-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 167 www.windmill.co.uk June 2012 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Thanks for subscribing to Monitor. Today we have a story about how researchers are using a portable Windmill strain package to aid the accurate fitting of prosthetic limbs to amputees. Their findings will benefit patients, in terms of comfort, and save doctors' time and money. I hope find the newsletter useful, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing please go to Monitor Newsletter CONTENTS ======== * Windmill Notes: Windmill Strain Package aids fit of Prosthetic Limbs * Windmill News: Download the new data acquisition leaflet * Excel Corner: Displaying time stamps as seconds * DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Windmill Strain Package aids fit of Prosthetic Limbs by recording strain ________________________________________________________ British researchers are designing tools to help fit prosthetic (artificial) limbs to people, increasing their comfort. Accuracy of fit remains the single most important factor affecting amputee satisfaction. The quality of fit depends on how pressure is distributed around the limb and socket interface. There should be no pressure on the sensitive regions where the bone is close to the surface; all the pressure should be supported by the limb's areas of thick tissue. Until now, pressure data could only be collected by either: - inserting a sensor into the socket/limb interface, which affects the results collected, or - by modifying the socket to insert the pressure transducer, making it unsuitable for everyday use. The researchers from Bournemouth University, the University of the West of England and the Disablement Services Centre in Southmead Hospital, though, have found a third way without the drawbacks of the other two. They are using artificial intelligence to determine the pressures at the limb/prosthetic socket interface. Artificial neural networks (ANNs), like people, learn by example. An ANN is configured for a specific application through a repetitive learning process. Relationship between Strain and Pressure ========================================= To find the relationship between the surface strains and internal pressures, the artificial neural network requires a transducer that can reliably measure a strain response on the socket due to the internal pressure. The pressure and strain data must then be stored as ANN input and output pairs. This requires a loading device for applying known pressures inside the socket. The engineers decided to use strain measurement which produces reliable and repeatable responses. To do this they attached strain gauges to the socket surface, and had to choose carefully the best method. Capturing the Strain Measurements ================================== A transducer usually used for measuring strain underwater fitted the bill for the experiments. This is a resin encased stacked strain gauge rosette, giving three separate strain readings at 0, 45 and 90 degrees. The rosette is stuck to a plastic plate and the researchers used a standard hot glue gun to bond the transducer to the prosthetic socket via the plastic plate. They chose a 751-SG strain monitoring and control data acquisition system to capture the strain data with a resolution of +/- 1 microstrain. The 751-SG package comprises Windmill software, a USB unit which provides differential inputs to monitor 16 strain gauges at up to 80 samples per second, and a strain gauge connection box. The Windmill software automatically monitors the strain gauge's excitation voltage and performs a bridge calculation to produce a reading in microstrain. Eight USB units can be connected to one laptop to monitor up to 128 strain gauges. A portable system was required as the strain data was to be captured in a clinical environment. The Windmill USB unit was attached to a laptop. The researchers wrote their own software in Visual C++ utilising Windmill's IML Tools' Active X controllers, and ANN theory, to generate the code. Right First Time Socket Fitting ================================ They concluded that their methodology can aid "right first time" socket fitting which will benefit both the patient in terms of comfort and the prosthetist by reducing the time and associated costs of providing a high level of socket fit. The 751-SG package is currently on special offer, reduced from £775 to £475, and is available at https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/strain-measurement.html Further Reading =============== Static and dynamic pressure prediction for prosthetic socket fitting assessment utilising an inverse problem approach Philip Sewell, Siamak Noroozi, John Vinneya, Ramin Amalib, Stephen Andrews. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Volume 54, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 29–41 IML Tools Active X Controls https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/programming-tools.html Windmill 751-SG Strain Gauge Measurement Package https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/strain-measurement.html Tips and Techniques for Measuring Strain https://www.windmill.co.uk/strain-measurement.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: Ethernet Data Acquisition Leaflet now Available ________________________________________________________ You can now download our leaflet telling all about the new 851 Ethernet data logger at https://www.windmillsoft.com/851leaflet.pdf ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Displaying Time-Stamps as Seconds ________________________________________________________ "Hi, I have a problem with my Excel sheet. How can I change the time settings to only show seconds?" Assuming your time settings are in the format hh:mm:ss then you would multiply this by 24*60*60 (86400). This is because time is stored internally in Excel as a fraction of a 24-hour day. For example, Excel sees 12:00 as 0.5 of a day. To convert to seconds you multiply the time by the number of seconds in a day: ie by 24 (hours in a day) * 60 (minutes in an hour) * 60 (seconds in a minute) or 86400. For more Excel tips and tricks, see https://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ Ask us an Excel measurement question: fill in the form in the Excel page. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our round-up of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then either follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/DataAcquisition or grab our RSS newsfeed at https://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml Bot with boyish personality wins biggest Turing test Eugene Goostman, a chatbot with the personality of a 13-year-old boy, won the biggest Turing test ever staged, on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. Held at Bletchley Park, UK, where Turing cracked the Nazi Enigma code during the second world war, the test involved over 150 separate conversations, 30 judges, 25 hidden humans and five elite, chattering software programs. First conceived by Turing in the early 1950s, the test is the most famous evaluation of machine intelligence. Human judges converse via a text interface with both hidden bots and humans - and say in each case whether they are chatting to a human or machine. Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ Understanding ISA-84 The International Society of Automation (ISA) has issued a guide to understanding ISA-84, addressing the need for improved understanding and harmonisation of risk reduction approaches in computer controlled manufacturing. Source: The International Society of Automation http://tinyurl.com/isa84 Kinect system keeps track of household objects Fitting your house with a network of Kinect sensors could mean never losing your wallet, TV remote or other small items again. Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ Tiny data loggers help show how bird society works The tiny data logger fitted to a great tit's leg is one of thousands that researchers are using to study "social networks" in birds. As well as finding out exactly how bird society works, the study could shed light on factors that have an impact on the birds' survival. These include how diseases are spread between individuals and how easy it is for the animals to find food or mates. Source: BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18425408 Technology could monitor hip replacements for signs of wear A new device could monitor hip replacements for signs of wear, powered only by the movement of the user' s walk. The technology, designed to fit inside a typical prosthetic hip joint, uses a piezo-electric device that generates up to 3.7V of electricity as the user walks to power a strain gauge and a transmitter. Source: The Engineer https://www.theengineer.co.uk/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see https://www.windmill.co.uk We are happy for you to copy and distribute this newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site or publication, providing the above notice is included and a link back to our website is in place. An archive of previous issues is at https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at https://www.windmill.co.uk/monitorindex.html Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office, Manchester, M8 8QR, UK Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782 Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190 E-mail: [email protected] https://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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