Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.
There are visible changes in the world organization, environment and health of national conscience that create a background for discussion on possible redefinition of global, state and regional management goals. Authors apply the sustainable development criteria to a hierarchical management scheme that is to lead the world community to non-contradictory growth. Concrete definitions are discussed in respect of decision-making process representing the state mostly. With the help of system analysis it is highlighted how to understand who would carry the distinctive sign of world leadership in the nearest future.
The evolution of the pyrolysis of sewage sludge in a fixed and a fluidized bed was analyzed using a novel measuring technique. This original measuring technique consists of installing the whole reactor over a precision scale, capable of measuring the mass of the complete reactor with enough precision to detect the mass released by the sewage sludge sample during its pyrolysis. The inert conditions required for the pyrolysis process were obtained supplying the bed with a nitrogen flowrate, and the bed temperature was adjusted to either 500 ºC or 600 ºC using a group of three electric resistors. The sewage sludge sample was supplied through the top of the bed in a batch of 10 g. The measurement of the mass released by the sewage sludge sample was employed to determine the evolution of the reaction rate during the pyrolysis, the total amount of volatile matter released, and the pyrolysis time. The pyrolysis tests of sewage sludge in the fluidized bed were conducted using two different bed materials of the same size but different densities: silica sand and sepiolite particles. The higher density of silica sand particles induces a flotsam behavior for the sewage sludge particles which move close to the bed surface. In contrast, the lower density of sepiolite produces a neutrally-buoyant behavior for the sewage sludge particles, which shows a proper circulation throughout the whole bed in this case. The analysis of the evolution of the pyrolysis process in both fluidized beds show that the pyrolysis is faster when buoyancy effects are negligible, i.e. in the bed conformed by sepiolite particles. Moreover, sepiolite was found to show an absorbent capability for the volatile matter released during the pyrolysis of sewage sludge.
Mathematical model describing energetic efficiency (defined as a ratio of energy obtained in the form of biofuel to the sum of energy inputs necessary to facilitate production) of agricultural subsystem as a function of technological parameters was developed. Production technology is characterized by parameters of machinery, topological characteristics of the plantation as well as transportation routes inside and outside of plantation. The relationship between the energetic efficiency of agricultural and industrial subsystems is also derived. Due to the assumed large area of the individual field, the operations last for several days increasing inter-fields routes because of several returns. The total distance driven outside of the fields is, however, small as compared to the distance driven inside of the fields. This results in small energy consumption during inter-fields transport that, however, causes a substantial decrease of the energetic effectiveness of the whole system.
In case of abnormal situations, the nuclear power plant (NPP) operators must follow written procedures to check the condition of the plant and to classify the type of emergency. In this paper, we proposed a Real Time Expert System in order to improve operator’s performance in case of transient or accident with reactor shutdown. The expert system’s knowledge is based on the sequence of events (SoE) of known accident and two emergency procedures of the Brazilian Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) NPP and uses two kinds of knowledge representation: rule and logic trees. The results show that the system was able to classify the response of the automatic protection systems, as well as to evaluate the conditions of the plant, diagnosing the type of occurrence, recovery procedure to be followed, indicating the shutdown root cause, and classifying the emergency level.
Phenomenal growth of population and industry exploits the environment in varied ways. Consequently, the greenhouse effect and other allied problems are threatening mankind the world over. Protection and up gradation of environment have, therefore, become the prime necessity all of mankind for the sustainable development of environment. People in humbler walks of life including the corporate citizens have become aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. Governments of various nations have entered the picture with laws and regulations to correct and cure the effects of present and past violations of environmental practices and to obstruct future violations of good environmental disciplines. In this perspective, environmental audit directs verification and validation to ensure that the various environmental laws are complied with and adequate care has been taken towards environmental protection and preservation. The discipline of environmental audit has experienced expressive development throughout the world. It examines the positive and negative effects of the activities of an enterprise on environment and provides an in-depth study of the company processes any growth in realizing long-term strategic goals. Environmental audit helps corporations assess its achievement, correct deficiencies and reduce risk to the health and improving safety. Environmental audit being a strong management tool should be administered by industry for its own self-assessment. Developed countries all over the globe have gone ahead in environment quantification; but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about pollution and environmental hazards among the common people in India. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of this study is concerned with the rationale of environmental audit on the industry and the society as a whole and highlights the emerging dimensions in the auditing theory and practices. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the recent development in environmental audit in developing nations like India and the problems associated with the implementation of environmental audit. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different obstacles, environmental audit is becoming an increasing aspect within the corporate sectors in India and lastly, conclusions along with suggestions have been offered to improve the current scenario.
The laboratory tests for measuring the effects of small strain to the shear strength and maximum stiffness development of post-cyclic degradation of hemic peat are reviewed in this paper. A series of laboratory testing has been conducted to fulfil the objective of this research to study the post-cyclic behaviour of peat soil and focuses on the small strain characteristics. For this purpose, a number of strain-controlled static, cyclic and post-cyclic triaxial tests were carried out in undrained condition on hemic peat soil. The shear strength and maximum stiffness of hemic peat are evaluated immediately after post-cyclic monotonic testing. There are two soil samples taken from West Johor and East Malaysia peat soil. Based on these laboratories and field testing data, it was found that the shear strength and maximum stiffness of peat soil decreased in post-cyclic monotonic loading than its initial shear strength and stiffness. In particular, degradation in shear strength and stiffness is more sensitive for peat soil due to fragile and uniform fibre structures. Shear strength of peat soil, τmax = 12.53 kPa (Beaufort peat, BFpt) and 36.61 kPa (Parit Nipah peat, PNpt) decreased than its initial 58.46 kPa and 91.67 kPa. The maximum stiffness, Gmax = 0.23 and 0.25 decreased markedly with post-cyclic, Gmax = 0.04 and 0.09. Simple correlations between the Gmax and the τmax effects due to small strain, ε = 0.1, the Gmax values for post-cyclic are relatively low compared to its initial Gmax. As a consequence, the reported values and patterns of both the West Johor and East Malaysia peat soil are generally the same.
When communicating using private and secure keys, there is always the doubt as to the identity of the message creator. We introduce an algorithm that uses the personal typing rhythm (keystroke dynamics) of the message originator to increase the trust of the authenticity of the message originator by the message recipient. The methodology proposes the use of a Rhythm Certificate Authority (RCA) to validate rhythm information. An illustrative example of the communication between Bob and Alice and the RCA is included. An algorithm of how to communicate with the RCA is presented. This RCA can be an independent authority or an enhanced Certificate Authority like the one used in public key infrastructure (PKI).
Transferring electrical power without any wiring has been a dream since late 19th century. There were some advances in this area as to know more about microwave systems. However, this subject has recently become very attractive due to their practiScal systems. There are low power applications such as charging the batteries of contactless tooth brushes or implanted devices, and higher power applications such as charging the batteries of electrical automobiles or buses. In the first group of applications operating frequencies are in microwave range while the frequency is lower in high power applications. In the latter, the concept is also called inductive power transfer. The aim of the paper is to have an overview of the inductive power transfer for electrical vehicles with a special concentration on coil design and power converter simulation for static charging. Coil design is very important for an efficient and safe power transfer. Coil design is one of the most critical tasks. Power converters are used in both side of the system. The converter on the primary side is used to generate a high frequency voltage to excite the primary coil. The purpose of the converter in the secondary is to rectify the voltage transferred from the primary to charge the battery. In this paper, an inductive power transfer system is studied. Inductive power transfer is a promising technology with several possible applications. Operation principles of these systems are explained, and components of the system are described. Finally, a single phase 2 kW system was simulated and results were presented. The work presented in this paper is just an introduction to the concept. A reformed compensation network based on traditional inductor-capacitor-inductor (LCL) topology is proposed to realize robust reaction to large coupling variation that is common in dynamic wireless charging application. In the future, this type compensation should be studied. Also, comparison of different compensation topologies should be done for the same power level.
Rating prediction is an important problem for recommender systems. The task is to predict the rating for an item that a user would give. Most of the existing algorithms for the task ignore the effect of negative ratings rated by users on items, but the negative ratings have a significant impact on users’ purchasing decisions in practice. In this paper, we present a rating prediction algorithm based on factorization machines that consider the effect of negative ratings inspired by Loss Aversion theory. The aim of this paper is to develop a concave and a convex negative disgust function to evaluate the negative ratings respectively. Experiments are conducted on MovieLens dataset. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods by comparing with other four the state-of-the-art approaches. The negative ratings showed much importance in the accuracy of ratings predictions.
The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) is creating awareness for the overall reduction of NOx emissions by 80% in its vision 2020. Hence this promotes the researchers to work on novel technologies, one such technology is the use of alternative fuels. Among these fuels hydrogen is of interest due to its one and only significant pollutant NOx. The influence of NOx formation due to hydrogen combustion depends on various parameters such as air pressure, inlet air temperature, air to fuel jet momentum ratio etc. Appropriately, this research is motivated to investigate the impact of the air to fuel jet momentum ratio onto the NOx formation in a hydrogen combustion chamber for aircraft engines. The air to jet fuel momentum is defined as the ratio of impulse/momentum of air with respect to the momentum of fuel. The experiments were performed in an existing combustion chamber that has been previously tested for methane. Premix of the reactants has not been considered due to the high reactivity of the hydrogen and high risk of a flashback. In order to create a less rich zone of reaction at the burner and to decrease the emissions, a forced internal recirculation flow has been achieved by integrating a plate similar to honeycomb structure, suitable to the geometry of the liner. The liner has been provided with an external cooling system to avoid the increase of local temperatures and in turn the reaction rate of the NOx formation. The injected air has been preheated to aim at so called flameless combustion. The air to fuel jet momentum ratio has been inspected by changing the area of fuel inlets and keeping the number of fuel inlets constant in order to alter the fuel jet momentum, thus maintaining the homogeneity of the flow. Within this analysis, promising results for a flameless combustion have been achieved. For a constant number of fuel inlets, it was seen that the reduction of the fuel inlet diameter resulted in decrease of air to fuel jet momentum ratio in turn lowering the NOx emissions.
Within the last 30 years, entrepreneurship education (EE) has continued to gain massive interest both in the field of research and among policy makers. This surge in interest can be attributed to the perceived importance EE plays in the equipping of potential entrepreneurs and as a 21st century strategy to foster economic growth and development. This paper sets out to ascertain the correlation between EE and economic growth and development. A desk research approach was adopted where a multiplicity of literatures in the field were studied intensely. The findings reveal that indeed EE has a positive effect on entrepreneurship engagement thereby fostering economic growth and development. However, some research studies reported the contrary. That although EE may be able to equip potential entrepreneurs with requisite entrepreneurial skills and competencies, it will only be successful in producing entrepreneurs if they are internally driven to become entrepreneurs, because we cannot make people what they are not. The findings also reveal that countries that adopted EE early have more innovations inspired by entrepreneurs and are more developed than those that only recently adopted EE as a viable tool for entrepreneurship and economic development.
In this paper, a review of different mathematical models which can be used as prediction tools to assess the time to crack reinforced concrete (RC) due to corrosion is investigated. This investigation leads to an experimental study to validate a selected prediction model. Most of these mathematical models depend upon the mechanical behaviors, chemical behaviors, electrochemical behaviors or geometric aspects of the RC members during a corrosion process. The experimental program is designed to verify the accuracy of a well-selected mathematical model from a rigorous literature study. Fundamentally, the experimental program exemplifies both one-dimensional chloride diffusion using RC squared slab elements of 500 mm by 500 mm and two-dimensional chloride diffusion using RC squared column elements of 225 mm by 225 mm by 500 mm. Each set consists of three water-to-cement ratios (w/c); 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 and two cover depths; 25 mm and 50 mm. 12 mm bars are used for column elements and 16 mm bars are used for slab elements. All the samples are subjected to accelerated chloride corrosion in a chloride bath of 5% (w/w) sodium chloride (NaCl) solution. Based on a pre-screening of different models, it is clear that the well-selected mathematical model had included mechanical properties, chemical and electrochemical properties, nature of corrosion whether it is accelerated or natural, and the amount of porous area that rust products can accommodate before exerting expansive pressure on the surrounding concrete. The experimental results have shown that the selected model for both one-dimensional and two-dimensional chloride diffusion had ±20% and ±10% respective accuracies compared to the experimental output. The half-cell potential readings are also used to see the corrosion probability, and experimental results have shown that the mass loss is proportional to the negative half-cell potential readings that are obtained. Additionally, a statistical analysis is carried out in order to determine the most influential factor that affects the time to corrode the reinforcement in the concrete due to chloride diffusion. The factors considered for this analysis are w/c, bar diameter, and cover depth. The analysis is accomplished by using Minitab statistical software, and it showed that cover depth is the significant effect on the time to crack the concrete from chloride induced corrosion than other factors considered. Thus, the time predictions can be illustrated through the selected mathematical model as it covers a wide range of factors affecting the corrosion process, and it can be used to predetermine the durability concern of RC structures that are vulnerable to chloride exposure. And eventually, it is further concluded that cover thickness plays a vital role in durability in terms of chloride diffusion.
Recently, the Italian government has approved a new law for public contracts and has been laying the groundwork for restarting a planning phase. The government has adopted the indications given by the European Commission regarding the estimation of the external costs within the Cost-Benefit Analysis, and has been approved the ‘Guidelines for assessment of Investment Projects’. In compliance with the new Italian law, the aim of this research was to perform a feasibility study applying quantitative methods regarding the revamping of an Italian tourist railway line. A Cost-Benefit Analysis was performed starting from the quantification of the passengers’ demand potentially interested in using the revamped rail services. The benefits due to the external costs reduction were also estimated (quantified) in terms of variations (with respect to the not project scenario): climate change, air pollution, noises, congestion, and accidents. Estimations results have been proposed in terms of the Measure of Effectiveness underlying a positive Net Present Value equal to about 27 million of Euros, an Internal Rate of Return much greater the discount rate, a benefit/cost ratio equal to 2 and a PayBack Period of 15 years.
The behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) members is quite important in RC structures. When evaluating the performance of structures, the nonlinear properties are defined according to the cross sectional behavior of RC members. To be able to determine the behavior of RC members, its cross sectional behavior should be known well. The moment-curvature (MC) relationship is used to represent cross sectional behavior. The MC relationship of RC cross section can be best determined both experimentally and numerically. But, experimental study on RC members is very difficult. The aim of the study is to obtain the MC relationship of RC shear walls. Additionally, it is aimed to determine the parameters which affect MC relationship. While obtaining MC relationship of RC members, XTRACT which can represent robustly the MC relationship is used. Concrete quality, longitudinal and transverse reinforcing ratios, are selected as parameters which affect MC relationship. As a result of the study, curvature ductility and effective flexural stiffness are determined using this parameter. Effective flexural stiffness is compared with the values defined in design codes.
We are witnessing the rapid development of technologies that change the world around us. However, curriculums and teaching processes are often slow to adapt to the change; it takes time, money and expertise to implement technology in the classroom. Therefore, the University of Split, Croatia, partnered with local school Marko Marulić High School and created the project "Modern competence in modern high schools" as part of which five different curriculums for STEM areas were developed. One of the curriculums involves combining information technology with physics. The main idea was to teach students how to use different circuits and microcomputers to explore nature and physical phenomena. As a result, using electrical circuits, students are able to recreate in the classroom the phenomena that they observe every day in their environment. So far, high school students had very little opportunity to perform experiments independently, and especially, those physics experiment did not involve ICT. Therefore, this project has a great importance, because the students will finally get a chance to develop themselves in accordance to modern technologies. This paper presents some new methods of teaching physics that will help students to develop experimental skills through the study of deterministic nature of physical laws. Students will learn how to formulate hypotheses, model physical problems using the electronic circuits and evaluate their results. While doing that, they will also acquire useful problem solving skills.
In the present research, various formulations of wavelet transform are applied on acceleration time history of earthquake. The mentioned transforms decompose the strong ground motion into low and high frequency parts. Since the high frequency portion of strong ground motion has a minor effect on dynamic response of structures, the structure is excited by low frequency part. Consequently, the seismic response of structure is predicted consuming one half of computational time, comparing with conventional time history analysis. Towards reducing the computational effort needed in seismic optimization of structure, seismic optimization of a shear frame structure is conducted by applying various forms of mentioned transformation through genetic algorithm.
In this study, determining of reduced tillage techniques in green bean farming as a second crop after harvesting wheat was targeted. To this aim, four different soil tillage methods namely, heavy-duty disc harrow (HD), rotary tiller (ROT), heavy-duty disc harrow plus rotary tiller (HD+ROT) and no-tillage (NT) (seeding by direct drill) were examined. Experiments were arranged in a randomized block design with three replications. The highest green beans yields were obtained in HD+ROT and NT as 5,862.1 and 5,829.3 Mg/ha, respectively. The lowest green bean yield was found in HD as 3,076.7 Mg/ha. The highest fuel consumption was measured 30.60 L ha-1 for HD+ROT whereas the lowest value was found 7.50 L ha-1 for NT. No tillage method gave the best results for fuel consumption and effective power requirement. It is concluded that no-tillage method can be used in second crop green bean in the Thrace Region due to economic and erosion conditions.
The estimation of accumulated radiation doses in people professionally exposed to ionizing radiation was performed using methods of biological (chromosomal aberrations frequency in lymphocytes) and physical (radionuclides analysis in urine, whole-body radiation meter, individual thermoluminescent dosimeters) dosimetry. A group of 84 "A" category employees after their work in the territory of former Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakhstan) was investigated. The dose rate in some funnels exceeds 40 μSv/h. After radionuclides determination in urine using radiochemical and WBC methods, it was shown that the total effective dose of personnel internal exposure did not exceed 0.2 mSv/year, while an acceptable dose limit for staff is 20 mSv/year. The range of external radiation doses measured with individual thermo-luminescent dosimeters was 0.3-1.406 µSv. The cytogenetic examination showed that chromosomal aberrations frequency in staff was 4.27±0.22%, which is significantly higher than at the people from non-polluting settlement Tausugur (0.87±0.1%) (р ≤ 0.01) and citizens of Almaty (1.6±0.12%) (р≤ 0.01). Chromosomal type aberrations accounted for 2.32±0.16%, 0.27±0.06% of which were dicentrics and centric rings. The cytogenetic analysis of different types group radiosensitivity among «professionals» (age, sex, ethnic group, epidemiological data) revealed no significant differences between the compared values. Using various techniques by frequency of dicentrics and centric rings, the average cumulative radiation dose for group was calculated, and that was 0.084-0.143 Gy. To perform comparative individual dosimetry using physical and biological methods of dose assessment, calibration curves (including own ones) and regression equations based on general frequency of chromosomal aberrations obtained after irradiation of blood samples by gamma-radiation with the dose rate of 0,1 Gy/min were used. Herewith, on the assumption of individual variation of chromosomal aberrations frequency (1–10%), the accumulated dose of radiation varied 0-0.3 Gy. The main problem in the interpretation of individual dosimetry results is reduced to different reaction of the objects to irradiation - radiosensitivity, which dictates the need of quantitative definition of this individual reaction and its consideration in the calculation of the received radiation dose. The entire examined contingent was assigned to a group based on the received dose and detected cytogenetic aberrations. Radiosensitive individuals, at the lowest received dose in a year, showed the highest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (5.72%). In opposite, radioresistant individuals showed the lowest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (2.8%). The cohort correlation according to the criterion of radio-sensitivity in our research was distributed as follows: radio-sensitive (26.2%) — medium radio-sensitivity (57.1%), radioresistant (16.7%). Herewith, the dispersion for radioresistant individuals is 2.3; for the group with medium radio-sensitivity — 3.3; and for radio-sensitive group — 9. These data indicate the highest variation of characteristic (reactions to radiation effect) in the group of radio-sensitive individuals. People with medium radio-sensitivity show significant long-term correlation (0.66; n=48, β ≥ 0.999) between the values of doses defined according to the results of cytogenetic analysis and dose of external radiation obtained with the help of thermoluminescent dosimeters. Mathematical models based on the type of violation of the radiation dose according to the professionals radiosensitivity level were offered.
In this letter, we demonstrate high-performance AlGaN/GaN planar Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) on the silicon substrate with field plate structure for increasing breakdown voltage VB. A low turn-on resistance RON (3.55 mΩ-cm2), low reverse leakage current (< 0.1 µA) at -100 V, and high reverse breakdown voltage VB (> 1.1 kV) SBD has been fabricated. A virgin SBD exhibited a breakdown voltage (measured at 1 mA/mm) of 615 V, and with the field plate technology device exhibited a breakdown voltage (measured at 1 mA/mm) of 1525 V (the anode–cathode distance was LAC = 40 µm). Devices without the field plate design exhibit a Baliga’s figure of merit of VB2/ RON = 60.2 MW/cm2, whereas devices with the field plate design show a Baliga’s figure of merit of VB2/ RON = 340.9 MW/cm2 (the anode–cathode distance was LAC = 20 µm).
Adiponectin is a cytokine secreted by the adipose tissue that functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiathrogenic and anti-diabetic substance. Its density is inversely correlated with body mass index. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of 12 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT) with the level of serum adiponectin and some selected adiposity markers in overweight and fat college students. This was a clinical research in which 24 students with BMI between 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2. The sample was purposefully selected and then randomly assigned into two groups of experimental (age =22.7±1.5 yr.; weight = 85.8±3.18 kg and height =178.7±3.29 cm) and control (age =23.1±1.1 yr.; weight = 79.1±2.4 kg and height =181.3±4.6 cm), respectively. The experimental group participated in an aerobic exercise program for 12 weeks, three sessions per weeks at a high intensity between 85% to 95% of maximum heart rate (considering the over load principle). Prior and after the termination of exercise protocol, the level of serum adiponectin, BMI, waist to hip ratio, and body fat percentages were calculated. The data were analyzed by using SPSS: PC 16.0 and statistical procedure such as ANCOVA, was used. The results indicated that 12 weeks of intensive interval training led to the increase of serum adiponectin level and decrease of body weight, body fat percent, body mass index and waist to hip ratio (P < 0.05). Based on the results of this research, it may be concluded that participation in intensive interval training for 12 weeks is a non-invasive treatment to increase the adiponectin level while decreasing some of the anthropometric indices associated with obesity or being overweight.
Traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a combinatorial integer optimization problem that asks "What is the optimal route for a vehicle to traverse in order to deliver requests to a given set of customers?”. It is widely used by the package carrier companies’ distribution centers. The main goal of applying the TSP in courier organizations is to minimize the time that it takes for the courier in each trip to deliver or pick up the shipments during a day. In this article, an optimization model is constructed to create a new TSP variant to optimize the routing in a courier organization with a consideration of congestion in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Real data were collected by different methods and analyzed. Then, concert technology - CPLEX was used to solve the proposed model for some random generated data instances and for the real collected data. At the end, results have shown a great improvement in time compared with the current trip times, and an economic study was conducted afterwards to figure out the impact of using such models.
Investment casting is commonly used in the production of metallic components with complex shapes, due to its high dimensional precision, good surface finish, and low cost. However, the process is cumbersome, and the period between trial casting and final production can be very long, thereby limiting business opportunities and competitiveness. In this study, we replaced conventional wax injection with stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing to speed up the trial process and reduce costs. We also used silicone molds to further reduce costs to avoid the high costs imposed by photosensitive resin.
This paper illustrates the concept of an algorithm to register specified markers on the neuroArm surgical manipulators, an image-guided MR-compatible tele-operated robot for microsurgery and stereotaxy. Two range-finding algorithms, namely time-of-flight and phase-shift, are evaluated for registration and supervisory control. The time-of-flight approach is implemented in a semi-field experiment to determine the precise position of a tiny retro-reflective moving object. The moving object simulates a surgical tool tip. The tool is a target that would be connected to the neuroArm end-effector during surgery inside the magnet bore of the MR imaging system. In order to apply flight approach, a 905-nm pulsed laser diode and an avalanche photodiode are utilized as the transmitter and receiver, respectively. For the experiment, a high frequency time to digital converter was designed using a field-programmable gate arrays. In the phase-shift approach, a continuous green laser beam with a wavelength of 530 nm was used as the transmitter. Results showed that a positioning error of 0.1 mm occurred when the scanner-target point distance was set in the range of 2.5 to 3 meters. The effectiveness of this non-contact approach exhibited that the method could be employed as an alternative for conventional mechanical registration arm. Furthermore, the approach is not limited by physical contact and extension of joint angles.