Cosmic ray detection based measurement systems

Cosmic radiation has been known since the first decades of the 20th century: before the era of accelerators, cosmic rays have been considered, for decades, the best source of projectiles to investigate the core of matter, from nuclei to elementary particles.

Due to their property of crossing very thick and non-transparent materials, cosmic rays appear as suitable tools for the realization of measurement systems, especially as helpful alternative to traditional optical systems, when detectors are not mutually visible.

An example of application of cosmic rays to monuments monitoring is presented in this post: it has been developed in collaboration with the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) and the Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering of the University of Brescia.

Related Publications

Bodini, I.; Bonomi, G.; Cambiaghi, D.; Magalini, A. “Cosmic ray detection based measurement systems: a preliminary study”, Measurement Science and Technology, Vol. 18, pp. 3537-3546. 2007

Zenoni, A.; Bonomi, G.; Donzella, A.; Subieta, M.; Baronio, G.; Bodini, I.; Cambiaghi, D.; Lancini, M.; Vetturi, D.; Barnabà, O.; Fallavollita, F.; Nardò, R.; Riccardi, C.; Rossella, M.; Vitulo, P.; Zumerle, G. “Historical building stability monitoring by means of a cosmic ray tracking system”, Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications (ANIMMA 2015). 2015

LASER ALLUMINIO: Real-time acquisition for laser welding monitoring

The objective of this project was to develop a vision system for the real-time acquisition and saving of images produced in laser welding processes. This activity represents an initial step in the context of a research project aimed at studying the relation among the welding parameters and the quality of the welds, as they are captured by the vision system, for the feedback of the welding parameters during the welding.

The Laboratory worked in collaboration with TubeTech Machinery srl (Cazzago San Martino, Brescia, Italy), that was the company interested into this study.
The hardware used to devop this application is the Embedded Vision System (National Instruments) with LabVIEW 8.6.1, the IMAQ Vision libraries and the Real Time module for LabView. The vision system is based on the cooperation between a Host PC (PCS), and the NI EVS 1464 device. The acquisition campaigns have been done on one of the welding machines  available at TubeTech Machinery.

Suitable image elaboration tools have been developed to extract information from the videos captured by the system.

SMART BREAK – Bialetti REstoration Adaptive Kit

SMART BREAK is a project funded by Regione Lombardia thanks to a grant in the field of “Smart cities and communities”, for ambient assisted living. Nine companies (Bialetti Industrie Spa, Connexxalife Srl, Elemaster Spa, Lampia Srl, Gualtiero Marchesi Srl, Synergie CAD Instruments Srl, SAEF Srl, Sait Srl, and Signal Srl), two universities (UniBS and UniBG) and one hospital (San Raffaele) have joined the SMART BREAK project, and Bialetti Industrie is the leading partner.

SMART BREAK will be a modular system: food will be heated, hot and cold drinks will be provided as well as smoothies and users will be profiled, to create a food diary.

The Laboratory contributes to the project and works on a vision system, based on a smart camera (VisionCam XS – Imago Technologies), which communicates by means of an HMI, via a Modbus Ethernet Protocol. The developed vision system is capable of reading EAN barcodes, for the food diary and of recognizing lunch boxes of known weight.

The machine under development. Ileana is working at the vision system.
Food containers and barcodes that have to be recognized.
Examples of bar code detection.

Biomechanical models of human posture based on the dynamics of a disturbance

The objective of this research activity is to analyze and model the behavior of healthy subjects during equilibrium perturbations to understand how the posture strategies of a human subject changes from a static environment to a dynamic situation.

The balance function is a complex mechanism that involves, in particular, the nervous system. The diseases of the nervous system affect the structures involved in equilibrium with a consequent reduction in the capacity of gait and balance. Clinicians have different tools to characterize the instability. The most used is the static posturography, which assesses the balance from the registration of the position of the centre of pressure of the subject who is standing on a force platform.

The sensitivity of static posturography can be improved placing the subject in conditions of unstable equilibrium or stability limit and, thus, increasing the oscillation of the centre of pressure. This technique is defined as dynamic posturography, which measure the capability of the subject to maintain the balance during different test, performed on a motorized platform. Using vision systems and force platforms both the kinematic and the dynamic behaviour of the subject can be studied.

Related Publications

Pasinetti, S.; Lancini, M.; Pasqui, V. “Development of an optomechanical measurement system for dynamic stability analysis“, 2015 6th International Workshop on Advances in Sensors and Interfaces (IWASI), pp. 199-203. 2015

Surface EMG measurements for muscle activations analysis

The aim of this research activity is to study and develop new automatic methods for the analysis of the SEMG signal to reduce the measurement variability and subjectivity and increase the quality of the medical diagnosis.

Surface electromyography (SEMG) is a widely used technique for the evaluation of posture and movement. The analysis of the SEMG signal can assess neuromuscular pathologies in medical disciplines such as neurology, neurophysiology, orthopedics and rehabilitation. Most common uses of SEMG signals are amplitude (or SEMG pattern) measurement or timing measurement.

SEMG analysis frequently requires the estimation of muscle activation timing, as in the case of the functional characterization of the human movement, or of the study of muscle synergies. Muscle timing detection could also be useful in amputated subjects, where the SEMG signal may be used for the control of prosthesis.

The most common method to analyze SEMG signal is still visual inspection, which strongly depends on the skills and the experience of the examiner and suffers from a high subjectivity.

Related Publications

Pasinetti, S.; Lancini, M.; Bodini, I.; Docchio, F. “A Novel Algorithm for EMG Signal Processing and Muscle Timing Measurement“, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, Vol. 64, no. 11, pp. 2995-3004. 2015