataset is relatively small, the proposed algorithm has a good potential to be applied to all daily routine activities for healthcare purposes such as evidence-based diagnosis and treatment.

Efficiency Enhancement of Photovoltaic Panels Using an Optimised Air Cooled Heat Sink

Solar panels that use photovoltaic (PV) cells are popular for converting solar radiation into electricity. One of the major problems impacting the performance of PV panels is the overheating caused by excessive solar radiation and high ambient temperatures, which degrades the efficiency of the PV panels remarkably. To overcome this issue, an aluminum heat sink was used to dissipate unwanted heat from PV cells. The dimensions of the heat sink were determined considering the optimal fin spacing that fulfils hot climatic conditions. In this study, the effects of cooling on the efficiency and power output of a PV panel were studied experimentally. Two PV modules were used: one without and one with a heat sink. The experiments ran for 11 hours from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. where temperature readings in the rear and front of both PV modules were recorded at an interval of 15 minutes using sensors and an Arduino microprocessor. Results are recorded for both panels simultaneously for analysis, temperate comparison, and for power and efficiency calculations. A maximum increase in the solar to electrical conversion efficiency of 35% and almost 55% in the power output were achieved with the use of a heat sink, while temperatures at the front and back of the panel were reduced by 9% and 11%, respectively.

Modeling Engagement with Multimodal Multisensor Data: The Continuous Performance Test as an Objective Tool to Track Flow

Engagement is one of the most important factors in determining successful outcomes and deep learning in students. Existing approaches to detect student engagement involve periodic human observations that are subject to inter-rater reliability. Our solution uses real-time multimodal multisensor data labeled by objective performance outcomes to infer the engagement of students. The study involves four students with a combined diagnosis of cerebral palsy and a learning disability who took part in a 3-month trial over 59 sessions. Multimodal multisensor data were collected while they participated in a continuous performance test. Eye gaze, electroencephalogram, body pose, and interaction data were used to create a model of student engagement through objective labeling from the continuous performance test outcomes. In order to achieve this, a type of continuous performance test is introduced, the Seek-X type. Nine features were extracted including high-level handpicked compound features. Using leave-one-out cross-validation, a series of different machine learning approaches were evaluated. Overall, the random forest classification approach achieved the best classification results. Using random forest, 93.3% classification for engagement and 42.9% accuracy for disengagement were achieved. We compared these results to outcomes from different models: AdaBoost, decision tree, k-Nearest Neighbor, naïve Bayes, neural network, and support vector machine. We showed that using a multisensor approach achieved higher accuracy than using features from any reduced set of sensors. We found that using high-level handpicked features can improve the classification accuracy in every sensor mode. Our approach is robust to both sensor fallout and occlusions. The single most important sensor feature to the classification of engagement and distraction was shown to be eye gaze. It has been shown that we can accurately predict the level of engagement of students with learning disabilities in a real-time approach that is not subject to inter-rater reliability, human observation or reliant on a single mode of sensor input. This will help teachers design interventions for a heterogeneous group of students, where teachers cannot possibly attend to each of their individual needs. Our approach can be used to identify those with the greatest learning challenges so that all students are supported to reach their full potential.

Designing of a Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted Fiber with Ultra-High Birefringence and High Non-Linearity

Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) uses are no longer limited to telecommunication only rather it is now used for many sensors-based fiber optics application, medical science, space application and so on. In this paper, the authors have proposed a microstructure PCF that is designed by using Finite Element Method (FEM) based software. Besides designing, authors have discussed the necessity of the characteristics that it poses for some specified applications because it is not possible to have all good characteristics from a single PCF. Proposed PCF shows the property of ultra-high birefringence (0.0262 at 1550 nm) which is more useful for sensor based on fiber optics. The non-linearity of this fiber is 50.86 w-1km-1 at 1550 nm wavelength which is very high to guide the light through the core tightly. For Perfectly Matched Boundary Layer (PML), 0.6 μm diameter is taken. This design will offer the characteristics of Nonzero-Dispersion-Shifted Fiber (NZ-DSF) for 450 nm waveband. Since it is a software-based design and no practical evaluation has made, 2% tolerance is checked and the authors have found very small variation of the characteristics.

Non-Linear Control Based on State Estimation for the Convoy of Autonomous Vehicles

In this paper, a longitudinal and lateral control approach based on a nonlinear observer is proposed for a convoy of autonomous vehicles to follow a desired trajectory. To authors best knowledge, this topic has not yet been sufficiently addressed in the literature for the control of multi vehicles. The modeling of the convoy of the vehicles is revisited using a robotic method for simulation purposes and control design. With these models, a sliding mode observer is proposed to estimate the states of each vehicle in the convoy from the available sensors, then a sliding mode control based on this observer is used to control the longitudinal and lateral movement. The validation and performance evaluation are done using the well-known driving simulator Scanner-Studio. The results are presented for different maneuvers of 5 vehicles.

The Application of Distributed Optical Strain Sensing to Measure Rock Bolt Deformation Subject to Bedding Shear

Shear displacement along bedding defects is a well-recognised behaviour when tunnelling and mining in stratified rock. This deformation can affect the durability and integrity of installed rock bolts. In-situ monitoring of rock bolt deformation under bedding shear cannot be accurately derived from traditional strain gauge bolts as sensors are too large and spaced too far apart to accurately assess concentrated displacement along discrete defects. A possible solution to this is the use of fiber optic technologies developed for precision monitoring. Distributed Optic Sensor (DOS) embedded rock bolts were installed in a tunnel project with the aim of measuring the bolt deformation profile under significant shear displacements. This technology successfully measured the 3D strain distribution along the bolts when subjected to bedding shear and resolved the axial and lateral strain constituents in order to determine the deformational geometry of the bolts. The results are compared well with the current visual method for monitoring shear displacement using borescope holes, considering this method as suitable.

Design of Wireless and Traceable Sensors for Internally Illuminated Photoreactors

We present methods for developing wireless and traceable sensors for photobioreactors or photoreactors in general. The main focus of application are reactors which are wirelessly powered. Due to the promising properties of the propagation of magnetic fields under water we implemented an inductive link with an on/off switched hartley-oscillator as transmitter and an LC-tank as receiver. For this inductive link we used a carrier frequency of 298 kHz. With this system we performed measurements to demonstrate the independence of the magnetic field from water or salty water. In contrast we showed the strongly reduced range of RF-transmitter-receiver systems at higher frequencies (433 MHz and 2.4 GHz) in water and in salty water. For implementing the traceability of the sensors, we performed measurements to show the well defined orientation of the magnetic field of a coil. This information will be used in future work for implementing an inductive link based traceability system for our sensors.