News: Signaler och system, Electrical Engineeringhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 15 Feb 2019 17:47:15 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-Jubilee-Professor-that-unwinds-complexity.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-Jubilee-Professor-that-unwinds-complexity.aspxA Jubilee Professor that unwinds complexity<p><b>​The difficulty often lies in simplicity. To Qing Zhao, Jubilee Professor at Chalmers, understanding of a research problem is crucial. Merely solving the problem is not sufficient for her – she strives for achieving understanding and thus finding the simple, and also the best, solution.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Professor Qing Zhao from Cornell University, USA, is one of Chalmers´ four Jubilee Professors in 2019. The Department of Electrical Engineering is her host during the year-long visit. Her expertise will benefit Chalmers, as well as Volvo Cars and Ericsson, in a project run by Region Västra Götaland, with the purpose to study how machine learning can be used to increase road traffic safety (MoRE2020).</span><div> <div><br /></div> <div>“For me, it is really exciting to do research in cooperation with industry”, Qing Zhao says. “My work is theoretical in nature and focuses on fundamental research problems. Now I have the opportunity to take a step further and explore how theories and algorithms from my research can be applied to real-world problems. Chalmers is well-known for its close and fruitful relations with the industrial companies in the region, and I am glad to be involved in this.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Qing Zhao´s research interests include sequential decision theory, stochastic optimization, machine learning, and algorithmic theory with applications in infrastructure, communications, and social economic networks.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A great deal of this will be of use in the MoRE2020 project ”Active Learning for event detection in large-scale information networks”. In short, the project aims at teaching a safety system in a vehicle, connected to the cloud, to detect rare events in the surrounding traffic environment as quickly and as reliably as possible. The challenge lies in the large number of hypotheses, the noisy observations, and the limited prior knowledge on the rare events.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Using data sharing, where information is extracted from massive data streams, a collective learning in large complex networks is being built up”, Qing Zhao explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>”Qing Zhao adds vital complementary knowledge to Chalmers and our department in the field of machine learning and reinforcement learning”, says Professor Tomas McKelvey, who is the leader of the signal processing research group. “We strive for expanding our research in that direction, and therefore I am pleased that we managed to enroll her for quite a long time, thanks to the jubilee professorship.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Understanding fascinates her</strong></div> <div>A scientific problem that keeps fascinating her, and many more researchers over decades, is the so-called multi-armed bandit problem. It is a classic mathematical framework for online learning and sequential decision making under unknown models. The problem can be likened to gambling on a slot machine with multiple arms, where the player faces the dilemma of staying on a seemingly good arm (exploitation) versus trying out a less observed arm (exploration).  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The problem, first considered in 1933, fascinated the research community for many years, while the answer eluded them until early 1970s. Legend has it that the problem, formulated during World War Two, so sapped the energies and minds of Allied analysts that a suggestion was made to have the problem dropped over Germany as the ultimate instrument of intellectual sabotage”, Qing Zhao says with a smile. ”After the breakthrough in early 1970s, researchers continued to search for the simplest proof and understanding of the optimal solution, until an ingenious proof, expressible in a single paragraph of verbal reasoning, was given in 1992.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I find this type of research, this pursuit of understanding, most inspiring. To me, it is not only about solving a problem, it is about really understanding a problem and finding the pieces that, as simple as possible, comprise the solution. The task is not complete until one understands the underlying causes. I like unwinding the complexity of a problem. I find it most satisfying when simple solutions emerge from a morass of complications.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This was also one of Qing Zhao´s statements when she was an invited speaker at a well-attended seminar at Chalmers arranged by the network <a href="/en/departments/e2/network/wise/Pages/default.aspx">Women in science, WiSE​</a>. She also shared some advice for young female researchers who are in the beginning of their academic careers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Play to your strengths rather than compensating for your weaknesses. If you are really good at something, let that be your focus. To establish yourself as a prominent researcher, you need to concentrate your effort rather than spreading too thin. Choose a topic, choose a research community, and generate results of critical mass.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>A tough start in life</strong></div> <div>No doubt, Qing Zhao is an eminent scientist with an impressive career record. Her start in life was however not very favourable. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Qing%20Zhao/WiSE_seminar_IMG_0615_300px.jpg" alt="WiSE seminar with Qing Zhao" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It could have been me”, that was the headline of the last slide from her WiSE seminar, showing young girls worn down with household chores in rural villages in China. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>A couple months old, Qing Zhao was brought by her aunt to a small village in northern China and grew up there. The village had no electricity or running water. Her aunt was illiterate, there were no books in her home, and the village school was very poor with a single teacher teaching all subjects to all kids of all ages in the village.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“When I was seven I moved back to live with my parents, my older sister and younger brother”, Qing Zhao says. “At age seven, I was not able to count to ten. If I had stayed in the village, I probably would be living my life like those girls in the picture, without much education. Thinking back, now being a mother myself, I realise what a difference it makes to give children the right opportunities in life in terms of a nourishing environment, intellectual stimulation, education and encouragement. You never know what they will accomplish!”</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="http://zhao.ece.cornell.edu/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More about Qing Zhao, Cornell University</a></div> <div><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/Jubilee-Professors.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />More about Chalmers´ Jubilee Professors​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><a href="https://www.vgregion.se/regional-utveckling/program/more/" target="_blank">The Mobility for Regional Exellence 2020 programme (MoRE2020)</a> is a research mobility programme run by Region Västra Götaland and co-funded by the European Union. </div> <div>Qing Zhao is working on the project <a href="https://www.vgregion.se/regional-utveckling/program/more/results-from-more2020s-second-call-for-proposals/qing-zhao/" target="_blank">“Active Learning for event detection in large-scale information networks, MoRE2020”​</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For further information, please contact</strong></div> <div>Qing Zhao, Professor at Cornell University, USA, and a Chalmers Jubilee Professor 2019, hosted by the Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20qing@chalmers.se">qing@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Tomas McKelvey, Professor and Head of the Signal processing research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20tomas.mckelvey@chalmers.se">tomas.mckelvey@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div></div>Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:30:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Putting-their-Masters-skills-to-the-test.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Putting-their-Masters-skills-to-the-test.aspxPutting their Master&#39;s skills to the test<p><b>​The Design Project is an appreciated course among many Master’s students. The problem-solving skills of the soon-to-be engineers are put to the test, while they get a chance to apply their acquired knowledge from previous courses. The projects are based on real problems within ongoing research at Chalmers, often with a connection to industry and society.</b></p><p>​&quot;What has been fun with our design project has been to test our algorithms on a practical platform, even though it was a very simplified version of reality,&quot; says Ellinor Claesson.</p> <p>She is one of the students who accepted the engineering challenge with automated intersections. With the rapid development of self-driving vehicles, the automotive industry is facing the challenge of developing a system for a safe and efficient coordination of self-driving vehicles through an intersection.</p> <p>Every year, the Master's programme Systems, Control and Mechatronics offers a large selection of project proposals for the students to choose from. The projects are supervised by researchers from various areas within the Department of Electrical Engineering, which provides a great variety of engineering problems.</p> <p>Another of this year's approximately 30 projects was the &quot;Chalmers Postman Robot&quot;, where the task was to get the robot to pick up mail from the janitor's office and to autonomously take the lift up to the fifth floor, to deliver the letter to the supervisor's office. Equipped with a pre-recorded map and a LIDAR - a laser scanner that can measure distance, the robot can sense where it is on the map. It also has a camera that can detect so-called AprilTags, a kind of markers that are set up along with the planned route, that the robot reads to determine its position.</p> <p>“We had six weeks to complete the project. With ten people in the project group, it was a challenge to divide the work into smaller groups to collaborate effectively”, says Hannes Jubro Kool, one of the students behind the robotic postman.</p> <p>Petter Falkman is responsible for the design project course in systems, control and mechatronics. He thinks of the course as a good preparation for the upcoming Master’s thesis, as the students are get to practice on taking a project through all its phases, from specification to test and verification. He also plans to further develop the already popular course.</p> <p>“My hope is that in the future we will be able to tie even closer links with parties from industry and society. By inviting our partners outside Chalmers to come up with project proposals, and to supervise the students in collaboration with our researchers, we hope to get more reality-based challenges for our future engineers to work with. It is also a good way to show the industry what our students can do when they enter the labor market”, says Petter Falkman.</p> <p><br /></p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Systems-control-and-mechatronics.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Learn more about the Master's programme in Systems, Control and Mechatronics<br /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/education/programmes/Pages/masters-programmes.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Learn more about Master's studies at Chalmers</a><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/education/programmes/Pages/masters-programmes.aspx"><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a></p>Tue, 12 Feb 2019 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hand-prosthesis-successfully-implanted.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hand-prosthesis-successfully-implanted.aspxFirst dexterous hand prosthesis implanted<p><b>​A female Swedish patient with hand amputation has become the first recipient of an osseo-neuromuscular implant to control a dexterous hand prosthesis. In a pioneering surgery, titanium implants were placed in the two forearm bones (radius and ulnar), from which electrodes to nerves and muscle were extended to extract signals to control a robotic hand and to provide tactile sensations. This makes it the first clinically viable, dexterous and sentient prosthetic hand usable in real life. The breakthrough is part of the European project DeTOP.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The new implant technology was developed in Sweden by a team lead by Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan at Integrum AB – the company behind the first bone-anchored limb prosthesis using osseointegration – and Chalmers University of Technology. This first-of-its-kind surgery, led by Prof. Rickard Brånemark and Dr. Paolo Sassu, took place at Sahlgrenska University Hospital as part of a larger project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 called DeTOP. </span><div><br /></div> <div>The DeTOP project is coordinated by Prof. Christian Cipriani at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, and also includes Prensilia, the University of Gothenburg, Lund University, University of Essex, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, INAIL Prosthetic Center, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, and the Instituto Ortopedico Rizzoli.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Implanted electrodes provide sensory and motoric control</strong><br /></div> <div>Conventional prosthetic hands rely on electrodes placed over the skin to extract control signals from the underlying stump muscles. These superficial electrodes deliver limited and unreliable signals that only allow control of a couple of gross movements (opening and closing the hand). Richer and more reliable information can be obtained by implanting electrodes in all remaining muscle in the stump instead. Sixteen electrodes were implanted in this first patient in order to achieve more dexterous control of a novel prosthetic hand developed in Italy by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Prensilia. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Current prosthetic hands have also limited sensory feedback. They do not provide tactile or kinesthetic sensation, so the user can only rely on vision while using the prosthesis. Users cannot tell how strongly an object is grasped, or even when contact has been made. By implanting electrodes in the nerves that used to be connected to the lost biological sensors of the hand, researchers can electrically stimulate these nerves in a similar manner as information conveyed by the biological hand. This results in the patient perceiving sensations originating in the new prosthetic hand, as it is equipped with sensors that drive the stimulation of the nerve to deliver such sensations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Works in everyday life</strong></div> <div>One of the most important aspects of this work is that this is the first technology usable in daily life. This means it is not limited to a research laboratory. The Swedish group – Integrum AB and Chalmers University of Technology – have previously <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_lvVgth_ec&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">demonstrated that control of a sentient prosthesis in daily life was possible in above-elbow amputees using similar technology</a> (video). This was not possible in below-elbow amputees where there are two smaller bones rather than a single larger one as in the upper arm. This posed several challenges on the development of the implant system. On the other hand, it also presents an opportunity to achieve a more dexterous control of an artificial replacement. This is because many more muscles are available to extract neural commands in below-elbow amputations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Bones weaken if they are not used (loaded), as commonly happen after amputation. The patient is following a rehabilitation program to regain the strength in her forearm bones to be able to fully load the prosthetic hand. In parallel,<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EES8U5LwaUs&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"> she is also relearning how to control her missing hand using virtual reality​</a> (video), and in few weeks, she will be using a prosthetic hand with increasing function and sensations in her daily life. Two more patients will be implanted with this new generation of prosthetic hands in the upcoming months, in Italy and Sweden.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan, foto: Oscar Mattsson" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:212px" />“Several advanced prosthetic technologies have been reported in the last decade, but unfortunately they have remained as research concepts used only for short periods of time in controlled environments” says Dr. Ortiz Catalan, Assoc. Prof. at Chalmers University of the Technology and head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab (@ChalmersBNL)​, who has led this development since its beginning 10 years ago, initially in above-elbow amputations. “The breakthrough of our technology consists on enabling patients to use implanted neuromuscular interfaces to control their prosthesis while perceiving sensations where it matters for them, in their daily life.”</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Extensive </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Swedish participation in international project</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The contribution to this European project in Sweden is extensive. The way in which humans perceive touch, and how machines can replicate such feat, are addressed at the University of Gothenburg by Prof. Johan Wessberg’s group. On the other hand, the way in which humans produce motor control, and the algorithms that can replicate it, are studied by the group of Dr. Christian Antfolk at Lund University. The clinical follow-ups and further surgeries will be conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital by Dr. Paolo Sassu, in collaboration with Prof. Rickard Brånemark now at MIT in USA. The development of the osseo-neuromuscular technology as well as the integration with the Italian prosthesis along with all the other components will occurred in Sweden led by Dr. Ortiz Catalan at Chalmers University of Technology and Integrum AB.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.detop-project.eu/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the DeTOP project</a></div> <div><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab (@ChalmersBNL)​</a><span style="background-color:initial">,</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Handprotes%20implanterad/Patient-and-Researcher_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div>The patient is instructed by Dr.Max Ortiz Catalan to produce movements as indicated in the virtual hand. Muscular electrical activity captured by the implanted electrodes is displayed in the screen. This information is learned by the artificial limb to then respond to the desired movements.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Credits: Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">See videos describing the project</span></div> <div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EES8U5LwaUs&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Patient video: Osseo-neuromuscular interface for below-elbow amputations</a></div> <div><a href="https://youtu.be/xf3try5tu-0" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Prosthetic hand video: Sensorized Hand Prosthesis​</a></div> <div><a href="https://youtu.be/6WQiJPexEDM" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />DeTOP project video​</a></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">For more information, please contact:</span><br /></div> <div>Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan, +46 70 8461065, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se​</a></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div>Tue, 05 Feb 2019 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Smoother-movements-reduce-power-peaks.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Smoother-movements-reduce-power-peaks.aspxSmoother movements reduce power peaks<p><b>​By programming industrial robots to operate more smoothly, and thus avoiding heavy accelerations and decelerations, energy consumption as well as power peaks can be significantly reduced. Based on these results, researchers are now taking a step further to investigate how other production equipment containing moving devices can be optimized.</b></p>​D<span style="background-color:initial">esigning optimal processes, while considering energy and environmental aspects, is becoming an increasingly important concern for the manufacturing industry. In the long run, it provides a competitive edge in terms of reduced production costs and a stronger sustainability profile.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Since several years, the research group Automation at Chalmers University of Technology has collaborated with the automotive industry to reduce energy consumption in robotic systems used in manufacturing processes. The industrial robots are energy-intensive. For example, in automotive bodywork factories the robots' consumption amounts to about half of the total energy used in production.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mjukare%20rörelser%20kapar%20effekttoppar/Bengt-Lennartsson_250px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Lower energy demand and no production loss</strong></div> <div>”Our results show that the energy consumption can be reduced by 20-25 percent when industrial robots operate with smoother movements and avoid unnecessary starts and stops”, says Bengt Lennartson, Professor of Automation at the Department of Electrical Engineering. “And this without reducing the pace of production.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The reduction is even greater when it comes to the robots´ power demands – the power peaks can be decreased by as much as 60 percent. As the powerconsuming accelerations are greatly reduced, in favour of a more balanced mode of driving, not as large momentary power demands occur. This also has a positive impact on the life-span of the components.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The power demand being reduced to such high extent is a positive side effect of the energy saving we initially intended to achieve. So far, the power balance in the Swedish energy system has been good, but in the future, if the country is facing a situation where power shortage may occur, it will be expensive for industries whose electricity consumption is characterized by high power peaks.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Bringing the method forward</strong></div> <div>“Our method for optimizing the robots has proved to be both simple and efficient,” says Bengt Lennartson. “The optimization never changes the robot’s operation path, only the speed and sequence. We collect data from the real robot and process it in an optimization program. The result is improved control instructions that are directly fed back to the robot.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research group has now started to apply their method in other fields of engineering as well, where there are moving and energy-intensive systems. This could include automated guided vehicles, conveyor systems and numerically controlled machining tools.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The production system of the future</strong></div> <div>The research on energy efficiency conducted by the Automation research group is a good example of computer-driven optimization methods. This type of optimization, combined with artificial intelligence, AI, is about to make its entry into industrial production to form what is known as Intelligent Manufacturing. It is about smart machines and connected manufacturing systems that interact and communicate with each other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Not least in China, there is a great interest in intelligent and sustainable production systems,” says Bengt Lennartson, who recently has participated as invited speaker in several research conferences on this topic. “Sweden is often mentioned as a good example of how sustainable and energy efficient manufacturing systems can be designed, and I agree that it really is our strength.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Photo: Malin Ulfvarson and Oscar Mattsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Smooth-robot-movements-reduce-energy.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Smooth robot movements reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent</a></div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/Automation-and-Robotics-for-EUropean-Sustainabile-manufacturing.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Automation and Robotics for EUropean Sustainabile manufacturing (AREUS</a>)</div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/Sustainable-motions---SmoothIT.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sustainable motions, SmoothIT</a></div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/ITEA3Q-Smart-Prognos-av-EnergianvQndning-med-resursfQrdelningQ.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Smart prognos av energianvändning med resursfördelning, SPEAR​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div>Bengt Lennartson, Professor of Automation, Head of Division System and Control, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden</div> <div>+46 31-772 37 22,<a href="mailto:%20bengt.lennartson@chalmers.se"> bengt.lennartson@chalmers.se</a></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mjukare%20rörelser%20kapar%20effekttoppar/Energy-robot_power_consumption_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Power consumption industrial robot" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Reducing power peaks through minimizing accelerations in the robot movements.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div>Thu, 24 Jan 2019 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Testbed-creates-ripple-effect-for-energy-research-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Testbed-creates-ripple-effect-for-energy-research-.aspxTestbed creates ripple effect for energy research<p><b>​For researchers to have access to a real arena where they can put their theories to test is invaluable. David Steen at Chalmers University of Technology finds that being involved in the project FED - Fossil-free Energy Districts, where the university campus is used as the testbed for a local energy market for heating, cooling and electricity, has opened new doors.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“FED has become a springboard for our research group to look more into integrated energy systems and the demonstration arena we are building will also be used in future research projects. We have already gotten two other projects granted, where the campus of Chalmers will also act as a testbed,” says David Steen, researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</span><div><br /></div> <div>In addition to funding substantial investments, such as solar panels and various types of energy storages, the FED-project has connected the energy management systems of the buildings to a cloud-based marketplace. This allows the separate buildings, acting as energy consumers, producers and storages, to trade heating, cooling and electricity with each other based on what is most effective from both an economical and environmental perspective.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“One of the challenges with renewable energy is that it is not always produced when you need it the most. The local energy market we are developing in FED is one way to provide customers and users with incentives to shift their consumption in time, in order to use locally produced energy more efficiently.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>David Steen and his colleagues have contributed to the project by creating a simulation model of the campus area in order to measure the energy flows of heating, cooling and electricity. What makes FED unique is that three different energy carriers are connected into one common system.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are trying to take advantage of the flexibility of, for example, the heating system to help the electrical system, and vice versa. As far as I know, no one else has done this by using a local energy market before.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The FED project ends in 2019, but the campus testbed will remain open to researchers and companies to test the new energy solutions needed in the transition towards a sustainable society. In two EU-funded projects, the researchers at Chalmers will examine advanced solutions for the future distribution system (<a href="https://united-grid.eu/" target="_blank">United Grid</a>) and how different micro-grids can interact in order to facilitate the use of renewable energy production (<a href="https://m2m-grid.eu/" target="_blank">From Micro to Mega - GRID</a>). Two additional FED partners, Göteborg Energi and RISE, are also included in these projects.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is very unique to have access to this kind of testbed and to be able to test solutions in close cooperation with industry,&quot; says David Steen. “It has helped us a lot and I do not think we would have received these two projects if we had not had the FED-project and the test arena here.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/david-steen.aspx">David Steen</a>, researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20david.steen@chalmers.se">david.steen@chalmers.se </a></div> <div>Claes Sommansson, Project Coordinator FED, Johanneberg Science Park</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20claes.sommansson@johannebergsciencepark.com">claes.sommansson@johannebergsciencepark.com</a> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text, film and photo: Johanneberg Science Park​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>About the project </strong></div> <div>The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, FED, is an innovative effort by the City of Gothenburg to decrease the use of energy and the dependence on fossil fuel in​ a built environment. A unique local marketplace for electricity, district heating and cooling is being developed together with eight strong partners. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Sciene Park, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Ericsson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Akademiska Hus, Chalmersfastigheter and Chalmers University of Technology are all contributing with their expertise and knowledge to make FED attractive for other European cities as well.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During 2017−2019 the FED testbed will be situated on Chalmers Campus Johanneberg. FED is co-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative, an initiative of the European Commission for cities to test new solutions for urban challenges. </div> <div><div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Unique energy system is being tested at Chalmers</span>​</a><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Follow FED on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/fedgbg" target="_blank">https://twitter.com/fedgbg</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><a href="https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/gothenburg" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about FED and UIA, Urban Innovative Actions​</a></div> <div><a href="https://www.johannebergsciencepark.com/en/projects/fed-fossil-free-energy-districts" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about FED on www.johannebergsciencepark.com​</a></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Artificial-joint-restores-wrist-like-movements-to-forearm-amputees-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Artificial-joint-restores-wrist-like-movements-to-forearm-amputees-.aspxArtificial joint restores wrist-like movements<p><b>​A new artificial joint restores important wrist-like movements to forearm amputees, something which could dramatically improve their quality of life. A group of researchers led by Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have published their research in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems &amp; Rehabilitation Engineering.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one’s wrist, or to ‘pronate’ and ‘supinate’. When you lay your hand flat on a table, palm down, it is fully pronated. Turn your wrist 180 degrees, so the hand is palm up, and it is fully supinated. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><div>Most of us probably take it for granted, but this is an essential movement that we use every day. Consider using a door handle, a screwdriver, a knob on a cooker, or simply turning over a piece of paper. For those missing their hand, these are much more awkward and uncomfortable tasks, and current prosthetic technologies offer only limited relief to this problem. </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:middle" /><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“A person with forearm amputation can use a motorised wrist rotator controlled by electric signals from the remaining muscles. However, those same signals are also used to control the prosthetic hand,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department for Electrical Engineering at Chalmers. “This results in a very cumbersome and unnatural control scheme, in which patients can only activate either the prosthetic wrist or the hand at one time and have to switch back and forth. Furthermore, patients get no sensory feedback, so they have no sensation of the hand’s position or movement.” </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>The new artificial joint works instead with an osseointegrated implant system developed by the Sweden-based company, Integrum AB – one of the partners in this project. An implant is placed into each of the two bones of the forearm – the ulnar and radius – and then a wrist-like artificial joint acts as an interface between these two implants and the prosthetic hand. Together, this allows for much more naturalistic movements, with intuitive natural control and sensory feedback. </div> <div> </div> <div><img alt="A collection of images showing the new technology" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Konstgjord%20led%20ger%20underarmsamputerade%20rörelseförmåga%20tillbaka%20i%20handleden/Kollage_konstgjord_led_750px.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:middle" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Patients who have lost their hand and wrist often still preserve enough musculature to allow them to rotate the radius over the ulnar – the crucial movement in wrist rotation. A conventional socket prosthesis, which is attached to the body by compressing the stump, locks the bones in place, preventing any potential wrist rotation, and thus wastes this useful movement. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“Depending on the level of amputation, you could still have most of the biological actuators and sensors left for wrist rotation. These allow you to feel, for example, when you are turning a key to start a car. You don’t look behind the wheel to see how far to turn – you just feel it. Our new innovation means you don’t have to sacrifice this useful movement because of a poor technological solution, such as a socket prosthesis. You can continue to do it in a natural way,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.</span></div> <div><div> </div> <div>Biomedical Engineers Irene Boni and Jason Millenaar were at Chalmers as visiting international students. They worked with Dr. Ortiz Catalan at his Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab at Chalmers, and with Integrum AB on this project. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In tests designed to measure manual dexterity, we have shown that a patient fitted with our artificial joint scored far higher compared to when using conventional socket technology,” explains Jason Millenaar.</div> <div><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“Our new device offers a much more natural range of movement, minimising the need for compensatory movements of the shoulder or torso, which could dramatically improve the day to day lives of many forearm amputees,” says Irene Boni. </span></div> <div> </div> <div>Dr. Marco Controzzi at the Biorobotics Institute, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy also participated in the research.</div> <div> </div> <div>Read the paper <a href="https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8533434" target="_blank">‘Restoring Natural Forearm Rotation in Transradial Osseointegrated Amputees​</a>’ published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems &amp; Rehabilitation Engineering.</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="A closeup of the implants and the artificial joint." src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Konstgjord%20led%20ger%20underarmsamputerade%20rörelseförmåga%20tillbaka%20i%20handleden/Konstgjord_led_hand_750px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><strong><br /></strong> </div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">More on the research</strong><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (<a href="https://twitter.com/chalmersbnl">@ChalmersBNL​</a>)</span><strong><br /></strong></div> <div>Irene Boni was a visiting student from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, and Jason Millenaar from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.</div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers found that restoring the full range of movement to all degrees of freedom in which the forearm bones can move was not necessary – the key parameter for returning a naturalistic wrist motion is the ‘axial’, or circular, motion of the ulnar and radius bones.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The wrist is a rather complicated joint. Although it is possible to restore full freedom of movement in the ulnar and radial bones, this could result in discomfort for the patient at times. We found that axial rotation is the most important factor to allow for naturalistic wrist movement without this uncomfortable feeling,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan. </div> <div> </div> <div>The development was finalised within the Horizon 2020 framework programme for Research and Innovation under the DeTOP project. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><div><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, <br />+46 70 846 10 65, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a></span><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Images: C</span><span style="background-color:initial">halmers Biomechanics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory/Chalmers University of Technolog and Oscar Mattsson</span><br /></div></div> ​Wed, 28 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Large-interest-for-solid-centre-day.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Large-interest-for-solid-centre-day.aspxLarge interest for solid centre day<p><b>​Intense networking and the latest research updates were on the agenda on the joint day for Chalmers excellence centres ChaseOn and GigaHertz Centre in Palmstedtsalen on 14 November. The day gathered around 140 participants from the academic and business worlds.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/centreday_strom_grahn_IMG_5724_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The centre directors </span><span style="background-color:initial">Erik Ström, Professor of Communications Systems at the Department of Electrical Engineering – E2, and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Jan Grahn, Professor of Microwave Technology at MC2 (to the left)</span><span style="background-color:initial">, invited to a full and intense day, together with their vice directors Christian Fager, Professor at MC2, and Marianna Ivashina, Professor of Electromagnetic Design of Antenna Systems at E2.</span></div> <div>&quot;With Chalmers and industry together in a consortium, doing this type of joint arrangement is unique in this perspective&quot;, Jan Grahn said in his and Erik Ström's joint welcome address.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>On the agenda there were technical presentations of ongoing research collaborations between Chalmers and the business community in microwave technology and antenna systems, currently nine projects, and plenty of opportunities to network and connect with new contacts. A new feature for this year was a poster exhibition with around ten participants. It drew much attention within the coffee breaks.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/centreday_sheemstra_IMG_5810_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Specially invited key note speaker was Sonia Heemstra, Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands (to the right). <span style="background-color:initial">Two members of the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) were also on site: Wolfgang Heinrich, Professor at The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut in Berlin, and Christoph Mecklenbräuker, Professor at TU Vienna.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>GigaHertz Centre and ChaseOn together gather 25 partners within academy and industry. That's a considerable share of the expertise in microwave electronics and antenna systems. Nine different projects are ongoing right now in the Vinnova funded effort, which also involves three departments at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/centreday_poster_b_IMG_5816_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Jan Grahn emphasized that there are strong technical reasons to unite the areas with a joint board and a joint scientific advisory board:</div> <div>&quot;We think that this have been highly beneficial by all standards and even internationally. As directors we feel that this joint consortium has worked extremely well, and we see that we get many new grants and new partners.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Ström and Grahn also looked beyond the lifetime of the current setup:</div> <div>&quot;We are already discussing what will happen after this projects end in 2021&quot;, they said.</div> <div>A strategic group has been formed, with 15 members from Chalmers and eight partner companies. Ström and Grahn didn't reveal any details, but said that there is a large consensus to continue and develop the collaboration in the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among the participants at the Centre Day were people from companies such as Volvo Cars, Saab AB and Ericsson. It all ended with a gala dinner at the restaurant Wijkanders.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more about GigaHertz Centre &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/ghz">www.chalmers.se/ghz</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more about ChaseOn &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/chaseon">www.chalmers.se/chaseon</a></div>Fri, 23 Nov 2018 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/Popular-online-lab-reach-over-380-000-measurements.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/Popular-online-lab-reach-over-380-000-measurements.aspxChalmers online lab reaches users worldwide<p><b>​Chalmers researchers created RF WebLab in 2014, a web-based lab for measurements of radio signals. The tool is today frequently used in education and research worldwide and the usage is steadily increasing – now with over 380,000 measurements performed.</b></p><div>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/News%20events/RF-WebLab_map.gif" alt="Map showing distribution of WebLab users" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />RF WebLab give users worldwide the possibility to perform real high frequency measurements without having to purchase or manage complicated high frequency instruments such as signal generator, oscilloscope and amplifiers. Instead, the user submits their signal data on-line to Chalmers WebLab, where the actual measurements take place and the distorted signal result is sent back to the user. </div> <br /><div>The tool was setup for a student competition at the International Microwave Symposium conference – the world's largest microwave technology research conference, where students compete for developing algorithms to optimise signal quality and efficiency for a radio amplifier. </div> <br /><div>The online tool is linked to measurement equipment hosted by the Microwave Electronics Laboratory at Chalmers. Since its start in 2014, WebLab has been developed into a versatile measurement tool for studying wideband <span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/News%20events/RF-WebLab-Thomas-Christian_350px.jpg" alt="Thomas Eriksson, Christian Fager and WebLab" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /></span>modulated power amplifiers in realistic conditions, specifically the setup is useful for understanding and improving amplifiers in modern communication systems, and is used, among other things, to reduce the energy consumption of next generation 5G systems. Other uses are to measure and optimise signal quality for modern radar signals, or for medical applications where radio signals are used to map human tissue for disease analysis. </div> <br /><div>The first version of the online tool was proposed by Thomas Eriksson and Christian Fager at Chalmers, and later Per Landin and Sebastian Gustafsson developed the concept. In 2014, National Instruments donated new hardware to RF WebLab, and Koen Buisman set up and further developed the new system, including a generic server client infrastructure, together with Bill Tokmakis. Further expansion to other types of measurement sets is planned. </div> <br /><div>&quot;The uniqueness of WebLab is the simplicity – anyone with a computer can connect to high-tech measuring equipment and perform measurements on a world-class system. And it's completely free of charge&quot;, says Thomas Eriksson. </div> <br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/People/KoenBuisman_170px.jpg" alt="Koen Buisman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />The current system has been in operation for three years, and over 380,000 measurements have been performed by users from around the world, both for education and research. At Chalmers, the system is actively used in both education and research. For the students, it becomes a unique opportunity to come closer to a real system, and the researchers appreciate the simplicity of measuring. </div> <br />&quot;We have had approximately 2000 unique users from academia and industry, from around the world. It's amazing and great that RF WebLab has reached so many users”, says Koen Buisman.<br /><br /><a href="http://dpdcompetition.com/rfweblab/">RF WebLab &gt;</a><br /><br /><strong>Contact</strong><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/thomas-eriksson.aspx">Thomas Eriksson</a>, Professor, Department of Electro Engineering<br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Fager.aspx">Christian Fager</a>, Professor, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience<br /><div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/buisman.aspx">Koen Buisman</a>, Assistant Professor, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/News%20events/RF-WebLab2_750px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />The hardware of RF Weblab</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photo: Malin Ulfvarson</em><br /></div>Fri, 02 Nov 2018 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Building-a-safer-driverless-future.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Building-a-safer-driverless-future.aspxBuilding a safer driverless future<p><b>​The future of transport lies in autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure, but how do we ensure the safety for all road users? At AstaZero, the full-scale test environment for future road safety just outside Borås in western Sweden, a multi-disciplinary innovation team has joined forces to find the answers to this.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">At the <a href="http://www.astazero.com/" target="_blank">AstaZero</a> test track, a mock-up of a city junction has been used to simulate a real-world traffic environment with both autonomous and manually-driven vehicles negotiating with each other and adjusting their speeds in a cross intersection.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The team – made up of innovators and researchers from Ericsson, Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Naples “Federico II” and AstaZero – have used 5G cellular network technology and distributed cloud to exchange safety-critical data between both autonomous and manually-driven vehicles and the road infrastructure.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/På%20väg%20mot%20en%20säkrare%20förarlös%20framtid/Paolo_Falcone_350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:289px" /><br />“Collisions are avoided by arranging the vehicles within a virtual platoon and enforcing inter-vehicle distances such that both side and rear-end collisions are avoided”, says Paolo Falcone, Associate Professor in the Mechatronics research group at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our task has been to develop algorithms for controlling the vehicles”, continues Paolo Falcone, who during the project has supervised a doctoral student and a master´s student from the University of Naples “Federico II”. “These algorithms have then been implemented on the vehicles by help of ReVeRe, Ericsson and AstaZero.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Most modern vehicles already have the cellular network technology required to transmit information like position and speed data, but restrictions of traditional radio networks prevent this data from being used in safety-critical applications like avoiding collision.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>By bringing the network much closer to the point of use and leveraging the low-latency power of edge computing, vehicles can communicate this data with each other rapidly and reliably, positioning themselves to avoid collision on the approach to a common intersection. This is opening the possibilities of a much smoother driverless transport network, as well as it is an excellent proof point for using the network in new ways. Not just to communicate, but to help us make better decisions and improve safety.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div>The project was conducted from March to June 2018. The researchers had <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYSXvnaNRK4&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">experience from a similar project</a>, but did everything from scratch since different control algorithms, communication technology and vehicle platforms were used.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.ericsson.com/en/cases/2018/asta-zero" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about ”Building a safer driverless future at AstaZero” on ericsson.com</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For information, contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/paolo-falcone.aspx">Paolo Falcone</a>, Associate Professor in the Mechatronics research group at the department of Electrical engineering at Chalmers </div> <div><br /></div></div>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Towards-the-full-dimensional-fiber-capacity.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Towards-the-full-dimensional-fiber-capacity.aspxTowards the full-dimensional fiber capacity<p><b>​How can the optical fibers that make up today’s Internet be used more effectively? This is going to be investigated by a group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in a five-year project. Their research is working toward a scientific breakthrough in the field of optical communication, for which they now have been granted SEK 30.7 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The backbone of the Internet consists of hundreds of thousands of kilometers of optical fiber, in which enormous amounts of data are transferred around the globe. The demand for data seems to be insatiable and new applications connected to virtual reality (VR), big data, and Internet of things (IoT) are continuously adding to this. While the demand is increasing, the transmission capacity of optical fibers is limited. Moreover, installing and maintaining new fibers is costly and time-consuming. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>“We claim that the optical fibers are vastly underutilized today”, says Professor Henk Wymeersch, leader of the research team. “Our goal is to quantify and demonstrate the fundamental limits of fiber-optical communications. We will address a number of scientific questions ranging from fundamental theory and modeling to component design and integration.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Coordination is key</strong></div> <div>In the design of the current transmission schemes, coupling among the physical dimensions of the optical transmission – notably polarization, space, and frequency – is not taken into consideration when transmitting data. Current approaches rely on accessing the physical dimensions separately, while a joint design would allow for more data to be sent over the same physical dimensions. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Henk Wymeersch describes this using an analogy with cars driving on multiple lanes:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If the cars are not coordinated at all, traffic jams and accidents inevitably will occur, that will slow down the traffic and delay everybody in reaching their destination. Similarly, the traffic flow in optical fibers is optimal when the transferred data is coordinated and adjusted across all physical dimensions.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Comparatively little research has previously been conducted in the field of coordinated transmission in fiber optical communication”, Henk Wymeersch says. “The focus has been on the nonlinear high-power regime, while the linear coordinated regime has come back to the forefront, due to recent technological advances, including multi-mode fibers and optical frequency combs. These have made it possible to now move into this direction.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The granted money from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation will be used to obtain the necessary equipment for the experimental part of the project, and to extend the research team, currently consisting of six Chalmers researchers, with about six additional researchers. Collaboration with industry will also play an important role in the project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Lower costs and higher capacity</strong></div> <div>Not only will this project lead to new and fundamental understanding of transmission over optical fibers, there will be a major cost reduction for society if the present fiber optic links can be utilized more effectively. The knowledge gained in this project can also be transferred to other applications, for example spectroscopy and fiber imaging. Moreover, the work has impact in wireless communications as well, as wireless and optical communications converge. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Quantifying and demonstrating the fundamental limits of fiber-optical communications would imply a new era in this field. If we succeed in this, our scientific results will change how current and future fiber-optical communication systems are used and designed”, Henk Wymeersch concludes. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The looming “capacity crunch” on the Internet would thus be overcome, or at least postponed.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Photo: Johan Bodell</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>About the project</strong></div> <div>Title: Unlocking the full-dimensional fiber capacity</div> <div>Research team:</div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/henk-wymeersch.aspx">Henk Wymeersch​</a>, Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/erik-agrell.aspx">Erik Agrell</a>, Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Peter-Andrekson.aspx">Peter Andrekson</a>, Professor at the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Magnus-Karlsson.aspx">Magnus Karlsson</a>, Professor at the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/jochen-schroeder.aspx">Jochen Schröder</a>, Senior researcher at the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Victor-Torres-Company.aspx">Victor Torres Company​</a>, Associate Professor at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers</div> <div>Grant: SEK 30.7 million over five years</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><a href="https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More about the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation​</a></strong></div> <div>The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is Sweden's largest private financier of research. In October 2018, the foundation allocates 22 grants for research projects deemed to maintain a high international standard and to have the potential to lead to future scientific breakthroughs. The grants, SEK 640 Million in total, will go towards basic research in medicine, technology and science.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div></div></div>Tue, 02 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Sabine-Reinfeldt,-the-first-Henry-Wallman-prize-winner.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Sabine-Reinfeldt,-the-first-Henry-Wallman-prize-winner.aspxSabine Reinfeldt, the first Henry Wallman prize winner<p><b>​Sabine Reinfeldt is awarded the newly established prize in medical technology, in the spirit of Henry Wallman, for her research on bone conduction, and for her ability to build bridges between disciplines.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">​Sabine Reinfeldt, Associate Professor and leader of the research group Biomedical Signals and Systems at Chalmers University of Technology, </span><a href="/en/departments/e2/calendar/Pages/Prize-ceremony-for-the-Henry-Wallman-prize.aspx">received the prize at a ceremony at Sahlgrenska University Hospital on 19 September​</a><span style="background-color:initial">. We got the chance to ask Sabine some questions:</span><div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>What does this prize mean to you?</strong></div> <div>“It means a lot to me! I am very honored and pleased to receive it. I see the prize as an acknowledgement that my work is important and that it is well received. Also, I want to say that I feel very humble, because when I started doing my research, I became a part of already existing multidisciplinary collaborations, and my prerequisites to continue collaborating have been most favorable. To receive a prize in Henry Wallman’s spirit is a great honor, and I am very glad that my group’s research is being recognized in this positive way.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>You receive the prize also for your great ability to build bridges between disciplines. Why is cooperation a success factor in research, and what is the key to build well-functioning multidisciplinary teams?</strong></div> <div>“We need to realize that within one discipline, we would never be able to solve the challenges in society, for example in healthcare. We need to cooperate over disciplines to complement each other with our different backgrounds. It is essential to listen to each other’s experiences and knowledge, and to be open minded for new solutions. To develop medical devices that are safe and effective for the patients would never be possible without multidisciplinary collaboration.” </div> <div>“In my opinion, the key to build well-functioning multidisciplinary teams is to include highly motivated people who all have a passion for solving the same problem. Commitment is one key, and that the team members listen to the others. It is necessary to respect the other disciplines and the fact that they have knowledge that complement your own.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Which is the next step in your research?</strong></div> <div>“In our multicenter clinical study of the <a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/new-implant-replaces-impaired-middle-ear-827637" target="_blank">Bone Conduction Implant (BCI)</a>, we have 16 patients with hearing impairment, who have had the implant between nearly two and six years now. In extensive measurements, we are following up their performance in for example audiometric and electrical transmission tests, and we are now in the middle of several three-year and five-year visits. There are still areas involving these patients to be investigated, for example in directional hearing. Are there differences between different types of bone conduction devices? Also, could the attachment and size of the implant affect the outcome?”</div> <div>“In an adjacent field, which we are now moving into, <a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-innovation-improves-the-diagnosis-of-dizziness.aspx">bone conduction can be used to diagnose dizziness</a>. Bone conduction has been used before, but not in clinical practice, since today’s bone conduction transducers cannot produce the level needed at the frequency of interest. With a new transducer, which is still a prototype, our preliminary tests show that more patient groups can be diagnosed, and the new method would be more comfortable for the patients. I see several research areas within balance, dizziness and hearing diagnostics where we can contribute with our competence.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read an interview with Sabine Reinfeldt, from April 2018: </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Bridge-builder-awarded-new-prize-in-medical-technology.aspx">Bridge builder awarded new prize in medical technology</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Sabine%20Reinfeldt%20först%20att%20få%20Henry%20Wallman-priset/Prisutdelning_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Prize ceremony" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial">The prize winner Sabine Reinfeldt accompanied by Bo Håkansson, Bengt-Arne Sjöqvist and Kaj Lindecrantz</em><span style="background-color:initial">.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>About the prize</strong></div> <div>The Henry Wallman prize is an innovation prize in medical technology, which from 2018 will be awarded annually, to young researchers or graduate students who, in close collaboration between expertise in technology and health care, successfully have transferred new knowledge from academia to practical medical care. The Foundation for Biomedical Engineering (Stiftelsen Medicin &amp; Teknik) at Chalmers is hosting the prize. The scholarship amounts to SEK 50,000.</div> <div>Henry Wallman came to Chalmers in 1948 and was a pioneer in biomedical engineering research and development.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/sabine-reinfeldt.aspx">Sabine Reinfeldt</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20sabine.reinfeldt@chalmers.se">sabine.reinfeldt@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Photo: Helene Lindström, MedTech West</div></div> ​Fri, 21 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-innovation-improves-the-diagnosis-of-dizziness.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-innovation-improves-the-diagnosis-of-dizziness.aspxNew innovation improves the diagnosis of dizziness<p><b>​Half of over-65s suffer from dizziness and problems with balance. But some tests to identify the causes of such problems are painful and can risk hearing damage. Now, researchers from Chalmers have developed a new testing device using bone conduction technology, that offers significant advantages over the current tests.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Hearing and balance have something in common. For patients with dizziness, this relationship is used to diagnose issues with balance. Commonly, a ‘VEMP’ test (Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials) needs to be performed. A VEMP test uses loud sounds to evoke a muscle reflex contraction in the neck and eye muscles, triggered by the vestibular system – the system responsible for our balance. The Chalmers researchers have now used bone conducted sounds to achieve better results.</span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20metod%20ger%20bättre%20diagnos%20för%20yrsel/bo_hakansson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Bo Håkansson" style="margin:5px" />&quot;We have developed a new type of vibrating device that is placed behind the ear of the patient during the test,&quot; says Bo Håkansson, a professor in the research group 'Biomedical signals and systems' at Chalmers. The vibrating device is small and compact in size, and optimised to provide an adequate sound level for triggering the reflex at frequencies as low as 250 Hz. Previously, no vibrating device has been available that was directly adapted for this type of test of the balance system.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In bone conduction transmission, sound waves are transformed into vibrations through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear, in the same way as when sound waves normally go through the ear canal, the eardrum and the middle ear.<a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/new-implant-replaces-impaired-middle-ear-827637"> Bo Håkansson has over 40 years of experience in this field and has previously developed hearing aids using this technology.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br />Half of over-65s suffer from dizziness, but the causes can be difficult to diagnose for several reasons. In 50% of those cases, dizziness is due to problems in the vestibular system. But today's VEMP methods have major shortcomings, and can cause hearing loss and discomfort for patients. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>For example, the VEMP test uses very high sound levels, and may in fact cause permanent hearing damage itself. And, if the patient already suffers from certain types of hearing loss, it may be impossible to draw any conclusions from the test. The Chalmers researchers’ new method offers significant advantages.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20metod%20ger%20bättre%20diagnos%20för%20yrsel/Karl-Johan_Freden_Jansson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;Thanks to this bone conduction technology, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimised. The previous test was like a machine gun going off next to the ear – with this method it will be much more comfortable. The new vibrating device provides a maximum sound level of 75 decibels. The test can be performed at 40 decibels lower than today's method using air conducted sounds through headphones. This eliminates any risk that the test itself could cause hearing damage,” says postdoctoral researcher Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson, who made all the measurements in the project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The benefits also include safer testing for children, and that patients with impaired hearing function due to chronic ear infections or congenital malformations in the ear canal and middle ear can be diagnosed for the origin of their dizziness.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The vibrating device is compatible with standardised equipment for balance diagnostics in healthcare, making it easy to start using. The cost of the new technology is also estimated to be lower than the corresponding equipment used today.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A pilot study has been conducted and recently published. The next step is to conduct a larger patient study, under a recently received ethical approval, in collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, where 30 participants with normal hearing will also be included.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about the research</h5> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The scientific article <a href="https://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=40371" target="_blank">&quot;VEMP using a new low-frequency bone conduction transducer&quot;</a> has recently been published by Dove Medical Press, in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research.</span><br /></div> <div>Chalmers’ partners in the study are the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and the Danish audio companies Ortofon and Interacoustics. Grants for this project are received from Vinnova (Swedish Innovations Agency) and Hörselskadades Riksförbund (Hearing Impairment Federation).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://youtu.be/qrWnXgTP2vs" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />See the researchers' own presentation of the project</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-signals-and-systems.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about research on medical signals and systems</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about Diagnostics for Dizziness</h5> <div>A common method of diagnosing the cause of dizziness is a VEMP test – Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials. The test uses sound stimulation to evoke a muscle contraction in the neck and eye muscles, triggered by a reflex from the vestibular system – the system that is responsible for our sense of balance. The muscular response is measured and provides you information on whether the disorders responsible for the patient’s dizziness are in the vestibular system, or in its pathways to the brain.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In a traditional vestibular investigation, two variants of VEMP tests are used today: air transmitted sound through headphones or bone conducted sounds via a vibrating device attached to the head. When air transmitted sounds are used, high sound levels are required, which is uncomfortable to the patient and there is a risk of hearing damage. For bone conducted sound, the sound levels are lower, but the equipment currently available on the market is large and cumbersome, and therefore difficult to use. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new method uses new transducer technology, is smaller in size and generates bone conducted sound at a lower frequency than has been possible before (around 250 Hz). At this level, the muscle reflexes are more efficiently evoked. <span style="background-color:initial">The muscle contractions in both the neck and the eye muscles are measured using fairly standardised equipment, so it should be easy to start incorporating it into healthcare systems.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20metod%20ger%20bättre%20diagnos%20för%20yrsel/yrsel_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial">Bo Håkansson, Professor of Electrical Engineering, undergoes testing using the new compact vibrating device he and the team helped design. </span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">​<span>For more information contact</span></h5></div> <div><strong><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/bo-hakansson.aspx">Bo Håkansson</a></strong>, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers,</div> <div>031-772 18 07, <a href="mailto:%20boh@chalmers.se">boh@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/karl-johan-freden-jansson.aspx">Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson</a></strong>, Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers and in charge of clinical studies, 031-772 17 83, <a href="mailto:%20karljohf@chalmers.se​">karljohf@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>​<br /></div></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Translation: Joshua Worth<br />Photo: Johan Bodell</div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/CEVT-and-Chalmers-become-strategic-partners.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/CEVT-and-Chalmers-become-strategic-partners.aspxCEVT and Chalmers become strategic partners<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology and vehicle developer CEVT have signed a ten-year strategic partnership agreement. The goal is to ensure long-term supply of well-educated engineers as well as efficient research.</b></p>​On September 7, Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson and CEVT CEO Mats Fägerhag met at Lindholmen, Gothenburg,  to sign the agreement.<br /><br />“The collaboration between CEVT and Chalmers is an investment for the future. I see it as a very important strategic step in strengthening Chalmers, CEVT and the business community in western Sweden, since knowledge, competence building and research and development are the keys to success,” says Mats Fägerhag.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_bilder-utan-fast-format/CEVT_Avtal_189807_06_350x305px.jpg" alt="Audio description: Decorative image" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />CEVT and Chalmers aim to jointly develop and strengthen education, research and innovation in a number of priority areas. These include self-driving cars, sustainable mobility, artificial intelligence and cyber security. The vehicle developer plans to have up to four industry doctoral students per year linked to Chalmers and the proportion of Chalmers students who do their degree projects at CEVT will also increase.<br /><br />“For us as a university, the agreement is particularly valuable in areas such as self-driving electric vehicles and artificial intelligence. It is all about defining relevant research questions and ensuring opportunities for our students - both during and after their studies,” says Stefan Bengtsson.<br /><br />Chalmers now has official partnership agreements with fourteen different companies.<br /><br />“The agreement with CEVT represents an interesting broadening of our partner agreements. We are developing in collaboration with a fast-growing player in the automotive industry, which strengthens both Chalmers and the west Swedish automotive industry, as I see it,” says Stefan Bengtsson.<br /><br /><div>The collaboration will ultimately be governed by an annual management conference where representatives of Chalmers and CEVT will meet to evaluate and define relevant areas of collaboration. At Chalmers, the commitment will be coordinated by the Transport Area of Advance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Emilia Lundgren</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Johan Bodell</em><br /></div> <br /><strong>FACTS</strong><br />The vehicle developer CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology) is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which also owns Lynk &amp; Co, Volvo Cars, Polestar and Lotus, among others. The company has about 2 000 employees and has offices in Gothenburg and Trollhättan. Read more: <a href="https://www.cevt.se/">https://www.cevt.se/</a><br /> <br /><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/organisation/?tab=projects&amp;query=cevt"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Ongoing collaboration between Chalmers and CEVT</a><br /><br />Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-new-theory-for-phantom-limb-pain-points-the-way-to-more-effective-treatment.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-new-theory-for-phantom-limb-pain-points-the-way-to-more-effective-treatment.aspxA new theory for phantom limb pain points the way to more effective treatment<p><b>​Dr Max Ortiz Catalan at Chalmers has developed a new theory for the origin of the mysterious condition, ‘phantom limb pain’. Published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, his hypothesis builds upon his previous work on a revolutionary treatment for the condition, that uses machine learning and augmented reality.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Phantom limb pain is a poorly understood phenomenon, in which people who have lost a limb can experience severe pain, seemingly located in that missing part of the body. The condition can be seriously debilitating and can drastically reduce the sufferer’s quality of life. But current ideas on its origins cannot explain clinical findings, nor provide a comprehensive theoretical framework for its study and treatment. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><div>​Now, Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, has published a paper that offers up a promising new theory – one that he terms ‘stochastic entanglement’. </div> <div> </div> <div>He proposes that after an amputation, neural circuitry related to the missing limb loses its role and becomes susceptible to entanglement with other neural networks – in this case, the network responsible for pain perception. </div> <div><br />“Imagine you lose your hand. That leaves a big chunk of ‘real estate’ in your brain, and in your nervous system as a whole, without a job. It stops processing any sensory input, it stops producing any motor output to move the hand. It goes idle – but not silent,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan. </div> <div> </div> <div>Neurons are never completely silent. When not processing a particular job, they might fire at random. This may result in coincidental firing of neurons in that part of the sensorimotor network, at the same time as from the network of pain perception. When they fire together, that will create the experience of pain in that part of the body.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Normally, sporadic synchronised firing wouldn’t be a big deal, because it’s just part of the background noise, and it won’t stand out,” continues Max Ortiz Catalan. “But in patients with a missing limb, such event could stand out when little else is going on at the same time. This can result in a surprising, emotionally charged experience – to feel pain in a part of the body you don’t have. Such a remarkable sensation could reinforce a neural connection, make it stick out, and help establish an undesirable link.”</div> <div> </div> <div>Through a principle known as ‘Hebb’s Law’ – ‘neurons that fire together, wire together’ – neurons in the sensorimotor and pain perception networks become entangled, resulting in phantom limb pain. The new theory also explains why not all amputees suffer from the condition– the randomness, or stochasticity, means that simultaneous firing may not occur, and become linked, in all patients.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the new paper, Max Ortiz Catalan goes on to examine how this theory can explain the effectiveness of Phantom Motor Execution (PME), <a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/phantom-movements-in-augmented-reality-helps-patients-with-chronic-intractable-phantom-limb-pain-1670596" target="_blank">the novel treatment method he previously developed​</a>. During PME treatment, electrodes attached to the patient’s residual limb pick up electrical signals intended for the missing limb, which are then translated through AI algorithms, into movements of a virtual limb in real time. <span style="background-color:initial">The patients see themselves on a screen, with a digitally rendered limb in place of their missing one, and can then control it just as if it were their own biological limb. This allows the patient to stimulate and reactivate those dormant areas of the brain.​ </span></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Treatment of phantom limb pain" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/PME_500px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial"><br /></em></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial">The patient, missing his right arm, can see himself on screen in augmented reality, with a virtual limb. He can control it through the electrodes attached to his skin, which in this treatment called Phantom Motor Execution allows the patient to stimulate and reactivate those dormant areas of the brain. Source: Catalan, Frontiers in Neurology, 2018</em><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The patients can start reusing those areas of brain that had gone idle. Making use of that circuitry helps to weaken and disconnect the entanglement to the pain network. It’s a kind of ‘inverse Hebb’s law’ – the more those neurons fire apart, the weaker their connection. Or, it can be used preventatively, to protect against the formation of those links in the first place,” he says. </div> <div> </div> <div>The PME treatment method has been previously shown to help patients for whom other therapies have failed. Understanding exactly how and why it can help is crucial to ensuring it is administered correctly and in the most effective manner. Max Ortiz Catalan’s new theory could help unravel some of the mysteries surrounding phantom limb pain, and offer relief for some of the most affected sufferers.</div> <div> </div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More Information</h4> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Phantom Motor Execution undergoing global trial</h5> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">Dr Max Ortiz Catalan developed Phantom Motor Execution (PME) as a treatment for phantom limb pain, in which phantom movements are decoded from the residual limb using machine learning, and then visualised via virtual and augmented reality. The new hypothesis provides an explanation for the clinical successes observed for this therapy. PME has been shown to reduce phantom limb pain in chronic sufferers, for whom other treatments failed. At present, PME is being tested in clinics around the world, from Canada to Australia, with the majority of patients treated in Europe. A device allowing for this treatment is being commercialized by Integrum AB, a Swedish medical device company, and a large international clinical trial in 7 countries is currently in progress. On-going brain imaging studies on these patients treated with PME will support or challenge Max Ortiz Catalan’s theories. </span></div> <div> </div> <div>See a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7JHGC-T4E&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">video presentation of Phantom Motor Execution in action</a>.​</div></div> <div> </div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More on the research</h5> <div>Dr Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and head of <a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/" target="_blank">the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory</a>. </div> <div>He has previously attracted international attention, for his pioneering work on osseointegrated bionic limbs, published in <a href="http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/257/257re6" target="_blank">Science Translational Medicine</a>, and for his Phantom Motor Execution treatment for phantom limb pain, published in <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2931598-7/abstract" target="_blank">The Lancet</a>. </div> <div>His new paper, <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00748/abstract" target="_blank">‘The stochastic entanglement and phantom motor execution hypotheses: a theoretical framework for the origin and treatment of PLP’</a> is published in the journal Frontiers of Neurology. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Contact information</h5> <div>Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 70 846 10 65, <a href="mailto:maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a></div> <div> </div> <div>Visit the<a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/" target="_blank"> Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory website</a>. </div></div> <div>​<span style="background-color:initial">​Read more about Chalmers´reserach on </span><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-signals-and-systems.aspx">Biomedical signals and systems​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div>Photo of Max Ortiz Catalan: Oscar Matsson​</div></div> </div> ​​Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspxUnique energy system is being tested at Chalmers<p><b>​This week, for the first time, a unique local marketplace for electricity, heat and cooling is being tested at Chalmers University of Technology, campus Johanneberg. The EU funded initiative is a collaboration between nine local partners and is being held to find new ways towards a fossil-free energy supply system at international level.​</b></p>​The Fossil-free Energy Districts (FED) project has been running for a year and a half, and now the digital, IoT-based marketplace is ready to be connected to campus buildings and tested in a sharp spot. The idea is that buildings that both consume and in some cases produce energy should communicate with each other to avoid energy consumption peaks that are both expensive and bad for the environment.<br /><br />– FED's marketplace is unique in several ways, partly because it connects both electricity, heat and cooling, and partly because it allows smaller players, such as a property owner who has installed solar panels on the roof, to participate in energy trading. At the same time, the system is connected to the larger external network, in our case Göteborg Energi, which provides cover when needed, says Claes Sommansson, FED Project Manager at Johanneberg Science Park.<br /><br />The FED system handles large amounts of data, both from property owners own systems and information such as weather and electricity pricing, and is updated hour by hour. But it is not the property owners themselves who have to process the information. This work is done by smart digital agents who make decisions to optimize energy efficiency in the area. The AI agents are programmed by Ericsson and based on machine learning, which means that they will get better at their job over time.<br /><br /><div>– The biggest advantage of FED is that it's a flexible system and that's something we'll need in the future when the share of energy from renewable sources, like solar and wind, grows. The uneven supply of these sources causes price fluctuations to grow, but the agents in the FED system can for example predict a cold spell and decide to start heating a house before it happens. In this way, you can buy energy at a lower price, before demand increases, but you also avoid burning fossil fuels like gas and oil, says Ericsson's Joakim Pontén, who has been in charge of the IT solution within FED.</div> <div><br />Researchers at Chalmers have done simulations and analysis to build the models that will make the energy system and the marketplace work. <a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Chalmers-is-becoming-a-unique-marketplace-for-energy.aspx">Read more about the work of the researchers.</a><br /></div> <br />The two property owners at Chalmers, Akademiska Hus and Chalmersfastigheter, are obvious partners in the project, and together they are making significant investments that will be rolled out in the autumn, including several new solar cells and a large battery for storing solar power. The entire FED system is expected to be operational at the end of the year, and the tests being carried out now are an important milestone.<br /><br />– A major challenge has been to connect the property owners' systems with Ericsson and Göteborg Energi's systems. The test week we are now completing is confirmation that our property systems linked to the parent FED marketplace are working well, says Per Löveryd, Innovation Coordinator at Akademiska Hus. <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Joakim Pontén and Per Löveryd" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Chalmers%20blir%20unik%20handelsplats%20för%20energi/FED-Per-Löveryd-Joakim-Ponten_500px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div><br /></div> <div>Joakim Pontén, Ericsson and Per Löveryd, Akademiska Hus. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts about the project</strong></div> <div>The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, FED, is an innovative effort by the City of Gothenburg to decrease the use of energy and the dependence on fossil fuel in a built environment. A unique local marketplace for electricity, district heating and cooling is being developed together with nine strong partners. The City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Sciene Park, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Ericsson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Akademiska Hus, Chalmersfastigheter and Chalmers University of Technology are all contributing with their expertise and knowledge to make FED attractive for other European cities as well. Johanneberg Science Park has the coordinating role on behalf of the city. During 2017−2019 the FED testbed will be situated on Chalmers Campus Johanneberg. FED is co-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative, an initiative of the European Commission for cities to test new solutions for urban challenges.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more:<br /><a href="https://www.johannebergsciencepark.com/en/projects/fed-fossil-free-energy-districts" target="_blank">About FED on the Johanneberg Science Park website</a><br /><a href="http://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/gothenburgiencepark.com/fed" target="_blank">About FED in Urban Innovative Actions</a><br /><br /></div></div>Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:00:00 +0200