sensors-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "State-of-the-Art Sensors Technologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2013).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Informatics, University Complutense of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: computer vision; image processing; pattern recognition; 3D image reconstruction, spatio-temporal image change detection and tracking; fusion and registering from imaging sensors; superresolution from low-resolution image sensors.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide a comprehensive view on the state-of-the-art sensors technology in Spain. Research articles are invited, which will provide a consolidated state-of-the-art in this area. The Special Issue will publish full research, review and high rated manuscripts addressing the above topic.

Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • biosensors
  • chemical sensors
  • physical sensors

Published Papers (89 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Sensors and Technologies in Spain: State-of-the-Art
Sensors 2014, 14(8), 15282-15303; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140815282 - 19 Aug 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3093
Abstract
The aim of this special issue was to provide a comprehensive view on the state-of-the-art sensor technology in Spain. Different problems cause the appearance and development of new sensor technologies and vice versa, the emergence of new sensors facilitates the solution of [...] Read more.
The aim of this special issue was to provide a comprehensive view on the state-of-the-art sensor technology in Spain. Different problems cause the appearance and development of new sensor technologies and vice versa, the emergence of new sensors facilitates the solution of existing real problems. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Minimum Time Search in Uncertain Dynamic Domains with Complex Sensorial Platforms
Sensors 2014, 14(8), 14131-14179; https://doi.org/10.3390/s140814131 - 04 Aug 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2930
Abstract
The minimum time search in uncertain domains is a searching task, which appears in real world problems such as natural disasters and sea rescue operations, where a target has to be found, as soon as possible, by a set of sensor-equipped searchers. The [...] Read more.
The minimum time search in uncertain domains is a searching task, which appears in real world problems such as natural disasters and sea rescue operations, where a target has to be found, as soon as possible, by a set of sensor-equipped searchers. The automation of this task, where the time to detect the target is critical, can be achieved by new probabilistic techniques that directly minimize the Expected Time (ET) to detect a dynamic target using the observation probability models and actual observations collected by the sensors on board the searchers. The selected technique, described in algorithmic form in this paper for completeness, has only been previously partially tested with an ideal binary detection model, in spite of being designed to deal with complex non-linear/non-differential sensorial models. This paper covers the gap, testing its performance and applicability over different searching tasks with searchers equipped with different complex sensors. The sensorial models under test vary from stepped detection probabilities to continuous/discontinuous differentiable/non-differentiable detection probabilities dependent on distance, orientation, and structured maps. The analysis of the simulated results of several static and dynamic scenarios performed in this paper validates the applicability of the technique with different types of sensor models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Ubiquitous Sensor Network Platform for Integrating Smart Devices into the Semantic Sensor Web
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10725-10752; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140610725 - 18 Jun 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4016
Abstract
Ongoing Sensor Web developments make a growing amount of heterogeneous sensor data available to smart devices. This is generating an increasing demand for homogeneous mechanisms to access, publish and share real-world information. This paper discusses, first, an architectural solution based on Next Generation [...] Read more.
Ongoing Sensor Web developments make a growing amount of heterogeneous sensor data available to smart devices. This is generating an increasing demand for homogeneous mechanisms to access, publish and share real-world information. This paper discusses, first, an architectural solution based on Next Generation Networks: a pilot Telco Ubiquitous Sensor Network (USN) Platform that embeds several OGC® Sensor Web services. This platform has already been deployed in large scale projects. Second, the USN-Platform is extended to explore a first approach to Semantic Sensor Web principles and technologies, so that smart devices can access Sensor Web data, allowing them also to share richer (semantically interpreted) information. An experimental scenario is presented: a smart car that consumes and produces real-world information which is integrated into the Semantic Sensor Web through a Telco USN-Platform. Performance tests revealed that observation publishing times with our experimental system were well within limits compatible with the adequate operation of smart safety assistance systems in vehicles. On the other hand, response times for complex queries on large repositories may be inappropriate for rapid reaction needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Innovative Pressure Sensor Platform and Its Integration with an End-User Application
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10273-10291; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140610273 - 11 Jun 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3720
Abstract
This paper describes the fully integration of an innovative and low-cost pressure sensor sheet based on a bendable and printed electronics technology. All integration stages are covered, from most low-level functional system, like physical analog sensor data acquisition, followed by embedded data processing, [...] Read more.
This paper describes the fully integration of an innovative and low-cost pressure sensor sheet based on a bendable and printed electronics technology. All integration stages are covered, from most low-level functional system, like physical analog sensor data acquisition, followed by embedded data processing, to end user interactive visual application. Data acquisition embedded software and hardware was developed using a Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP). Finally, after first electronic prototype successful testing, a Taylor-made electronics was developed, reducing electronics volume to 3.5 cm × 6 cm × 2 cm with a maximum power consumption of 765 mW for both electronics and pressure sensor sheet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Novel Micro- and Nano-Scale Positioning Sensor Based on Radio Frequency Resonant Cavities
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9615-9627; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140609615 - 30 May 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3428
Abstract
In many micro- and nano-scale technological applications high sensitivity displacement sensors are needed, especially in ultraprecision metrology and manufacturing. In this work a new way of sensing displacement based on radio frequency resonant cavities is presented and experimentally demonstrated using a first laboratory [...] Read more.
In many micro- and nano-scale technological applications high sensitivity displacement sensors are needed, especially in ultraprecision metrology and manufacturing. In this work a new way of sensing displacement based on radio frequency resonant cavities is presented and experimentally demonstrated using a first laboratory prototype. The principle of operation of the new transducer is summarized and tested. Furthermore, an electronic interface that can be used together with the displacement transducer is designed and proved. It has been experimentally demonstrated that very high and linear sensitivity characteristic curves, in the range of some kHz/nm; are easily obtainable using this kind of transducer when it is combined with a laboratory network analyzer. In order to replace a network analyzer and provide a more affordable, self-contained, compact solution, an electronic interface has been designed, preserving as much as possible the excellent performance of the transducer, and turning it into a true standalone positioning sensor. The results obtained using the transducer together with a first prototype of the electronic interface built with cheap discrete elements show that positioning accuracies in the micrometer range are obtainable using this cost-effective solution. Better accuracies would also be attainable but using more involved and costly electronics interfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Audio-Visual Perception System for a Humanoid Robotic Head
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9522-9545; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140609522 - 28 May 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4421
Abstract
One of the main issues within the field of social robotics is to endow robots with the ability to direct attention to people with whom they are interacting. Different approaches follow bio-inspired mechanisms, merging audio and visual cues to localize a person using [...] Read more.
One of the main issues within the field of social robotics is to endow robots with the ability to direct attention to people with whom they are interacting. Different approaches follow bio-inspired mechanisms, merging audio and visual cues to localize a person using multiple sensors. However, most of these fusion mechanisms have been used in fixed systems, such as those used in video-conference rooms, and thus, they may incur difficulties when constrained to the sensors with which a robot can be equipped. Besides, within the scope of interactive autonomous robots, there is a lack in terms of evaluating the benefits of audio-visual attention mechanisms, compared to only audio or visual approaches, in real scenarios. Most of the tests conducted have been within controlled environments, at short distances and/or with off-line performance measurements. With the goal of demonstrating the benefit of fusing sensory information with a Bayes inference for interactive robotics, this paper presents a system for localizing a person by processing visual and audio data. Moreover, the performance of this system is evaluated and compared via considering the technical limitations of unimodal systems. The experiments show the promise of the proposed approach for the proactive detection and tracking of speakers in a human-robot interactive framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Real-Time Algebraic Derivative Estimations Using a Novel Low-Cost Architecture Based on Reconfigurable Logic
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 9349-9368; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140509349 - 23 May 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3144
Abstract
Time derivative estimation of signals plays a very important role in several fields, such as signal processing and control engineering, just to name a few of them. For that purpose, a non-asymptotic algebraic procedure for the approximate estimation of the system states is [...] Read more.
Time derivative estimation of signals plays a very important role in several fields, such as signal processing and control engineering, just to name a few of them. For that purpose, a non-asymptotic algebraic procedure for the approximate estimation of the system states is used in this work. The method is based on results from differential algebra and furnishes some general formulae for the time derivatives of a measurable signal in which two algebraic derivative estimators run simultaneously, but in an overlapping fashion. The algebraic derivative algorithm presented in this paper is computed online and in real-time, offering high robustness properties with regard to corrupting noises, versatility and ease of implementation. Besides, in this work, we introduce a novel architecture to accelerate this algebraic derivative estimator using reconfigurable logic. The core of the algorithm is implemented in an FPGA, improving the speed of the system and achieving real-time performance. Finally, this work proposes a low-cost platform for the integration of hardware in the loop in MATLAB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
New Trends in Quantitative Assessment of the Corneal Barrier Function
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8718-8727; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140508718 - 16 May 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3128
Abstract
The cornea is a very particular tissue due to its transparency and its barrier function as it has to resist against the daily insults of the external environment. In addition, maintenance of this barrier function is of crucial importance to ensure a correct [...] Read more.
The cornea is a very particular tissue due to its transparency and its barrier function as it has to resist against the daily insults of the external environment. In addition, maintenance of this barrier function is of crucial importance to ensure a correct corneal homeostasis. Here, the corneal epithelial permeability has been assessed in vivo by means of non-invasive tetrapolar impedance measurements, taking advantage of the huge impact of the ion fluxes in the passive electrical properties of living tissues. This has been possible by using a flexible sensor based in SU-8 photoresist. In this work, a further analysis focused on the validation of the presented sensor is performed by monitoring the healing process of corneas that were previously wounded. The obtained impedance measurements have been compared with the damaged area observed in corneal fluorescein staining images. The successful results confirm the feasibility of this novel method, as it represents a more sensitive in vivo and non-invasive test to assess low alterations of the epithelial permeability. Then, it could be used as an excellent complement to the fluorescein staining image evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Super-Resolution in Plenoptic Cameras Using FPGAs
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8669-8685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140508669 - 16 May 2014
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4698
Abstract
Plenoptic cameras are a new type of sensor that extend the possibilities of current commercial cameras allowing 3D refocusing or the capture of 3D depths. One of the limitations of plenoptic cameras is their limited spatial resolution. In this paper we describe a [...] Read more.
Plenoptic cameras are a new type of sensor that extend the possibilities of current commercial cameras allowing 3D refocusing or the capture of 3D depths. One of the limitations of plenoptic cameras is their limited spatial resolution. In this paper we describe a fast, specialized hardware implementation of a super-resolution algorithm for plenoptic cameras. The algorithm has been designed for field programmable graphic array (FPGA) devices using VHDL (very high speed integrated circuit (VHSIC) hardware description language). With this technology, we obtain an acceleration of several orders of magnitude using its extremely high-performance signal processing capability through parallelism and pipeline architecture. The system has been developed using generics of the VHDL language. This allows a very versatile and parameterizable system. The system user can easily modify parameters such as data width, number of microlenses of the plenoptic camera, their size and shape, and the super-resolution factor. The speed of the algorithm in FPGA has been successfully compared with the execution using a conventional computer for several image sizes and different 3D refocusing planes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Comparative Study of Registration Methods for RGB-D Video of Static Scenes
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8547-8576; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140508547 - 15 May 2014
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4058
Abstract
The use of RGB-D sensors for mapping and recognition tasks in robotics or, in general, for virtual reconstruction has increased in recent years. The key aspect of these kinds of sensors is that they provide both depth and color information using the same [...] Read more.
The use of RGB-D sensors for mapping and recognition tasks in robotics or, in general, for virtual reconstruction has increased in recent years. The key aspect of these kinds of sensors is that they provide both depth and color information using the same device. In this paper, we present a comparative analysis of the most important methods used in the literature for the registration of subsequent RGB-D video frames in static scenarios. The analysis begins by explaining the characteristics of the registration problem, dividing it into two representative applications: scene modeling and object reconstruction. Then, a detailed experimentation is carried out to determine the behavior of the different methods depending on the application. For both applications, we used standard datasets and a new one built for object reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Application of Ultrasound Phase-Shift Analysis to Authenticate Wooden Panel Paintings
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 7992-8002; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140507992 - 05 May 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3226
Abstract
Artworks are a valuable part of the World’s cultural and historical heritage. Conservation and authentication of authorship are important aspects to consider in the protection of cultural patrimony. In this paper we present a novel application of a well-known method based on the [...] Read more.
Artworks are a valuable part of the World’s cultural and historical heritage. Conservation and authentication of authorship are important aspects to consider in the protection of cultural patrimony. In this paper we present a novel application of a well-known method based on the phase-shift analysis of an ultrasonic signal, providing an integrated encoding system that enables authentication of the authorship of wooden panel paintings. The method has been evaluated in comparison with optical analysis and shows promising results. The proposed method provides an integrated fingerprint of the artwork, and could be used to enrich the cataloging and protection of artworks. Other advantages that make particularly attractive the proposed technique are its robustness and the use of low-cost sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Muecas: A Multi-Sensor Robotic Head for Affective Human Robot Interaction and Imitation
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 7711-7737; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140507711 - 28 Apr 2014
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 5331
Abstract
This paper presents a multi-sensor humanoid robotic head for human robot interaction. The design of the robotic head, Muecas, is based on ongoing research on the mechanisms of perception and imitation of human expressions and emotions. These mechanisms allow direct interaction between the [...] Read more.
This paper presents a multi-sensor humanoid robotic head for human robot interaction. The design of the robotic head, Muecas, is based on ongoing research on the mechanisms of perception and imitation of human expressions and emotions. These mechanisms allow direct interaction between the robot and its human companion through the different natural language modalities: speech, body language and facial expressions. The robotic head has 12 degrees of freedom, in a human-like configuration, including eyes, eyebrows, mouth and neck, and has been designed and built entirely by IADeX (Engineering, Automation and Design of Extremadura) and RoboLab. A detailed description of its kinematics is provided along with the design of the most complex controllers. Muecas can be directly controlled by FACS (Facial Action Coding System), the de facto standard for facial expression recognition and synthesis. This feature facilitates its use by third party platforms and encourages the development of imitation and of goal-based systems. Imitation systems learn from the user, while goal-based ones use planning techniques to drive the user towards a final desired state. To show the flexibility and reliability of the robotic head, the paper presents a software architecture that is able to detect, recognize, classify and generate facial expressions in real time using FACS. This system has been implemented using the robotics framework, RoboComp, which provides hardware-independent access to the sensors in the head. Finally, the paper presents experimental results showing the real-time functioning of the whole system, including recognition and imitation of human facial expressions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
An Adaptive Scheme for Robot Localization and Mapping with Dynamically Configurable Inter-Beacon Range Measurements
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 7684-7710; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140507684 - 25 Apr 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3943
Abstract
This work is motivated by robot-sensor network cooperation techniques where sensor nodes (beacons) are used as landmarks for range-only (RO) simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). This paper presents a RO-SLAM scheme that actuates over the measurement gathering process using mechanisms that dynamically modify [...] Read more.
This work is motivated by robot-sensor network cooperation techniques where sensor nodes (beacons) are used as landmarks for range-only (RO) simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). This paper presents a RO-SLAM scheme that actuates over the measurement gathering process using mechanisms that dynamically modify the rate and variety of measurements that are integrated in the SLAM filter. It includes a measurement gathering module that can be configured to collect direct robot-beacon and inter-beacon measurements with different inter-beacon depth levels and at different rates. It also includes a supervision module that monitors the SLAM performance and dynamically selects the measurement gathering configuration balancing SLAM accuracy and resource consumption. The proposed scheme has been applied to an extended Kalman filter SLAM with auxiliary particle filters for beacon initialization (PF-EKF SLAM) and validated with experiments performed in the CONET Integrated Testbed. It achieved lower map and robot errors (34% and 14%, respectively) than traditional methods with a lower computational burden (16%) and similar beacon energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Sensor Applications of Soft Magnetic Materials Based on Magneto-Impedance, Magneto-Elastic Resonance and Magneto-Electricity
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 7602-7624; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140507602 - 25 Apr 2014
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4757
Abstract
The outstanding properties of selected soft magnetic materials make them successful candidates for building high performance sensors. In this paper we present our recent work regarding different sensing technologies based on the coupling of the magnetic properties of soft magnetic materials with their [...] Read more.
The outstanding properties of selected soft magnetic materials make them successful candidates for building high performance sensors. In this paper we present our recent work regarding different sensing technologies based on the coupling of the magnetic properties of soft magnetic materials with their electric or elastic properties. In first place we report the influence on the magneto-impedance response of the thickness of Permalloy films in multilayer-sandwiched structures. An impedance change of 270% was found in the best conditions upon the application of magnetic field, with a low field sensitivity of 140%/Oe. Second, the magneto-elastic resonance of amorphous ribbons is used to demonstrate the possibility of sensitively measuring the viscosity of fluids, aimed to develop an on-line and real-time sensor capable of assessing the state of degradation of lubricant oils in machinery. A novel analysis method is shown to sensitively reveal the changes of the damping parameter of the magnetoelastic oscillations at the resonance as a function of the oil viscosity. Finally, the properties and performance of magneto-electric laminated composites of amorphous magnetic ribbons and piezoelectric polymer films are investigated, demonstrating magnetic field detection capabilities below 2.7 nT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Wearable Biomedical Measurement Systems for Assessment of Mental Stress of Combatants in Real Time
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 7120-7141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140407120 - 22 Apr 2014
Cited by 90 | Viewed by 6471
Abstract
The Spanish Ministry of Defense, through its Future Combatant program, has sought to develop technology aids with the aim of extending combatants’ operational capabilities. Within this framework the ATREC project funded by the “Coincidente” program aims at analyzing diverse biometrics to assess by [...] Read more.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense, through its Future Combatant program, has sought to develop technology aids with the aim of extending combatants’ operational capabilities. Within this framework the ATREC project funded by the “Coincidente” program aims at analyzing diverse biometrics to assess by real time monitoring the stress levels of combatants. This project combines multidisciplinary disciplines and fields, including wearable instrumentation, textile technology, signal processing, pattern recognition and psychological analysis of the obtained information. In this work the ATREC project is described, including the different execution phases, the wearable biomedical measurement systems, the experimental setup, the biomedical signal analysis and speech processing performed. The preliminary results obtained from the data analysis collected during the first phase of the project are presented, indicating the good classification performance exhibited when using features obtained from electrocardiographic recordings and electrical bioimpedance measurements from the thorax. These results suggest that cardiac and respiration activity offer better biomarkers for assessment of stress than speech, galvanic skin response or skin temperature when recorded with wearable biomedical measurement systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Object Detection Techniques Applied on Mobile Robot Semantic Navigation
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 6734-6757; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140406734 - 11 Apr 2014
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4295
Abstract
The future of robotics predicts that robots will integrate themselves more every day with human beings and their environments. To achieve this integration, robots need to acquire information about the environment and its objects. There is a big need for algorithms to provide [...] Read more.
The future of robotics predicts that robots will integrate themselves more every day with human beings and their environments. To achieve this integration, robots need to acquire information about the environment and its objects. There is a big need for algorithms to provide robots with these sort of skills, from the location where objects are needed to accomplish a task up to where these objects are considered as information about the environment. This paper presents a way to provide mobile robots with the ability-skill to detect objets for semantic navigation. This paper aims to use current trends in robotics and at the same time, that can be exported to other platforms. Two methods to detect objects are proposed, contour detection and a descriptor based technique, and both of them are combined to overcome their respective limitations. Finally, the code is tested on a real robot, to prove its accuracy and efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Monocular SLAM for Autonomous Robots with Enhanced Features Initialization
Sensors 2014, 14(4), 6317-6337; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140406317 - 02 Apr 2014
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4402
Abstract
This work presents a variant approach to the monocular SLAM problem focused in exploiting the advantages of a human-robot interaction (HRI) framework. Based upon the delayed inverse-depth feature initialization SLAM (DI-D SLAM), a known monocular technique, several but crucial modifications are introduced taking [...] Read more.
This work presents a variant approach to the monocular SLAM problem focused in exploiting the advantages of a human-robot interaction (HRI) framework. Based upon the delayed inverse-depth feature initialization SLAM (DI-D SLAM), a known monocular technique, several but crucial modifications are introduced taking advantage of data from a secondary monocular sensor, assuming that this second camera is worn by a human. The human explores an unknown environment with the robot, and when their fields of view coincide, the cameras are considered a pseudo-calibrated stereo rig to produce estimations for depth through parallax. These depth estimations are used to solve a related problem with DI-D monocular SLAM, namely, the requirement of a metric scale initialization through known artificial landmarks. The same process is used to improve the performance of the technique when introducing new landmarks into the map. The convenience of the approach taken to the stereo estimation, based on SURF features matching, is discussed. Experimental validation is provided through results from real data with results showing the improvements in terms of more features correctly initialized, with reduced uncertainty, thus reducing scale and orientation drift. Additional discussion in terms of how a real-time implementation could take advantage of this approach is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Infrared Sensor-Based Temperature Control for Domestic Induction Cooktops
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5278-5295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140305278 - 14 Mar 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6151
Abstract
In this paper, a precise real-time temperature control system based on infrared (IR) thermometry for domestic induction cooking is presented. The temperature in the vessel constitutes the control variable of the closed-loop power control system implemented in a commercial induction cooker. A proportional-integral [...] Read more.
In this paper, a precise real-time temperature control system based on infrared (IR) thermometry for domestic induction cooking is presented. The temperature in the vessel constitutes the control variable of the closed-loop power control system implemented in a commercial induction cooker. A proportional-integral controller is applied to establish the output power level in order to reach the target temperature. An optical system and a signal conditioning circuit have been implemented. For the signal processing a microprocessor with 12-bit ADC and a sampling rate of 1 Ksps has been used. The analysis of the contributions to the infrared radiation permits the definition of a procedure to estimate the temperature of the vessel with a maximum temperature error of 5 °C in the range between 60 and 250 °C for a known cookware emissivity. A simple and necessary calibration procedure with a black-body sample is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Novel Topology Control Approach to Maintain the Node Degree in Dynamic Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4672-4688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140304672 - 07 Mar 2014
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3396
Abstract
Topology control is an important technique to improve the connectivity and the reliability of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) by means of adjusting the communication range of wireless sensor nodes. In this paper, a novel Fuzzy-logic Topology Control (FTC) is proposed to achieve any [...] Read more.
Topology control is an important technique to improve the connectivity and the reliability of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) by means of adjusting the communication range of wireless sensor nodes. In this paper, a novel Fuzzy-logic Topology Control (FTC) is proposed to achieve any desired average node degree by adaptively changing communication range, thus improving the network connectivity, which is the main target of FTC. FTC is a fully localized control algorithm, and does not rely on location information of neighbors. Instead of designing membership functions and if-then rules for fuzzy-logic controller, FTC is constructed from the training data set to facilitate the design process. FTC is proved to be accurate, stable and has short settling time. In order to compare it with other representative localized algorithms (NONE, FLSS, k-Neighbor and LTRT), FTC is evaluated through extensive simulations. The simulation results show that: firstly, similar to k-Neighbor algorithm, FTC is the best to achieve the desired average node degree as node density varies; secondly, FTC is comparable to FLSS and k-Neighbor in terms of energy-efficiency, but is better than LTRT and NONE; thirdly, FTC has the lowest average maximum communication range than other algorithms, which indicates that the most energy-consuming node in the network consumes the lowest power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Influence of Surface Position along the Working Range of Conoscopic Holography Sensors on Dimensional Verification of AISI 316 Wire EDM Machined Surfaces
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4495-4512; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140304495 - 06 Mar 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3335
Abstract
Conoscopic holography (CH) is a non-contact interferometric technique used for surface digitization which presents several advantages over other optical techniques such as laser triangulation. Among others, the ability for the reconstruction of high-sloped surfaces stands out, and so does its lower dependence on [...] Read more.
Conoscopic holography (CH) is a non-contact interferometric technique used for surface digitization which presents several advantages over other optical techniques such as laser triangulation. Among others, the ability for the reconstruction of high-sloped surfaces stands out, and so does its lower dependence on surface optical properties. Nevertheless, similarly to other optical systems, adjustment of CH sensors requires an adequate selection of configuration parameters for ensuring a high quality surface digitizing. This should be done on a surface located as close as possible to the stand-off distance by tuning frequency (F) and power (P) until the quality indicators Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and signal envelope (Total) meet proper values. However, not all the points of an actual surface are located at the stand-off distance, but they could be located throughout the whole working range (WR). Thus, the quality of a digitized surface may not be uniform. The present work analyses how the quality of a reconstructed surface is affected by its relative position within the WR under different combinations of the parameters F and P. Experiments have been conducted on AISI 316 wire EDM machined flat surfaces. The number of high-quality points digitized as well as distance measurements between different surfaces throughout the WR allowed for comparing the metrological behaviour of the CH sensor with respect to a touch probe (TP) on a CMM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Electrical Characterization of Photodetectors Based on Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) Layers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4484-4494; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140304484 - 06 Mar 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2853
Abstract
This paper presents the electrical characteristics of solution-processed organic photodetectors based on poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) semiconducting polymer layers deposited by spin-coating on interdigitated metal electrodes. Four different electrode shapes have been used for this study in order to appraise the optimum electrode geometry. The measurement [...] Read more.
This paper presents the electrical characteristics of solution-processed organic photodetectors based on poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) semiconducting polymer layers deposited by spin-coating on interdigitated metal electrodes. Four different electrode shapes have been used for this study in order to appraise the optimum electrode geometry. The measurement of the resistance as a function of the temperature reveals a transition from negative to positive temperature coefficient material around 80 °C for the polymer layers. Besides, slow reversible changes in the photodetectors conductivity were observed when moved from vacuum to the air and under illumination with a xenon lamp, which can be explained by the formation of charge transfer complexes with molecular oxygen and the polymer. The photogenerated current-light power ratio was found to be approximately linear in the 200 to 550 mW/cm2 range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
An Interactive Tool for Outdoor Computer Controlled Cultivation of Microalgae in a Tubular Photobioreactor System
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4466-4483; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140304466 - 06 Mar 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4213
Abstract
This paper describes an interactive virtual laboratory for experimenting with an outdoor tubular photobioreactor (henceforth PBR for short). This virtual laboratory it makes possible to: (a) accurately reproduce the structure of a real plant (the PBR designed and built by the Department of [...] Read more.
This paper describes an interactive virtual laboratory for experimenting with an outdoor tubular photobioreactor (henceforth PBR for short). This virtual laboratory it makes possible to: (a) accurately reproduce the structure of a real plant (the PBR designed and built by the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Almería, Spain); (b) simulate a generic tubular PBR by changing the PBR geometry; (c) simulate the effects of changing different operating parameters such as the conditions of the culture (pH, biomass concentration, dissolved O2, inyected CO2, etc.); (d) simulate the PBR in its environmental context; it is possible to change the geographic location of the system or the solar irradiation profile; (e) apply different control strategies to adjust different variables such as the CO2 injection, culture circulation rate or culture temperature in order to maximize the biomass production; (f) simulate the harvesting. In this way, users can learn in an intuitive way how productivity is affected by any change in the design. It facilitates the learning of how to manipulate essential variables for microalgae growth to design an optimal PBR. The simulator has been developed with Easy Java Simulations, a freeware open-source tool developed in Java, specifically designed for the creation of interactive dynamic simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Multirate Control Strategy to the Slow Sensors Problem: An Interactive Simulation Tool for Controller Assisted Design
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4086-4110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140304086 - 27 Feb 2014
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3157
Abstract
In many control applications, the sensor technology used for the measurement of the variable to be controlled is not able to maintain a restricted sampling period. In this context, the assumption of regular and uniform sampling pattern is questionable. Moreover, if the control [...] Read more.
In many control applications, the sensor technology used for the measurement of the variable to be controlled is not able to maintain a restricted sampling period. In this context, the assumption of regular and uniform sampling pattern is questionable. Moreover, if the control action updating can be faster than the output measurement frequency in order to fulfill the proposed closed loop behavior, the solution is usually a multirate controller. There are some known aspects to be careful of when a multirate system (MR) is going to be designed. The proper multiplicity between input-output sampling periods, the proper controller structure, the existence of ripples and others issues need to be considered. A useful way to save time and achieve good results is to have an assisted computer design tool. An interactive simulation tool to deal with MR seems to be the right solution. In this paper this kind of simulation application is presented. It allows an easy understanding of the performance degrading or improvement when changing the multirate sampling pattern parameters. The tool was developed using Sysquake, a Matlab-like language with fast execution and powerful graphic facilities. It can be delivered as an executable. In the paper a detailed explanation of MR treatment is also included and the design of four different MR controllers with flexible structure to be adapted to different schemes will also be presented. The Smith’s predictor in these MR schemes is also explained, justified and used when time delays appear. Finally some interesting observations achieved using this interactive tool are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Integrating Sensory/Actuation Systems in Agricultural Vehicles
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4014-4049; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140304014 - 26 Feb 2014
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4819
Abstract
In recent years, there have been major advances in the development of new and more powerful perception systems for agriculture, such as computer-vision and global positioning systems. Due to these advances, the automation of agricultural tasks has received an important stimulus, especially in [...] Read more.
In recent years, there have been major advances in the development of new and more powerful perception systems for agriculture, such as computer-vision and global positioning systems. Due to these advances, the automation of agricultural tasks has received an important stimulus, especially in the area of selective weed control where high precision is essential for the proper use of resources and the implementation of more efficient treatments. Such autonomous agricultural systems incorporate and integrate perception systems for acquiring information from the environment, decision-making systems for interpreting and analyzing such information, and actuation systems that are responsible for performing the agricultural operations. These systems consist of different sensors, actuators, and computers that work synchronously in a specific architecture for the intended purpose. The main contribution of this paper is the selection, arrangement, integration, and synchronization of these systems to form a whole autonomous vehicle for agricultural applications. This type of vehicle has attracted growing interest, not only for researchers but also for manufacturers and farmers. The experimental results demonstrate the success and performance of the integrated system in guidance and weed control tasks in a maize field, indicating its utility and efficiency. The whole system is sufficiently flexible for use in other agricultural tasks with little effort and is another important contribution in the field of autonomous agricultural vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Spectral Sharpening of Color Sensors: Diagonal Color Constancy and Beyond
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3965-3985; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140303965 - 26 Feb 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3071
Abstract
It has now been 20 years since the seminal work by Finlayson et al. on the use of spectral sharpening of sensors to achieve diagonal color constancy. Spectral sharpening is still used today by numerous researchers for different goals unrelated to the original [...] Read more.
It has now been 20 years since the seminal work by Finlayson et al. on the use of spectral sharpening of sensors to achieve diagonal color constancy. Spectral sharpening is still used today by numerous researchers for different goals unrelated to the original goal of diagonal color constancy e.g., multispectral processing, shadow removal, location of unique hues. This paper reviews the idea of spectral sharpening through the lens of what is known today in color constancy, describes the different methods used for obtaining a set of sharpening sensors and presents an overview of the many different uses that have been found for spectral sharpening over the years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
On the Use of Low-Cost Radar Networks for Collision Warning Systems Aboard Dumpers
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 3921-3938; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140303921 - 26 Feb 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3711
Abstract
The use of dumpers is one of the main causes of accidents in construction sites, many of them with fatal consequences. These kinds of work machines have many blind angles that complicate the driving task due to their large size and volume. To [...] Read more.
The use of dumpers is one of the main causes of accidents in construction sites, many of them with fatal consequences. These kinds of work machines have many blind angles that complicate the driving task due to their large size and volume. To guarantee safety conditions is necessary to use automatic aid systems that can detect and locate the different objects and people in a work area. One promising solution is a radar network based on low-cost radar transceivers aboard the dumper. The complete system is specified to operate with a very low false alarm rate to avoid unnecessary stops of the dumper that reduce its productivity. The main sources of false alarm are the heavy ground clutter, and the interferences between the radars of the network. This article analyses the clutter for LFM signaling and proposes the use of Offset Linear Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (OLFM-CW) as radar signal. This kind of waveform can be optimized to reject clutter and self-interferences. Jointly, a data fusion chain could be used to reduce the false alarm rate of the complete radar network. A real experiment is shown to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Inductive Sensor Performance in Partial Discharges and Noise Separation by Means of Spectral Power Ratios
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3408-3427; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140203408 - 19 Feb 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4633
Abstract
Partial discharge (PD) detection is a standardized technique to qualify electrical insulation in machines and power cables. Several techniques that analyze the waveform of the pulses have been proposed to discriminate noise from PD activity. Among them, spectral power ratio representation shows great [...] Read more.
Partial discharge (PD) detection is a standardized technique to qualify electrical insulation in machines and power cables. Several techniques that analyze the waveform of the pulses have been proposed to discriminate noise from PD activity. Among them, spectral power ratio representation shows great flexibility in the separation of the sources of PD. Mapping spectral power ratios in two-dimensional plots leads to clusters of points which group pulses with similar characteristics. The position in the map depends on the nature of the partial discharge, the setup and the frequency response of the sensors. If these clusters are clearly separated, the subsequent task of identifying the source of the discharge is straightforward so the distance between clusters can be a figure of merit to suggest the best option for PD recognition. In this paper, two inductive sensors with different frequency responses to pulsed signals, a high frequency current transformer and an inductive loop sensor, are analyzed to test their performance in detecting and separating the sources of partial discharges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Performance of Global-Appearance Descriptors in Map Building and Localization Using Omnidirectional Vision
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3033-3064; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140203033 - 14 Feb 2014
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3514
Abstract
Map building and localization are two crucial abilities that autonomous robots must develop. Vision sensors have become a widespread option to solve these problems. When using this kind of sensors, the robot must extract the necessary information from the scenes to build a [...] Read more.
Map building and localization are two crucial abilities that autonomous robots must develop. Vision sensors have become a widespread option to solve these problems. When using this kind of sensors, the robot must extract the necessary information from the scenes to build a representation of the environment where it has to move and to estimate its position and orientation with robustness. The techniques based on the global appearance of the scenes constitute one of the possible approaches to extract this information. They consist in representing each scene using only one descriptor which gathers global information from the scene. These techniques present some advantages comparing to other classical descriptors, based on the extraction of local features. However, it is important a good configuration of the parameters to reach a compromise between computational cost and accuracy. In this paper we make an exhaustive comparison among some global appearance descriptors to solve the mapping and localization problem. With this aim, we make use of several image sets captured in indoor environments under realistic working conditions. The datasets have been collected using an omnidirectional vision sensor mounted on the robot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Design and Implementation of a Smart Sensor for Respiratory Rate Monitoring
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3019-3032; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140203019 - 14 Feb 2014
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4192
Abstract
This work presents the design, development and implementation of a smart sensor to monitor the respiratory rate. This sensor is aimed at overcoming the drawbacks of other systems currently available in market, namely, devices that are costly, uncomfortable, difficult-to-install, provide low detection sensitivity, [...] Read more.
This work presents the design, development and implementation of a smart sensor to monitor the respiratory rate. This sensor is aimed at overcoming the drawbacks of other systems currently available in market, namely, devices that are costly, uncomfortable, difficult-to-install, provide low detection sensitivity, and little-to-null patient-to-patient calibration. The device is based on capacitive sensing by means of an LC oscillator. Experimental results show that the sensor meets the necessary requirements, making feasible the proposed monitoring system with the technology used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Wireless Remote Monitoring of Toxic Gases in Shipbuilding
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 2981-3000; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140202981 - 14 Feb 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3797
Abstract
Large-scale wireless sensor networks have not achieved market impact, so far. Nevertheless, this technology may be applied successfully to small-scale niche markets. Shipyards are hazardous working environments with many potential risks to worker safety. Toxic gases generated in soldering processes in enclosed spaces [...] Read more.
Large-scale wireless sensor networks have not achieved market impact, so far. Nevertheless, this technology may be applied successfully to small-scale niche markets. Shipyards are hazardous working environments with many potential risks to worker safety. Toxic gases generated in soldering processes in enclosed spaces (e.g., cargo holds) are one such risk. The dynamic environment of a ship under construction makes it very difficult to plan gas detection fixed infrastructures connected to external monitoring stations via wired links. While portable devices with gas level indicators exist, they require workers to monitor measurements, often in situations where they are focused on other tasks for relatively long periods. In this work, we present a wireless multihop remote gas monitoring system for shipyard environments that has been tested in a real ship under construction. Using this system, we validate IEEE 802.15.4/Zigbee wireless networks as a suitable technology to connect gas detectors to control stations outside the ships. These networks have the added benefit that they reconfigure themselves dynamically in case of network failure or redeployment, for example when a relay is moved to a new location. Performance measurements include round trip time (which determines the alert response time for safety teams) and link quality indicator and packet error rate (which determine communication robustness). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Detection and Tracking of Dynamic Objects by Using a Multirobot System: Application to Critical Infrastructures Surveillance
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 2911-2943; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140202911 - 12 Feb 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3188
Abstract
The detection and tracking of mobile objects (DATMO) is progressively gaining importance for security and surveillance applications. This article proposes a set of new algorithms and procedures for detecting and tracking mobile objects by robots that work collaboratively as part of a multirobot [...] Read more.
The detection and tracking of mobile objects (DATMO) is progressively gaining importance for security and surveillance applications. This article proposes a set of new algorithms and procedures for detecting and tracking mobile objects by robots that work collaboratively as part of a multirobot system. These surveillance algorithms are conceived of to work with data provided by long distance range sensors and are intended for highly reliable object detection in wide outdoor environments. Contrary to most common approaches, in which detection and tracking are done by an integrated procedure, the approach proposed here relies on a modular structure, in which detection and tracking are carried out independently, and the latter might accept input data from different detection algorithms. Two movement detection algorithms have been developed for the detection of dynamic objects by using both static and/or mobile robots. The solution to the overall problem is based on the use of a Kalman filter to predict the next state of each tracked object. Additionally, new tracking algorithms capable of combining dynamic objects lists coming from either one or various sources complete the solution. The complementary performance of the separated modular structure for detection and identification is evaluated and, finally, a selection of test examples discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Standardized Low-Power Wireless Communication Technologies for Distributed Sensing Applications
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 2663-2682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140202663 - 10 Feb 2014
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4278
Abstract
Recent standardization efforts on low-power wireless communication technologies, including time-slotted channel hopping (TSCH) and DASH7 Alliance Mode (D7AM), are starting to change industrial sensing applications, enabling networks to scale up to thousands of nodes whilst achieving high reliability. Past technologies, such as ZigBee, [...] Read more.
Recent standardization efforts on low-power wireless communication technologies, including time-slotted channel hopping (TSCH) and DASH7 Alliance Mode (D7AM), are starting to change industrial sensing applications, enabling networks to scale up to thousands of nodes whilst achieving high reliability. Past technologies, such as ZigBee, rooted in IEEE 802.15.4, and ISO 18000-7, rooted in frame-slotted ALOHA (FSA), are based on contention medium access control (MAC) layers and have very poor performance in dense networks, thus preventing the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm from really taking off. Industrial sensing applications, such as those being deployed in oil refineries, have stringent requirements on data reliability and are being built using new standards. Despite the benefits of these new technologies, industrial shifts are not happening due to the enormous technology development and adoption costs and the fact that new standards are not well-known and completely understood. In this article, we provide a deep analysis of TSCH and D7AM, outlining operational and implementation details with the aim of facilitating the adoption of these technologies to sensor application developers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Magnetic Sensor for Building Structural Vibrations
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 2468-2475; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140202468 - 05 Feb 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3353
Abstract
This paper shows a new displacement-to-frequency transducer based on the variation of a coil inductance when a magnetic core is partially or completely inserted inside. This transducer is based on a Colpitts oscillator due its low manufacturing price, behavior and immunity to noise. [...] Read more.
This paper shows a new displacement-to-frequency transducer based on the variation of a coil inductance when a magnetic core is partially or completely inserted inside. This transducer is based on a Colpitts oscillator due its low manufacturing price, behavior and immunity to noise. A tank circuit with a configuration in parallel was used because it can be employed at lower frequencies and it enables it to make a direct analysis. The sensor has a dynamic range equal to the length of the coil. The cores can exchange sensors (coils with its ferromagnetic core) using the same electronic measuring system. In this way, with only an electronic circuit, the core sensor determines the measurement range. The obtained resolution is higher than 1/100,000, and the sensor also allows the measurement and knowing in real time the effect of vibration, thermal expansion, referred overload movements, etc.., that can occur in the structural elements of a building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Foreground Segmentation in Depth Imagery Using Depth and Spatial Dynamic Models for Video Surveillance Applications
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 1961-1987; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140201961 - 24 Jan 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3654
Abstract
Low-cost systems that can obtain a high-quality foreground segmentation almostindependently of the existing illumination conditions for indoor environments are verydesirable, especially for security and surveillance applications. In this paper, a novelforeground segmentation algorithm that uses only a Kinect depth sensor is proposedto satisfy [...] Read more.
Low-cost systems that can obtain a high-quality foreground segmentation almostindependently of the existing illumination conditions for indoor environments are verydesirable, especially for security and surveillance applications. In this paper, a novelforeground segmentation algorithm that uses only a Kinect depth sensor is proposedto satisfy the aforementioned system characteristics. This is achieved by combininga mixture of Gaussians-based background subtraction algorithm with a new Bayesiannetwork that robustly predicts the foreground/background regions between consecutivetime steps. The Bayesian network explicitly exploits the intrinsic characteristics ofthe depth data by means of two dynamic models that estimate the spatial and depthevolution of the foreground/background regions. The most remarkable contribution is thedepth-based dynamic model that predicts the changes in the foreground depth distributionbetween consecutive time steps. This is a key difference with regard to visible imagery,where the color/gray distribution of the foreground is typically assumed to be constant.Experiments carried out on two different depth-based databases demonstrate that theproposed combination of algorithms is able to obtain a more accurate segmentation of theforeground/background than other state-of-the art approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Fusion of Optimized Indicators from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for Driver Drowsiness Detection
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 1106-1131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140101106 - 09 Jan 2014
Cited by 50 | Viewed by 5627
Abstract
This paper presents a non-intrusive approach for monitoring driver drowsiness using the fusion of several optimized indicators based on driver physical and driving performance measures, obtained from ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant Systems) in simulated conditions. The paper is focused on real-time drowsiness detection [...] Read more.
This paper presents a non-intrusive approach for monitoring driver drowsiness using the fusion of several optimized indicators based on driver physical and driving performance measures, obtained from ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant Systems) in simulated conditions. The paper is focused on real-time drowsiness detection technology rather than on long-term sleep/awake regulation prediction technology. We have developed our own vision system in order to obtain robust and optimized driver indicators able to be used in simulators and future real environments. These indicators are principally based on driver physical and driving performance skills. The fusion of several indicators, proposed in the literature, is evaluated using a neural network and a stochastic optimization method to obtain the best combination. We propose a new method for ground-truth generation based on a supervised Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). An extensive evaluation of indicators, derived from trials over a third generation simulator with several test subjects during different driving sessions, was performed. The main conclusions about the performance of single indicators and the best combinations of them are included, as well as the future works derived from this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Underwater Acoustic Wireless Sensor Networks: Advances and Future Trends in Physical, MAC and Routing Layers
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 795-833; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140100795 - 06 Jan 2014
Cited by 176 | Viewed by 7310
Abstract
This survey aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current researchon underwater wireless sensor networks, focusing on the lower layers of the communicationstack, and envisions future trends and challenges. It analyzes the current state-of-the-art onthe physical, medium access control and routing layers. [...] Read more.
This survey aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current researchon underwater wireless sensor networks, focusing on the lower layers of the communicationstack, and envisions future trends and challenges. It analyzes the current state-of-the-art onthe physical, medium access control and routing layers. It summarizes their security threadsand surveys the currently proposed studies. Current envisioned niches for further advances inunderwater networks research range from efficient, low-power algorithms and Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Design and Mechanical Evaluation of a Capacitive Sensor-Based Indexed Platform for Verification of Portable Coordinate Measuring Instruments
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 606-633; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140100606 - 02 Jan 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3598
Abstract
During the last years, the use of Portable Coordinate Measuring Machines (PCMMs) in industry has increased considerably, mostly due to their flexibility for accomplishing in-line measuring tasks as well as their reduced costs and operational advantages as compared to traditional coordinate measuring machines [...] Read more.
During the last years, the use of Portable Coordinate Measuring Machines (PCMMs) in industry has increased considerably, mostly due to their flexibility for accomplishing in-line measuring tasks as well as their reduced costs and operational advantages as compared to traditional coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). However, their operation has a significant drawback derived from the techniques applied in the verification and optimization procedures of their kinematic parameters. These techniques are based on the capture of data with the measuring instrument from a calibrated gauge object, fixed successively in various positions so that most of the instrument measuring volume is covered, which results in time-consuming, tedious and expensive verification procedures. In this work the mechanical design of an indexed metrology platform (IMP) is presented. The aim of the IMP is to increase the final accuracy and to radically simplify the calibration, identification and verification of geometrical parameter procedures of PCMMs. The IMP allows us to fix the calibrated gauge object and move the measuring instrument in such a way that it is possible to cover most of the instrument working volume, reducing the time and operator fatigue to carry out these types of procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Novel Encoded Excitation Scheme in a Phased Array for The Improving Data Acquisition Rate
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 549-563; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140100549 - 31 Dec 2013
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3230
Abstract
One of the challenges of phased array (PA) ultrasonic imaging systems is their limited capability to deal with real-time applications, such as echocardiography and obstetrics. In its most basic outline, these systems require emitting and receiving with the entire array for each image [...] Read more.
One of the challenges of phased array (PA) ultrasonic imaging systems is their limited capability to deal with real-time applications, such as echocardiography and obstetrics. In its most basic outline, these systems require emitting and receiving with the entire array for each image line to be acquired; therefore, with many image lines, a higher acquisition time and a lower frame rate. This constraint requires one to find alternatives to reduce the total number of emissions needed to obtain the whole image. In this work, we propose a new PA scheme based on the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technique, where a different code is assigned to each steering direction, allowing the array to emit in several directions simultaneously. However, the use of encoding techniques produces a reduction of the image contrast because of the interferences between codes. To solve this, a new scheme based on merging several images is proposed, allowing the system to get close to the theoretical maximum frame rate, as well as to limit the loss of contrast, intrinsic to the technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A FPGA Embedded Web Server for Remote Monitoring and Control of Smart Sensors Networks
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 416-430; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140100416 - 27 Dec 2013
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4350
Abstract
This article describes the implementation of a web server using an embedded Altera NIOS II IP core, a general purpose and configurable RISC processor which is embedded in a Cyclone FPGA. The processor uses the μCLinux operating system to support a Boa web [...] Read more.
This article describes the implementation of a web server using an embedded Altera NIOS II IP core, a general purpose and configurable RISC processor which is embedded in a Cyclone FPGA. The processor uses the μCLinux operating system to support a Boa web server of dynamic pages using Common Gateway Interface (CGI). The FPGA is configured to act like the master node of a network, and also to control and monitor a network of smart sensors or instruments. In order to develop a totally functional system, the FPGA also includes an implementation of the time-triggered protocol (TTP/A). Thus, the implemented master node has two interfaces, the webserver that acts as an Internet interface and the other to control the network. This protocol is widely used to connecting smart sensors and actuators and microsystems in embedded real-time systems in different application domains, e.g., industrial, automotive, domotic, etc., although this protocol can be easily replaced by any other because of the inherent characteristics of the FPGA-based technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Self-Timed Multipurpose Delay Sensor for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 129-143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s140100129 - 20 Dec 2013
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3371
Abstract
This paper presents a novel self-timed multi-purpose sensor especially conceived for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). The aim of the sensor is to measure performance variations during the life-cycle of the device, such as process variability, critical path timing and temperature variations. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel self-timed multi-purpose sensor especially conceived for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). The aim of the sensor is to measure performance variations during the life-cycle of the device, such as process variability, critical path timing and temperature variations. The proposed topology, through the use of both combinational and sequential FPGA elements, amplifies the time of a signal traversing a delay chain to produce a pulse whose width is the sensor’s measurement. The sensor is fully self-timed, avoiding the need for clock distribution networks and eliminating the limitations imposed by the system clock. One single off- or on-chip time-to-digital converter is able to perform digitization of several sensors in a single operation. These features allow for a simplified approach for designers wanting to intertwine a multi-purpose sensor network with their application logic. Employed as a temperature sensor, it has been measured to have an error of ±0.67 °C, over the range of 20–100 °C, employing 20 logic elements with a 2-point calibration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Fractional Modeling of the AC Large-Signal Frequency Response in Magnetoresistive Current Sensors
Sensors 2013, 13(12), 17516-17533; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131217516 - 17 Dec 2013
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4002
Abstract
Fractional calculus is considered when derivatives and integrals of non-integer order are applied over a specific function. In the electrical and electronic domain, the transfer function dependence of a fractional filter not only by the filter order n, but additionally, of the [...] Read more.
Fractional calculus is considered when derivatives and integrals of non-integer order are applied over a specific function. In the electrical and electronic domain, the transfer function dependence of a fractional filter not only by the filter order n, but additionally, of the fractional order α is an example of a great number of systems where its input-output behavior could be more exactly modeled by a fractional behavior. Following this aim, the present work shows the experimental ac large-signal frequency response of a family of electrical current sensors based in different spintronic conduction mechanisms. Using an ac characterization set-up the sensor transimpedance function Ζt(jf) is obtained considering it as the relationship between sensor output voltage and input sensing current, Ζt(jf)=Vo,sensor(jf)/Isensor(jf). The study has been extended to various magnetoresistance sensors based in different technologies like anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR), giant magnetoresistance (GMR), spin-valve (GMR-SV) and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR). The resulting modeling shows two predominant behaviors, the low-pass and the inverse low-pass with fractional index different from the classical integer response. The TMR technology with internal magnetization offers the best dynamic and sensitivity properties opening the way to develop actual industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A New Blondin System for Surveying and Photogrammetry
Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16894-16914; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131216894 - 06 Dec 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3428
Abstract
The main objective of the system presented in this paper is to provide surveyors and engineers with a new photogrammetry device that can be easily integrated with surveying total stations and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) infrastructure at a construction site, taking [...] Read more.
The main objective of the system presented in this paper is to provide surveyors and engineers with a new photogrammetry device that can be easily integrated with surveying total stations and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) infrastructure at a construction site, taking advantage of their accuracy and overcoming limitations of aerial vehicles with respect to weight, autonomy and skilled operator requirements in aerial photogrammetry. The system moves between two mounting points, in a blondin ropeway configuration, at the construction site, taking pictures and recording the data of the position and the orientation along the cable path. A cascaded extended Kalman filter is used to integrate measurements from the on-board inertial measurement unit (IMU), a GPS and a GNSS. Experimental results taken in a construction site show the system performance, including the validation of the position estimation, with a robotic surveying total station, or the creation of a digital surface model (DSM), using the emergent structure from motion (SfM) techniques and open software. The georeferencing of the DSM is performed based on estimated camera position or using ground control points (GCPs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Design Methodology of an Equalizer for Unipolar Non Return to Zero Binary Signals in the Presence of Additive White Gaussian Noise Using a Time Delay Neural Network on a Field Programmable Gate Array
Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16829-16850; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131216829 - 06 Dec 2013
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3366
Abstract
This article presents a design methodology for designing an artificial neural network as an equalizer for a binary signal. Firstly, the system is modelled in floating point format using Matlab. Afterward, the design is described for a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) using [...] Read more.
This article presents a design methodology for designing an artificial neural network as an equalizer for a binary signal. Firstly, the system is modelled in floating point format using Matlab. Afterward, the design is described for a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) using fixed point format. The FPGA design is based on the System Generator from Xilinx, which is a design tool over Simulink of Matlab. System Generator allows one to design in a fast and flexible way. It uses low level details of the circuits and the functionality of the system can be fully tested. System Generator can be used to check the architecture and to analyse the effect of the number of bits on the system performance. Finally the System Generator design is compiled for the Xilinx Integrated System Environment (ISE) and the system is described using a hardware description language. In ISE the circuits are managed with high level details and physical performances are obtained. In the Conclusions section, some modifications are proposed to improve the methodology and to ensure portability across FPGA manufacturers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Neuro-Inspired Spike-Based Motion: From Dynamic Vision Sensor to Robot Motor Open-Loop Control through Spike-VITE
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 15805-15832; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131115805 - 20 Nov 2013
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 6070
Abstract
In this paper we present a complete spike-based architecture: from a Dynamic Vision Sensor (retina) to a stereo head robotic platform. The aim of this research is to reproduce intended movements performed by humans taking into account as many features as possible from [...] Read more.
In this paper we present a complete spike-based architecture: from a Dynamic Vision Sensor (retina) to a stereo head robotic platform. The aim of this research is to reproduce intended movements performed by humans taking into account as many features as possible from the biological point of view. This paper fills the gap between current spike silicon sensors and robotic actuators by applying a spike processing strategy to the data flows in real time. The architecture is divided into layers: the retina, visual information processing, the trajectory generator layer which uses a neuroinspired algorithm (SVITE) that can be replicated into as many times as DoF the robot has; and finally the actuation layer to supply the spikes to the robot (using PFM). All the layers do their tasks in a spike-processing mode, and they communicate each other through the neuro-inspired AER protocol. The open-loop controller is implemented on FPGA using AER interfaces developed by RTC Lab. Experimental results reveal the viability of this spike-based controller. Two main advantages are: low hardware resources (2% of a Xilinx Spartan 6) and power requirements (3.4 W) to control a robot with a high number of DoF (up to 100 for a Xilinx Spartan 6). It also evidences the suitable use of AER as a communication protocol between processing and actuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A Kalman Filter Implementation for Precision Improvement in Low-Cost GPS Positioning of Tractors
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 15307-15323; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131115307 - 08 Nov 2013
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 4817
Abstract
Low-cost GPS receivers provide geodetic positioning information using the NMEA protocol, usually with eight digits for latitude and nine digits for longitude. When these geodetic coordinates are converted into Cartesian coordinates, the positions fit in a quantization grid of some decimeters in size, [...] Read more.
Low-cost GPS receivers provide geodetic positioning information using the NMEA protocol, usually with eight digits for latitude and nine digits for longitude. When these geodetic coordinates are converted into Cartesian coordinates, the positions fit in a quantization grid of some decimeters in size, the dimensions of which vary depending on the point of the terrestrial surface. The aim of this study is to reduce the quantization errors of some low-cost GPS receivers by using a Kalman filter. Kinematic tractor model equations were employed to particularize the filter, which was tuned by applying Monte Carlo techniques to eighteen straight trajectories, to select the covariance matrices that produced the lowest Root Mean Square Error in these trajectories. Filter performance was tested by using straight tractor paths, which were either simulated or real trajectories acquired by a GPS receiver. The results show that the filter can reduce the quantization error in distance by around 43%. Moreover, it reduces the standard deviation of the heading by 75%. Data suggest that the proposed filter can satisfactorily preprocess the low-cost GPS receiver data when used in an assistance guidance GPS system for tractors. It could also be useful to smooth tractor GPS trajectories that are sharpened when the tractor moves over rough terrain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Towards Memory-Aware Services and Browsing through Lifelogging Sensing
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 15113-15137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131115113 - 05 Nov 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3435
Abstract
Every day we receive lots of information through our senses that is lost forever, because it lacked the strength or the repetition needed to generate a lasting memory. Combining the emerging Internet of Things and lifelogging sensors, we believe it is possible to [...] Read more.
Every day we receive lots of information through our senses that is lost forever, because it lacked the strength or the repetition needed to generate a lasting memory. Combining the emerging Internet of Things and lifelogging sensors, we believe it is possible to build up a Digital Memory (Dig-Mem) in order to complement the fallible memory of people. This work shows how to realize the Dig-Mem in terms of interactions, affinities, activities, goals and protocols. We also complement this Dig-Mem with memory-aware services and a Dig-Mem browser. Furthermore, we propose a RFID Tag-Sharing technique to speed up the adoption of Dig-Mem. Experimentation reveals an improvement of the user understanding of Dig-Mem as time passes, compared to natural memories where the level of detail decreases over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
On the Use of a Low-Cost Thermal Sensor to Improve Kinect People Detection in a Mobile Robot
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 14687-14713; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131114687 - 29 Oct 2013
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4815
Abstract
Detecting people is a key capability for robots that operate in populated environments. In this paper, we have adopted a hierarchical approach that combines classifiers created using supervised learning in order to identify whether a person is in the view-scope of the robot [...] Read more.
Detecting people is a key capability for robots that operate in populated environments. In this paper, we have adopted a hierarchical approach that combines classifiers created using supervised learning in order to identify whether a person is in the view-scope of the robot or not. Our approach makes use of vision, depth and thermal sensors mounted on top of a mobile platform. The set of sensors is set up combining the rich data source offered by a Kinect sensor, which provides vision and depth at low cost, and a thermopile array sensor. Experimental results carried out with a mobile platform in a manufacturing shop floor and in a science museum have shown that the false positive rate achieved using any single cue is drastically reduced. The performance of our algorithm improves other well-known approaches, such as C4 and histogram of oriented gradients (HOG). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Discriminating Crop, Weeds and Soil Surface with a Terrestrial LIDAR Sensor
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 14662-14675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131114662 - 29 Oct 2013
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 4887
Abstract
In this study, the evaluation of the accuracy and performance of a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor for vegetation using distance and reflection measurements aiming to detect and discriminate maize plants and weeds from soil surface was done. The study continues a [...] Read more.
In this study, the evaluation of the accuracy and performance of a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor for vegetation using distance and reflection measurements aiming to detect and discriminate maize plants and weeds from soil surface was done. The study continues a previous work carried out in a maize field in Spain with a LIDAR sensor using exclusively one index, the height profile. The current system uses a combination of the two mentioned indexes. The experiment was carried out in a maize field at growth stage 12–14, at 16 different locations selected to represent the widest possible density of three weeds: Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P.Beauv., Lamium purpureum L., Galium aparine L.and Veronica persica Poir.. A terrestrial LIDAR sensor was mounted on a tripod pointing to the inter-row area, with its horizontal axis and the field of view pointing vertically downwards to the ground, scanning a vertical plane with the potential presence of vegetation. Immediately after the LIDAR data acquisition (distances and reflection measurements), actual heights of plants were estimated using an appropriate methodology. For that purpose, digital images were taken of each sampled area. Data showed a high correlation between LIDAR measured height and actual plant heights (R2 = 0.75). Binary logistic regression between weed presence/absence and the sensor readings (LIDAR height and reflection values) was used to validate the accuracy of the sensor. This permitted the discrimination of vegetation from the ground with an accuracy of up to 95%. In addition, a Canonical Discrimination Analysis (CDA) was able to discriminate mostly between soil and vegetation and, to a far lesser extent, between crop and weeds. The studied methodology arises as a good system for weed detection, which in combination with other principles, such as vision-based technologies, could improve the efficiency and accuracy of herbicide spraying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Integration of Utilities Infrastructures in a Future Internet Enabled Smart City Framework
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 14438-14465; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131114438 - 25 Oct 2013
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 5203
Abstract
Improving efficiency of city services and facilitating a more sustainable development of cities are the main drivers of the smart city concept. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play a crucial role in making cities smarter, more accessible and more open. In this paper [...] Read more.
Improving efficiency of city services and facilitating a more sustainable development of cities are the main drivers of the smart city concept. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play a crucial role in making cities smarter, more accessible and more open. In this paper we present a novel architecture exploiting major concepts from the Future Internet (FI) paradigm addressing the challenges that need to be overcome when creating smarter cities. This architecture takes advantage of both the critical communications infrastructures already in place and owned by the utilities as well as of the infrastructure belonging to the city municipalities to accelerate efficient provision of existing and new city services. The paper highlights how FI technologies create the necessary glue and logic that allows the integration of current vertical and isolated city services into a holistic solution, which enables a huge forward leap for the efficiency and sustainability of our cities. Moreover, the paper describes a real-world prototype, that instantiates the aforementioned architecture, deployed in one of the parks of the city of Santander providing an autonomous public street lighting adaptation service. This prototype is a showcase on how added-value services can be seamlessly created on top of the proposed architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Offset Printing Plate Quality Sensor on a Low-Cost Processor
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 14277-14300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131114277 - 24 Oct 2013
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4373
Abstract
The aim of this work is to develop a microprocessor-based sensor that measures the quality of the offset printing plate through the introduction of different image analysis applications. The main features of the presented system are the low cost, the low amount of [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to develop a microprocessor-based sensor that measures the quality of the offset printing plate through the introduction of different image analysis applications. The main features of the presented system are the low cost, the low amount of power consumption, its modularity and easy integration with other industrial modules for printing plates, and its robustness against noise environments. For the sake of clarity, a viability analysis of previous software is presented through different strategies, based on dynamic histogram and Hough transform. This paper provides performance and scalability data compared with existing costly commercial devices. Furthermore, a general overview of quality control possibilities for printing plates is presented and could be useful to a system where such controls are regularly conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Multi Sensor Fusion Framework for Indoor-Outdoor Localization of Limited Resource Mobile Robots
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 14133-14160; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131014133 - 21 Oct 2013
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4791
Abstract
This paper presents a sensor fusion framework that improves the localization of mobile robots with limited computational resources. It employs an event based Kalman Filter to combine the measurements of a global sensor and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) on an event based [...] Read more.
This paper presents a sensor fusion framework that improves the localization of mobile robots with limited computational resources. It employs an event based Kalman Filter to combine the measurements of a global sensor and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) on an event based schedule, using fewer resources (execution time and bandwidth) but with similar performance when compared to the traditional methods. The event is defined to reflect the necessity of the global information, when the estimation error covariance exceeds a predefined limit. The proposed experimental platforms are based on the LEGO Mindstorm NXT, and consist of a differential wheel mobile robot navigating indoors with a zenithal camera as global sensor, and an Ackermann steering mobile robot navigating outdoors with a SBG Systems GPS accessed through an IGEP board that also serves as datalogger. The IMU in both robots is built using the NXT motor encoders along with one gyroscope, one compass and two accelerometers from Hitecnic, placed according to a particle based dynamic model of the robots. The tests performed reflect the correct performance and low execution time of the proposed framework. The robustness and stability is observed during a long walk test in both indoors and outdoors environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Real-Time Label-Free Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensing with Gold Nanohole Arrays Fabricated by Nanoimprint Lithography
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 13960-13968; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131013960 - 16 Oct 2013
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4069
Abstract
In this work we present a surface plasmon resonance sensor based on enhanced optical transmission through sub-wavelength nanohole arrays. This technique is extremely sensitive to changes in the refractive index of the surrounding medium which result in a modulation of the transmitted light. [...] Read more.
In this work we present a surface plasmon resonance sensor based on enhanced optical transmission through sub-wavelength nanohole arrays. This technique is extremely sensitive to changes in the refractive index of the surrounding medium which result in a modulation of the transmitted light. The periodic gold nanohole array sensors were fabricated by high-throughput thermal nanoimprint lithography. Square periodic arrays with sub-wavelength hole diameters were obtained and characterized. Using solutions with known refractive index, the array sensitivities were obtained. Finally, protein absorption was monitored in real-time demonstrating the label-free biosensing capabilities of the fabricated devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
An InN/InGaN Quantum Dot Electrochemical Biosensor for Clinical Diagnosis
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 13917-13927; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131013917 - 15 Oct 2013
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4420
Abstract
Low-dimensional InN/InGaN quantum dots (QDs) are demonstrated for realizing highly sensitive and efficient potentiometric biosensors owing to their unique electronic properties. The InN QDs are biochemically functionalized. The fabricated biosensor exhibits high sensitivity of 97 mV/decade with fast output response within two seconds [...] Read more.
Low-dimensional InN/InGaN quantum dots (QDs) are demonstrated for realizing highly sensitive and efficient potentiometric biosensors owing to their unique electronic properties. The InN QDs are biochemically functionalized. The fabricated biosensor exhibits high sensitivity of 97 mV/decade with fast output response within two seconds for the detection of cholesterol in the logarithmic concentration range of 1 × 10−6 M to 1 × 10−3 M. The selectivity and reusability of the biosensor are excellent and it shows negligible response to common interferents such as uric acid and ascorbic acid. We also compare the biosensing properties of the InN QDs with those of an InN thin film having the same surface properties, i.e., high density of surface donor states, but different morphology and electronic properties. The sensitivity of the InN QDs-based biosensor is twice that of the InN thin film-based biosensor, the EMF is three times larger, and the response time is five times shorter. A bare InGaN layer does not produce a stable response. Hence, the superior biosensing properties of the InN QDs are governed by their unique surface properties together with the zero-dimensional electronic properties. Altogether, the InN QDs-based biosensor reveals great potential for clinical diagnosis applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Design and Development of a Low-Cost Optical Current Sensor
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 13584-13595; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131013584 - 10 Oct 2013
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 4346
Abstract
In this paper we demonstrate the design of a low-cost optical current sensor. The sensor principle is the Faraday rotation of a light beam through a magneto-optical material, SF2, when a magnetic field is present. The prototype has a high sensitivity and a [...] Read more.
In this paper we demonstrate the design of a low-cost optical current sensor. The sensor principle is the Faraday rotation of a light beam through a magneto-optical material, SF2, when a magnetic field is present. The prototype has a high sensitivity and a high linearity for currents ranging from 0 up to 800 A. The error of the optical fibre sensor is smaller than 1% for electric currents over 175 A. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Taking Advantage of Selective Change Driven Processing for 3D Scanning
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 13143-13162; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s131013143 - 27 Sep 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4555
Abstract
This article deals with the application of the principles of SCD (Selective Change Driven) vision to 3D laser scanning. Two experimental sets have been implemented: one with a classical CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, and the other one with a recently developed CMOS [...] Read more.
This article deals with the application of the principles of SCD (Selective Change Driven) vision to 3D laser scanning. Two experimental sets have been implemented: one with a classical CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, and the other one with a recently developed CMOS SCD sensor for comparative purposes, both using the technique known as Active Triangulation. An SCD sensor only delivers the pixels that have changed most, ordered by the magnitude of their change since their last readout. The 3D scanning method is based on the systematic search through the entire image to detect pixels that exceed a certain threshold, showing the SCD approach to be ideal for this application. Several experiments for both capturing strategies have been performed to try to find the limitations in high speed acquisition/processing. The classical approach is limited by the sequential array acquisition, as predicted by the Nyquist - Shannon sampling theorem, and this has been experimentally demonstrated in the case of a rotating helix. These limitations are overcome by the SCD 3D scanning prototype achieving a significantly higher performance. The aim of this article is to compare both capturing strategies in terms of performance in the time and frequency domains, so they share all the static characteristics including resolution, 3D scanning method, etc., thus yielding the same 3D reconstruction in static scenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Crop Biometric Maps: The Key to Prediction
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 12698-12743; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130912698 - 23 Sep 2013
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3851
Abstract
The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular “identity.” This approach approximates the [...] Read more.
The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular “identity.” This approach approximates the nature of agricultural processes to the engineering of industrial processes. In order to cope with the vast variability of nature and the uncertainties of agricultural production, the concept of crop biometrics is defined as the scientific analysis of agricultural observations confined to spaces of reduced dimensions and known position with the purpose of building prediction models. This article develops the idea of crop biometrics by setting its principles, discussing the selection and quantization of biometric traits, and analyzing the mathematical relationships among measured and predicted traits. Crop biometric maps were applied to the case of a wine-production vineyard, in which vegetation amount, relative altitude in the field, soil compaction, berry size, grape yield, juice pH, and grape sugar content were selected as biometric traits. The enological potential of grapes was assessed with a quality-index map defined as a combination of titratable acidity, sugar content, and must pH. Prediction models for yield and quality were developed for high and low resolution maps, showing the great potential of crop biometric maps as a strategic tool for vineyard growers as well as for crop managers in general, due to the wide versatility of the methodology proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
A 0.0016 mm2 0.64 nJ Leakage-Based CMOS Temperature Sensor
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 12648-12662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130912648 - 18 Sep 2013
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3715
Abstract
This paper presents a CMOS temperature sensor based on the thermal dependencies of the leakage currents targeting the 65 nm node. To compensate for the effect of process fluctuations, the proposed sensor realizes the ratio of two measures of the time it takes [...] Read more.
This paper presents a CMOS temperature sensor based on the thermal dependencies of the leakage currents targeting the 65 nm node. To compensate for the effect of process fluctuations, the proposed sensor realizes the ratio of two measures of the time it takes a capacitor to discharge through a transistor in the subthreshold regime. Furthermore, a novel charging mechanism for the capacitor is proposed to further increase the robustness against fabrication variability. The sensor, including digitization and interfacing, occupies 0.0016 mm2 and has an energy consumption of 47.7–633 pJ per sample. The resolution of the sensor is 0.28 °C, and the 3σ inaccuracy over the range 40–110 °C is 1.17 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Sensors Systems for the Automation of Operations in the Ship Repair Industry
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 12345-12374; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130912345 - 13 Sep 2013
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4385
Abstract
Hull cleaning before repainting is a key operation in the maintenance of ships. For years, a method to improve such operation has been sought by means of the robotization of techniques such as grit blasting and ultra high pressure water jetting. Despite this, [...] Read more.
Hull cleaning before repainting is a key operation in the maintenance of ships. For years, a method to improve such operation has been sought by means of the robotization of techniques such as grit blasting and ultra high pressure water jetting. Despite this, it continues to be standard practice in shipyards that this process is carried out manually because the developed robotized systems are too expensive to be widely accepted by shipyards. We have chosen to apply a more conservative and realistic approach to this problem, which has resulted in the development of several solutions that have been designed with different automation and operation range degrees. These solutions are fitted with most of the elements already available in many shipyards, so the installation of additional machinery in the workplace would not be necessary. This paper describes the evolutionary development of sensor systems for the automation of the preparation process of ship hull surfaces before the painting process is performed. Such evolution has given rise to the development of new technologies for coating removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Five Years of Designing Wireless Sensor Networks in the Doñana Biological Reserve (Spain): An Applications Approach
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 12044-12069; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130912044 - 10 Sep 2013
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4096
Abstract
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are a technology that is becoming very popular for many applications, and environmental monitoring is one of its most important application areas. This technology solves the lack of flexibility of wired sensor installations and, at the same time, reduces [...] Read more.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are a technology that is becoming very popular for many applications, and environmental monitoring is one of its most important application areas. This technology solves the lack of flexibility of wired sensor installations and, at the same time, reduces the deployment costs. To demonstrate the advantages of WSN technology, for the last five years we have been deploying some prototypes in the Doñana Biological Reserve, which is an important protected area in Southern Spain. These prototypes not only evaluate the technology, but also solve some of the monitoring problems that have been raised by biologists working in Doñana. This paper presents a review of the work that has been developed during these five years. Here, we demonstrate the enormous potential of using machine learning in wireless sensor networks for environmental and animal monitoring because this approach increases the amount of useful information and reduces the effort that is required by biologists in an environmental monitoring task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Proof of Concept of Impact Detection in Composites Using Fiber Bragg Grating Arrays
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11998-12011; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911998 - 09 Sep 2013
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3677
Abstract
Impact detection in aeronautical structures allows predicting their future reliability and performance. An impact can produce microscopic fissures that could evolve into fractures or even the total collapse of the structure, so it is important to know the location and severity of each [...] Read more.
Impact detection in aeronautical structures allows predicting their future reliability and performance. An impact can produce microscopic fissures that could evolve into fractures or even the total collapse of the structure, so it is important to know the location and severity of each impact. For this purpose, optical fibers with Bragg gratings are used to analyze each impact and the vibrations generated by them. In this paper it is proven that optical fibers with Bragg gratings can be used to detect impacts, and also that a high-frequency interrogator is necessary to collect valuable information about the impacts. The use of two interrogators constitutes the main novelty of this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Human-Computer Interaction Based on Hand Gestures Using RGB-D Sensors
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11842-11860; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911842 - 06 Sep 2013
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 6507
Abstract
In this paper we present a new method for hand gesture recognition based on an RGB-D sensor. The proposed approach takes advantage of depth information to cope with the most common problems of traditional video-based hand segmentation methods: cluttered backgrounds and occlusions. The [...] Read more.
In this paper we present a new method for hand gesture recognition based on an RGB-D sensor. The proposed approach takes advantage of depth information to cope with the most common problems of traditional video-based hand segmentation methods: cluttered backgrounds and occlusions. The algorithm also uses colour and semantic information to accurately identify any number of hands present in the image. Ten different static hand gestures are recognised, including all different combinations of spread fingers. Additionally, movements of an open hand are followed and 6 dynamic gestures are identified. The main advantage of our approach is the freedom of the user’s hands to be at any position of the image without the need of wearing any specific clothing or additional devices. Besides, the whole method can be executed without any initial training or calibration. Experiments carried out with different users and in different environments prove the accuracy and robustness of the method which, additionally, can be run in real-time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Automatic Determination of Validity of Input Data Used in Ellipsoid Fitting MARG Calibration Algorithms
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11797-11817; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911797 - 05 Sep 2013
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5434
Abstract
Ellipsoid fitting algorithms are widely used to calibrate Magnetic Angular Rate and Gravity (MARG) sensors. These algorithms are based on the minimization of an error function that optimizes the parameters of a mathematical sensor model that is subsequently applied to calibrate the raw [...] Read more.
Ellipsoid fitting algorithms are widely used to calibrate Magnetic Angular Rate and Gravity (MARG) sensors. These algorithms are based on the minimization of an error function that optimizes the parameters of a mathematical sensor model that is subsequently applied to calibrate the raw data. The convergence of this kind of algorithms to a correct solution is very sensitive to input data. Input calibration datasets must be properly distributed in space so data can be accurately fitted to the theoretical ellipsoid model. Gathering a well distributed set is not an easy task as it is difficult for the operator carrying out the maneuvers to keep a visual record of all the positions that have already been covered, as well as the remaining ones. It would be then desirable to have a system that gives feedback to the operator when the dataset is ready, or to enable the calibration process in auto-calibrated systems. In this work, we propose two different algorithms that analyze the goodness of the distributions by computing four different indicators. The first approach is based on a thresholding algorithm that uses only one indicator as its input and the second one is based on a Fuzzy Logic System (FLS) that estimates the calibration error for a given calibration set using a weighted combination of two indicators. Very accurate classification between valid and invalid datasets is achieved with average Area Under Curve (AUC) of up to 0.98. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Surface Roughness Measurement on a Wing Aircraft by Speckle Correlation
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11772-11781; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911772 - 05 Sep 2013
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3407
Abstract
The study of the damage of aeronautical materials is important because it may change the microscopic surface structure profiles. The modification of geometrical surface properties can cause small instabilities and then a displacement of the boundary layer. One of the irregularities we can [...] Read more.
The study of the damage of aeronautical materials is important because it may change the microscopic surface structure profiles. The modification of geometrical surface properties can cause small instabilities and then a displacement of the boundary layer. One of the irregularities we can often find is surface roughness. Due to an increase of roughness and other effects, there may be extra momentum losses in the boundary layer and a modification in the parasite drag. In this paper we present a speckle method for measuring the surface roughness on an actual unmanned aircraft wing. The results show an inhomogeneous roughness distribution on the wing, as expected according to the anisotropic influence of the winds over the entire wing geometry. A calculation of the uncertainty of the technique is given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Design and Implementation of a New Real-Time Frequency Sensor Used as Hardware Countermeasure
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11709-11727; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911709 - 04 Sep 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3784
Abstract
A new digital countermeasure against attacks related to the clock frequency is presented. This countermeasure, known as frequency sensor, consists of a local oscillator, a transition detector, a measurement element and an output block. The countermeasure has been designed using a full-custom technique [...] Read more.
A new digital countermeasure against attacks related to the clock frequency is presented. This countermeasure, known as frequency sensor, consists of a local oscillator, a transition detector, a measurement element and an output block. The countermeasure has been designed using a full-custom technique implemented in an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), and the implementation has been verified and characterized with an integrated design using a 0.35 mm standard Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology (Very Large Scale Implementation—VLSI implementation). The proposed solution is configurable in resolution time and allowed range of period, achieving a minimum resolution time of only 1.91 ns and an initialization time of 5.84 ns. The proposed VLSI implementation shows better results than other solutions, such as digital ones based on semi-custom techniques and analog ones based on band pass filters, all design parameters considered. Finally, a counter has been used to verify the good performance of the countermeasure in avoiding the success of an attack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Distributed Pedestrian Detection Alerts Based on Data Fusion with Accurate Localization
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11687-11708; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911687 - 04 Sep 2013
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3866
Abstract
Among Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) pedestrian detection is a common issue due to the vulnerability of pedestrians in the event of accidents. In the present work, a novel approach for pedestrian detection based on data fusion is presented. Data fusion helps to [...] Read more.
Among Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) pedestrian detection is a common issue due to the vulnerability of pedestrians in the event of accidents. In the present work, a novel approach for pedestrian detection based on data fusion is presented. Data fusion helps to overcome the limitations inherent to each detection system (computer vision and laser scanner) and provides accurate and trustable tracking of any pedestrian movement. The application is complemented by an efficient communication protocol, able to alert vehicles in the surroundings by a fast and reliable communication. The combination of a powerful location, based on a GPS with inertial measurement, and accurate obstacle localization based on data fusion has allowed locating the detected pedestrians with high accuracy. Tests proved the viability of the detection system and the efficiency of the communication, even at long distances. By the use of the alert communication, dangerous situations such as occlusions or misdetections can be avoided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
Show Figures

Article
Human Detection from a Mobile Robot Using Fusion of Laser and Vision Information
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11603-11635; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s130911603 - 04 Sep 2013
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6314
Abstract
This paper presents a human detection system that can be employed on board a mobile platform for use in autonomous surveillance of large outdoor infrastructures. The prediction is based on the fusion of two detection modules, one for the laser and another for [...] Read more.
This paper presents a human detection system that c