TFM: Development of an electronic system on smart garments to aid in the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases

TFM: Development of an electronic system on smart garments to aid in the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nervous system, which mainly causes motor disorders. It affects more than 160,000 people in Spain. In addition, it is expected that due to the growing aging of the population it will become the most common serious disease by the year 2040.
One of the main problems faced in this disease is the delay in its diagnosis. In addition, it is important to ensure that patients’ symptoms are properly monitored in order to correctly adjust their medication.
Over the past few years, the use of wearable devices to monitor patients outside of the hospital environment has increased. Among these devices, those that use sensorized clothing, so that the sensors are integrated into the tissues, are gaining popularity and have great potential. Although these are still at an early stage of development.

In this context begins this Master’s Thesis, which is part of the research line of the B105 Electronic Systems Lab for the development of wearable devices. The main objective of the project is to design and implement an electronic system to control a set of intelligent clothes for the monitoring of different parameters, which can be connected to other wearable devices in the future.

For this purpose, a study of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and how it is possible to monitor them have been carried out. We have also analysed which studies have been conducted in recent years using textile sensor to diagnose or monitor this pathology. Subsequently, it has been searched which intelligent garments are being commercialized in the market. And finally, it has been established which requirements are intended to be fulfilled by the design that is going to be carried out.

Due to the initial work done, the design of the system to be implemented has been carried out.

It consists of a pair of socks and a harness, which communicate through Bluetooth with a mobile phone application.

The socks incorporate 3 textile resistors in the sole of the foot, and an IMU in the ankle to monitor the patient’s gait. While the harness makes use of 3 textile electrodes, whose outputs are filtered by a circuit to obtain the ECG. It also incorporates an IMU in the central part of the chest, to monitor the user’s posture. In addition, both garments make use of a PCB in which they operate the control part and the power supply.

In the software development of the project, FreeRTOS has been used together with a state machine to control the measurements of the sensors of the garments and send the measured values via bluetooth to a mobile application.

In the hardware development, the design and implementation of the PCBs has been carried out.

Finally, we have started to perform unit tests on the development carried out, for the hardware as well as for the software, which should be finalized to verify the complete performance of the developed system.

Transformación digital en la enseñanza de las Fuerzas Armadas. Un caso práctico

Los autores de este ensayo, expertos y profesionales del mundo de la enseñanza y de la tecnología, tanto en los ámbitos civil y militar, realizan una aproximación práctica de la implantación de nuevas tecnologías y metodologías en el desarrollo de procesos formativos. Al sumar conocimientos de ambas áreas, el producto resultante es un trabajo funcional para afrontar los cambios exigibles por el mundo actual en general, y en la esfera militar en particular.

El fondo de la cuestión es poner de manifiesto la necesidad de afrontar y acometer procesos de revisión de las áreas formativas gracias a la mejora que se obtiene de las nuevas tecnologías y nuevas sistemáticas. La educación es un área clave en la revolución digital, y es la enseñanza candidata a evolucionar para hacerse útil, directa, personal y eficaz.

El trabajo es un recorrido global, en el que en el primer capítulo se plantea un diferente contexto para la formación, realzando el momento de cambio social, y donde se remarcan los cinco pilares sobre los que se sustenta la nueva forma de enseñar: deslocalización, atemporalidad, personalización, bidireccionalidad y calidad continua. El segundo capítulo, afronta un recorrido por las metodologías de enseñanza, señalando las características de cada una y sus momentos de aplicación más oportunos. El tercero, aborda el estudio de una serie de herramientas y tecnologías que actualmente pueden utilizarse en el sector de la enseñanza y su adecuación a las metodologías formativas resaltadas en el apartado anterior, para finalmente, en el último y cuarto capítulo, desarrollar el caso práctico de implementación de sistemáticas y herramientas en una asignatura concreta del Curso de Estado Mayor del Fuerzas Armadas (CEMFAS).

Nuestro compañero Octavio Nieto-Taladriz García ha sido el Presidente del grupo de trabajo que ha realizado este ensayo y cuyos datos son los siguientes:

  • ISBN:  978-84-9091-612-4
  • NIPO:  083-21-249-0
  • Fecha de publicación:  24/3/2022
  • Año de edición:  2021
  • Autor:  Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa
  • Editor:  Ministerio de Defensa. Secretaría General Técnica.
  • Número de páginas:  106

Disponible en su versión digital en el siguiente enlace.

TFG: Development of an evaluation device for wireless networks on the body

B105 Electronic Systems Lab, of the Electronic Engineering Department, developed in the past several nodes called ‘Yetimote’, which work on the ISM frequencies of 433 MHz, 868 MHz and 2.4 GHz. During the last years, one of the main target’s laboratory has been the study of wireless networks over the human body (WBAN), composed by sensor nodes that are placed on different points of such human body to collect data for several purposes, usually for medical applications. However, the Yetimote node is addressed to use traditional wireless networks (WSN), due to its size and specific physical format.

The objective of this project was to adapt this node for evaluating and developing WBAN networks. To achieve this goal, one of the main printed circuit boards of the Yetimote node, called Cerberus, which is in fact the part in charge of carrying the wireless communications out, has been modified to make it more wearable.

On the other hand, the context of the project has been analyzed in more detail, describing WBAN networks in depth, the most common characteristics of these networks and their different usages. After a detailed analysis of the requirements to be fulfilled by the new board to be designed in the context of this work, a very deep study has been carried out about possible antennas to be used in this new solution. Finally, the specific choice of the antenna to be used in this work for each band was determined based on its characteristics. One of the electronic components which humans are more accustomed to is a wristwatch, so the PCB has been designed to be integrated inside an enclosure with this shape.

The next step was the electronic design and the PCB implementation of the new board called ‘Mini-Cerberus’, which has been designed using the Altium Designer tool. This new PCB will be connected to the rest of the Yetimote node through the board ‘Auxiliar’ which will be connected to the ‘Mini-Cerberus’ PCB through a flat cable. In addition, the ‘Mini-Cerberus’ board has several versions, one of them has a Pi-Network for each frequency band. Finally, the components were assembled using an industrial furnace and by manual welding. In the figure below, the previous ‘Cerberus’ PCB is shown in front of the new ‘Mini Cerberus’ prototype.

Additionally, some trials have been carried out in real environments to verify the correct operation of the developed design. Several tests have been performed in different real-world scenarios to study the performance of the new Mini-Cerberus board for different frequencies and transmission power values, and these results have been compared with those obtained for the original Cerberus board, which was used as reference or baseline.

In conclusion, it can be affirmed that the new ‘Mini-Cerberus’ PCB has a better performance in WBAN scenarios in the 433 MHz frequency band, while the 2,4 GHz frequency band has the worst performance of those studied. In relation to the Cerberus board, the new prototype has a lower performance compared to the original model, but this is an expected result due to the modifications made for its miniaturization

TFG: Design and Implementation of a Music Assistant on a Microcontroller-Based Platform

Main View

Throughout the years, music has been and continues to be one of the main forms of artistic and cultural expression of people. It could be defined as the art of combining rhythm, melody and harmony in a pleasant and enjoyable way to the listener. Rhythm is the element that relates music to time. The interpreter and/or composer can manage it at will, to transmit different emotions depending on the chosen pulse rate, the duration of the notes used $1000 payday loan, and the accents that some notes receive along the measure. To ensure a good melody and harmony we need to use a tuner. Taking into account the notes that belong to the key, the tuner ensures that this set of sounds are appropriate to form the melody. That is to say, that the sound produced when playing a key or a string corresponds to the one established in that position. The same thing happens with harmony. Harmony is in charge of combining two musical notes and making them sound in consonance, as in a chord.

The aim of a performer and/or composer is to convey emotions and feelings. To do this he employs different rhythmic techniques, chord progressions and scales. To convey a happy feeling he will use major chords and to convey a sad one he will use minor chords. Augmented chords are used to give suspense and diminished chords to predict an outcome.

Until the invention of the tape recorder and the player, people’s musical reach was very limited. They could only listen to music produced on the spot, and its quality depended on the skill of the closest performers. The most skilled musicians left written musical scores to preserve their music so that subsequent musicians could perform it. With the invention of the tape recorder and the player, a revolution of such magnitude took place that, little by little, it was possible to bring music to any place in the world to be reproduced at any time.

The facts described above and my interest as a musician, have led me to to develop this project. The intention was to provide a device that brings together the 3 main functions that a musician needs to practice and improve their skills. The functions I wanted to include in the device are: a metronome, a tuner and a recorder. To bring it to fruition, I took a previous project from 2018 that included those functions and used a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi + PiTFT touchscreen

A Raspberry Pi is a microcontroller-based platform capable of providing the basic functions of a computer, but at a much smaller price and size. For this project, the Raspberry Pi can be controlled, besides a mouse and a screen, in a tactile way with a PiTFT screen connected by the GPIO pins. Also, the choosen Raspberry Pi 4 Model B incorporates inputs to connect a microphone (USB) and headphones to carry out all the required functionalities. The programming language used has been Python, as it contains an endless number of libraries to carry out the project. The different menu screens and buttons were created with the PyGame library.

The initial view corresponds to the following image:

Initially, the metronome displayed an inverted pendulum and a flashing circle. Later on, I incorporated functions to mark the different types of time signature and the different ways of dividing a beat.

Before I made any changes, the tuner had two main functions, the first one was to emit the note with the desired frequency. The second one incorporated a listening mode in which the program detected the note emitted, as well as its accidentals and frequency.

I added a third functionality to it that serves as an ear training tool for the musician, as well as, facilitating the composition of chords. It shows the notes that make up the four types of triads.

Major Triad: 1, 3, 5

Minor Triad: 1, minor3, (perfect) 5

Diminished Triad: 1, minor3, diminished5

Augmented Triad: 1, 3, augmented5

The recorder incorporates a microphone to record the musician’s performances and displays a screen with a list of recordings and/or imported songs. It contains buttons for playback and scrolling between screens.

The results have shown that the Music Assistant has great potential. It is an open source device in constant development, which differentiates it from other devices at the moment.With it, musicians can have fun practicing at a reduced price. If you are interested in continuing the project you can download the code from this site .

PhD Thesis: Dynamic Management in Operating Systems to Improve Energy Efficiency of Resource-Constrained and Wireless Devices

On November 12th, our lab member Roberto Rodriguez Zurrunero defended his PhD Thesis entitled “Dynamic Management in Operating Systems to Improve Energy Efficiency of Resource-Constrained and Wireless Devices”. This work was carried out at B105 Electronic Systems Lab under the direction of Professor Alvaro Araujo.

The thesis defense took place at the ETSI Telecomunicación in Madrid, and the work was evaluated positively earning the highest possible grade, along with the “cum laude” and international mentions.The main contributions of this PhD thesis are the following:

  • A proof of concept was designed and implemented to introduce a game theory algorithm in the OS scheduler meant to extend devices’ batteries lifetime.
  • An OS for resource-constrained devices, YetiOS, was proposed, whose main novel contribution is an adaptive engine that enhances OS’s dynamic capabilities.
  • A study of the cross-influences between the processing and communication tasks in an OS for resource-constrained devices was developed.
  • The use of an OS is introduced for a specific medical application, deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices. Four methods were proposed to reduce the power consumption overhead when introducing an OS in such devices.
  • It was demonstrated that in most recent resource-constrained devices with enhanced low power modes (which are used by certain OSes’ power management modules), a lower clock frequency does not necessarily imply a lower power consumption (contrary to what was stated to date in the literature). Therefore, a novel adaptive frequency-scaling algorithm (based on a well-known machine learning algorithm) was proposed to dynamically change the clock frequency to the best value in terms of power consumption.

And, finally, this is the list of peer-reviewed journal and conference publications that were obtained during the course of this PhD:

International journal articles:

  •  R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero and A. Araujo, “Adaptive frequency scaling strategy to improve energy efficiency in a tick-less Operating System for resource-constrained embedded devices,” Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 124, pp. 230-242, 2021.
  • R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, A. Araujo, and M. M. Lowery, “Methods for Lowering the Power Consumption of OS-Based Adaptive Deep Brain Stimulation Controllers,” Sensors, vol. 21, iss. 7, 2021.
  • R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, R. Utrilla, A. Rozas, and A. Araujo, “Process Management in IoT Operating Systems: Cross-Influence between Processing and Communication Tasks in End-Devices,” Sensors, vol. 19, iss. 4, 2019.
  • R. Pita, R. Utrilla, R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, and A. Araujo, “Experimental Evaluation of an RSSI-Based Localization Algorithm on IoT End-Devices,” Sensors, vol. 19, iss. 18, 2019.
  • R. Utrilla, R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, J. Martin, A. Rozas, and A. Araujo, “MIGOU: A Low-Power Experimental Platform with Programmable Logic Resources and Software-Defined Radio Capabilities,” Sensors, vol. 19, iss. 22, 2019.
  • R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, R. Utrilla, E. Romero, and A. Araujo, “An Adaptive Scheduler for Real-Time Operating Systems to Extend WSN Nodes Lifetime,” Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, vol. 2018, 2018.
  • G. Mujica, R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, M. Wilby, J. Portilla, A. B. R. González, A. Araujo, T. Riesgo, and J. J. V. Díaz, “Edge and Fog Computing Platform for Data Fusion of Complex Heterogeneous Sensors,” Sensors, vol. 18, iss. 11, 2018.

International conference proceedings:

  • R. Rodriguez-Zurrunero, F. Tirado-Andres, and A. Araujo, “YetiOS: an Adaptive Operating System for Wireless Sensor Networks,” in 2018 IEEE 43rd Conference on Local Computer Networks Workshops (LCN Workshops), 2018, pp. 16-22.