Projects completed in 2013

Decentralized low power filtration via field effect – A water bottle for desalination

Principal Investigator
Prof Sanjiv Sambandan (Professor, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics)

Duration
1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013

Waste water management is a global problem. Technologies based on membranes and chemicals to treat waste water place immense costs to the environment. This project focused on developing a membrane­less, chemical free  wastewater treatment system. The designs thus far have permitted easy scalability ­ from hand held systems to larger community based systems. Tests have shown that sub­micron impurities such as metal oxides, coliform bacteria, organic impurities are removed. Hardness is also abated. Future plans include a user friendly design of a hand held water bottle and the setup of a pilot project for continuous larger throughput systems.

Patent Application
Sambadan, Sanjiv
A desalination device
Indian Patent Application No. 1506/CHE/2013 (03.06.16)


Development of non-invasive human breath sensor system

Principal Investigator
Prof K. Rajanna (Professor, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics)

Duration
1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013

A PolyVinylideneDiFluoride (PVDF) based nasal sensor has been designed and developed to monitor human respiration, a novel and non‐invasive type sensor. The piezoelectric property of the PVDF film has been utilized to realise the sensor. In our work, we have used PVDF film in the cantilever configuration as a sensing element to form the nasal sensor. The dimensions of the PVDF cantilever sensing element are optimized using detailed  theoretical analysis  as well as  experimental studies. Two identical PVDF sensors were mounted on a normal headphone such that the tidal flow of inhaled and exhale air impinge on the sensor in order to measure the breathing patterns. These patterns are recorded, filtered, analyzed and displayed on the computer screen. A necessary signal conditioning circuitry has been developed for the PVDF nasal sensors. Clinical trials were conducted at the nearby hospital to study the performance of the developed breath sensor. The results were analyzed and found very useful in identifying the breathing abnormalities.

Project Publications

1.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Mahapatra, Roy D; Prakash, Surya; Rajanna, K

Validation of polyvinylidene fluoride nasal sensor to assess nasal obstruction in comparison with subjective technique Journal Article

American Journal of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery, 36 (2), pp. 122-129, 2015.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:

2.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Rajanna, K; Mahapatra, Roy D; Prakash, Surya

Evaluation of polyvinylidene fluoride nasal sensor to assess deviated nasal septum in comparision with peak nasal inspiratory flow measurements Journal Article

American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, 28 (1), pp. 62-67, 2014.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:

3.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Rajanna, K; Mahapatra, Roy D; Nayak, M M

Differentiability between normal and respiratory tract disorder respiration pattern using smart sensor Conference

Proceedings of the 6th ISSS National Conference on MEMS, Smart Materials, Structures and Systems, India, 2013.

BibTeX

4.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Ranjith, N; Meghashree, Y V; Rajanna, K; Mahapatra, Roy D

Identification of different respiratory rate by a piezo polymer based nasal sensor Conference

Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE Sensors Conference, USA, 2013.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:

5.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Rajanna, K; Nayak, M M

Packaging of polyvinylidene fluoride nasal sensor for biomedical applications Conference

Proceeding of the 8th International Conference on Microsystems, Packaging, Assembly and Circuits Technology Conference (IMPACT), Taiwan, 2013.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:

6.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Rajanna, K; Mahapatra, Roy D; Dorasala, Srinivas

Piezoelectric sensing: Evaluation for clinical investigation of deviated nasal septum Journal Article

Allergy & Rhinology, 4 (3), pp. 140-150, 2013.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:

7.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Rajanna, K; Mahapatra, Roy D; Nayak, M M; Krishnaswamy, Uma Maheswari; Srinivasan, Rajesh

Polyvinylidene fluoride film based nasal sensor to monitor human respiration pattern: An initial clinical study Journal Article

Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing, 27 (6), pp. 647-657, 2013.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:

8.

Manjunatha, Roopa G; Rajanna, K; Nayak, M M

Non-invasive human breath sensor Conference

Proceedings of 2011 IEEE Sensors Conference, Ireland, 2011.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:


Indoor positioning and navigation of motorized objects

Principal Investigator
Prof K. V. S. Hari (Chairman and Professor, Department of Electrical Communication Engineering)

Duration
17 August 2012 to 16 August 2013

Unmanned motorized vehicles are used in hazardous situations for disaster management. These situations can be anything ranging from fire, earthquakes, to other types of calamities (nuclear/chemical) where initially humans cannot be involved directly. This project aimed to develop an inertial navigation system (INS) for four vehicles moving in an indoor environment, in order to track their position indoors and also control them accordingly from outside. This is possible through the use of an inertial measure unit (IMU), which provides the position and a camera provides the visual and these are transmitted over the Wi-Fi to the command station.

To go about building this, (1) a blueprint of the hardware system required for the four vehicles was prepared. This included identifying the hardware components for the system; such as the IMU, microcontrollers, wireless devices, battery packs and devices to provide visualization. With this in hand, (2) a prototype of the system was developed. The navigation algorithms are written in Matlab and C++, for porting onto the embedded system, which in our case is the BeagleBoard. The network modules for the communication between the vehicle and command station are setup using Wi-Fi. Also, a webcam is installed on the vehicle to provide visualization support. Having the system ready, (3) it was tested by collecting data and analysing the positioning details. The stop-and-go motion, on which the vehicle was designed to move, warranted a better threshold in order to get accurate distance and trajectory. This led to further modifications in the algorithm, to suit the system better. The video streaming was also tested simultaneously and found to be functioning as required.

Apart from this, the battery pack was improved upon, for superior functioning and compactness. The range of the Wi-Fi was tested with different dongles. The vehicle was tracked and the trajectory the path taken was plotted too.


Jewellery embedded with sensors and bluetooth chips and interfaced to a mobile phone and/or computers

Principal Investigator
Prof G. K. Ananthasuresh (Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Duration
17 August 2012 to 16 August 2013

The project aimed to create a cognitive ring that – using hand-gestures – can interface with a smart phone, a computer and physical devices. The main task was to design, fabricate, and integrate a three-axis accelerometer, Bluetooth chip, and micro-controller chip into the small form-factor of the ring. Writing the necessary code was also part of the project.

Based on the literature survey and market studies done, currently the available devices which employ similar technologies are pedometers, wrist watches and other health parameters measuring devices. For gesture recognition wrist watches and inertial sensor based devices used in game consoles are available. Most of the game console controllers depend on line of sight, and a purely sensor driven game controller which does not rely on line of sight is not still available.

Patent Application
Saxena, Dhruv; Mehrota, Pragati; Rao Hiteshwar; Ananthasuresh, G. K.
A method for recognizing gestures using an accelerometer mounted onto a wearable device
Indian Patent Application No. 5699/CHE/2013 (24.06.16)


Touch screen anywhere

Principal Investigator
Prof Bharadwaj Amrutur (Chairman, Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems)

Duration
17 August 2012 to 16 August 2013

We explored two threads for this activity. One was based on Microsoft’s Kinect platform to extract depth information, and the other was to use a standard camera for doing the same. In the Kinect approach, the Kinect system provides the depth information for any object placed in front of it. Thus the depth info for the fingers are obtained and then thresholded to determine if they have touched the surface. Kinect relies on a infrared structured light pattern projection, coupled with an IR camera to image the pattern. The pattern’s distortions are then analysed to extract the depth map.

In the second approach, we used a standard camera to image a structured light pattern modulation of the projected image. This enabled us to use any camera for such application. Furthermore, the modulation region is restricted to the places near the finger tips to minimize image quality degradation.


Ultralow detection of ammonia using nanoparticles based chemiresistor sensors

Principal Investigator
Prof Karuna Kar Nanda (Professor, Materials Research Centre)

Duration
17 August 2012 to 16 August 2013

Undetected ammonia might lead to severe burns on skin, eyes, throat, or lungs causing permanent blindness, lung disease, kidney and liver malfunction, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and ulcers. Sensors based on optical, electrical, and chemical detection have attracted significant attention. It is desirable to detect few ppb (parts-per-billion) level or below for useful medical applications and environmental monitoring. Efforts are being made to detect ammonia concentration in wide range starting from ppb to ppm (parts-per-million) level and especially, at room temperature.

We synthesize Au nanoparticles by one-step green synthesis method using polysaccharide (Guar Gum, GG) as the reducing as well as capping agents. First, we demonstrated GG/AuNPs nanocomposite (GG/AuNPs NC) for detection of aqueous ammonia based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR). It has good reproducibility, response times of 10 s and excellent sensitivity with a detection limit of 1 pp. We also followed the chemiresitive method based on the change in the current with ammonia concentration. Here, we have reported for the first time an ultrasensitive gold nanoparticles based room temperature sensor that can detect ammonia level in urine and quantify the urea level in it. The sensor can detect sub parts-per-quadrillion (ppq) of ammonia which is the lowest ever achieved at room temperature. Sensitivity, stability, reproducibility and durability studies revealed excellent device properties that can be explored as ammonia sensor for environmental and medical applications.

Project Publications

1.

Pandey, Sandanand; Goswami, Gopal K; Nanda, Karuna K

Green synthesis of polysaccharide/gold nanoparticle nanocomposite: An efficient ammonia sensor Journal Article

Carbohydrate Polymers, 94 (1), pp. 229-234, 2013.

Abstract | BibTeX | Links:


Wireless force and torque sensors for applications in complex fluids and biomechanics

Principal Investigator
Prof Prabhu R. Nott (Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering)

Duration
17 August 2012 to 16 August 2013

Granular flows occur widely in industrial processes (processing of food grains, mineral ores, pharmaceutical powders) and in natural phenomena (avalanches, mud slides), yet their mechanics is poorly understood. A major factor hampering the control of processes involving granular flow, such as filling detergent sachets or dosing a drug capsule, is the poor quality of instrumentation available for these systems when compared to fluids.

In our laboratory, we expanded our understanding of the kinematics and rheology of such materials by making careful measurements in simple flows of model granular materials, experiments and using them to refine continuum theories. We find the need for measuring the stress on a rotating cylinder that is immersed in a granular material. This requires the signals to be transmitted wirelessly from the sensor. Wireless transceivers are commercially available from many sources, but are proved unsuitable for our purpose as we required wireless transmission of voltage signals that can vary over a wide range. The innovation in this product therefore is in building a custom-made, small, low-cost, and accurate sensor-cum-transceiver unit, that adapts to the strength of the signal. Another useful consequence of this project was the development of a sensor for granular materials that may be used for flow control.