Engineering Science - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Voluntary Driven, Velocity Controlled Tremor Suppression

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-12-15
Abstract: 

The standard course of treatment for pathological tremor mainly involvespharmacotherapy. However, treatment can be challenging as individual responses totherapy vary widely. Individuals with a disabling or medication refractory tremor, mayhave the option for one of several surgical procedures. Essential Tremor (ET) andParkinson’s Disease (PD) are considered to be among the most pervasive of tremorrelated disorders. Overall pathological tremor prevalence statistics range from 2% to wellover 10% in the elderly. Up to 60% of those affected by tremor experience disability intheir Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and more than a quarter struggle to find reliefthrough conventional treatments. There is, therefore, a persuasive case for alternativetherapies for individuals with pathological tremor. This thesis proposes a tremorsuppression approach to track the intentional motion. Typically tremor suppressionmethods estimate the tremor component and produce a counteracting signal. Thesuggested approach instead predicts the voluntary motion component via forceinformation, while the tremor signal is regarded as a motion disturbance andconsequently rejected. The approach is demonstrated in a modular form for flexibility inimplementation. The suppression approach, involving an admittance and speedcontrolled feedbacks, was evaluated experimentally with a benchtop tremor simulationsystem. Parametric stability and controller tuning were demonstrated, and response timeperformance specifications were achieved. Spectral analysis results show a 99.8%tremor power reduction; the power reduction related to the voluntary movement wasinstead negligible (0.18%). A robotic orthosis was subsequently developed to validatethe approach for the suppression of pathologic elbow tremor. Two types of roboticallysimulated human inputs were evaluated in addition to employing orthosis gravitycompensation. Finally, nine participants with either ET or PD were recruited andperformed computerized pursuit tracking tasks with the orthosis. The mean tremor powerreduction was 94.4%; significantly higher than typically achieved with pharmacotherapy.Importantly, the effect to the voluntary motion was limited to only 6.6%. Whenmechanically suppressing tremor, there is a risk of preventing the individual with tremorfrom performing volitional movements. An important contribution of this work involves theexplicit treatment of the impact to the volitional motion.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carlo Menon
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Hand Gesture Identification in Older Adults using Force-Myography

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-06-20
Abstract: 

The projected increase in the proportion of seniors in society has prompted the growth of senior-technologies that support aging-in-place. The aim of this thesis to explore the suitability of Force Myography (FMG) for hand gesture identification in aging populations to complement other technologies that promote aging-in-place and to investigate the practical considerations for implementation. Characteristics of using FMG with seniors (aged 60+ years old) was first determined with a protocol involving five seniors and five non-seniors. Participants were invited to don a custom FMG device and perform a series of stationary hand gestures while being guided by a virtual user interface. The interface provided online image instructions of the required gesture, as well as visual feedback of successful gesture identification. Participants also performed household activities based tasks in a self-selected manner. On average, seniors completed specified hand gestures within 1.4 seconds of online instruction, with inadvertent identification of control gestures during household tasks lasting at most 1.45 seconds. Although these times were comparable non-senior participants, seniors demonstrated increased variability. Lastly, online accuracies for gesture classification only reached 75% compared to the 91% of non-senior participants. Considering the results of the first study, a follow up study was performed with a larger recruitment pool focusing on intrinsic user features that influence the variability in FMG acquisition and modelling. The results demonstrate that age and gender associated differences in band tightness, grip strength and ratio of skinfold thickness to forearm circumference account for at most 30% of the variability in FMG responsiveness, translating to 7% to 30% of the variability of model test accuracy. Intrinsic user features also influenced the severity that functional noise (the affect of unintended movements) had on classification. Results also revealed that variables independent of the user, such as band removal, contribute significantly to declines in testing accuracy, where declines ranged from 28% to 96%. Finally, results also showed that methods of FMG modelling typically encountered in the literature shows limited effectiveness during non-static activity.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carlo Menon
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Towards the development of a sub 500 micron thermally actuated scanning fiber endoscope for detection of lung cancer

Date created: 
2018-05-30
Abstract: 

Medical professionals increasingly rely on endoscopes to carry out many minimally-invasive procedures on patients in order to safely examine, diagnose and treat a myriad of conditions. However, their distal tip size dictates which passages of the body they can be inserted into and consequently what organs they can access. For inaccessible areas and organs, patients are often subjected to intrusive, risky and uncomfortable procedures; diagnosis of lung cancer is one of these cases. Hence, this study sets out to design an endoscope head that has an outer diameter of less than 500 microns, small enough to be inserted into the lungs. To attain this goal, a novel approach based on resonance thermal excitation of a dual clad single mode optical fiber at a location close to its base is proposed. The previously obtained analytical models for describing the lateral vibratory motion of the fixed-free micro-cantilever are used to validate the corresponding physical prototypes. Parameters such as choice of materials, resonance frequency, bonding methods, shape and dimensions of the actuator bridge, structural rigidity, assembly are considered in the physical design of the device. Lateral free-end deflection of the center fiber is used as a benchmark for evaluating performance. The results show that this novel proposal can be used to satisfy the project requirements.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carlo Menon
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

An in-depth study on Power Line Communications

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-13
Abstract: 

Power Line Communication has acquired tremendous interest from the research community since its applications and development in the field of Smart grid, in-home & vehicular communication, and its role in Internet of Things (IoT). In this project, I study the features of power line communication and provide an overview of applications in both narrowband and broadband systems, listing applicable standards and specifications. We study the problems in the technology and how recent developments have led to resolve them. A number of tests were conducted for the in-home Power Line Communication (PLC) setup, and different PLC modules were tested for a variety of wiring systems. Further, we conducted tests on two transformers to list the frequencies that can pass through the system, and to study general behaviour of the system to high frequencies.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ash M. Parameswaran
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Eng.

Development of a motion vector field model of an unstable slope using terrestrial radar interferometry

Date created: 
2018-04-20
Abstract: 

200 kilometres southeast by south of Fairbanks, Alaska lies the Fels Glacier valley where within, several sections of the northern slope are experiencing active deep-seated gravitational slope deformation. High-temporal resolution terrestrial radar imagery of the westernmost such section was acquired over the course of a 3-day field campaign in July 2017. These data were analyzed using interferometric techniques with the goal of extracting the rate of deformation across the 3-kilometre-wide section. The analysis and resulting motion vector field model reveal the extent and relative magnitude of the most actively deforming region located at the base of the slope with respect to the main body of the slope as observed over the short duration of the campaign.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Bernhard Rabus
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Eng.

Visible light wavefront sensorless adaptive optics optical coherence tomography

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-01-11
Abstract: 

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging has predominantly been performed using wavelengths in the near-infrared, however visible light (Vis) has been recently demonstrated, showing encouraging results for high quality retinal imaging. Using a broadband supercontinuum visible light source, a sensorless adaptive optics (SAO) multi-modal imaging system is presented driven by Vis-OCT for volumetric structural imaging, followed by acquisition of fluorescence emission from the sample. The coherence-gated, depth resolved Vis-OCT images can be used for image-guided SAO aberration correction when the fluorescent signal is too weak, providing structural and functional images with high resolution.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Marinko Sarunic
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Development of a smart multi-device SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system for household appliances

Date created: 
2018-04-13
Abstract: 

Power consumption and electrical appliances are growing rapidly as technology advances, so does the need to identify which appliances are consuming how much energy for the benefit of both environment and economic point of view. Based on the current smart home systems present in the market that can monitor power and have a proper infrastructure but have poor data analytics at the user end. In this project, we developed a device that measures, logs and represents the measurement to the power consumption data of the Electrical appliances to the user in a proper user-friendly manner by connecting to the same Wi-Fi of the smart plugs. The developed device, acts as a server to communicate with the energy measuring devices to extract the data, records and logs it in a database, and provides it to the user on-demand in a simple Graphic User Interface.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ash Parameswaran
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Eng.

A preliminary investigation on the use of shape memory alloys for lower limb compression

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-02-22
Abstract: 

Compression therapy is commonly prescribed for chronic venous insufficiency indication to mitigate various complications in lower extremities including pain, swelling, edema, skin changes, and ulcerations. Compression therapy also manages orthostatic intolerance, one of the principal causes of syncope, based on the assumption of increasing venous return. Compression achieved with stockings is effective only during the supine and walking conditions, while intermittent pneumatic pressure pumps are usually limited to non-ambulatory use. The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation on the use of shape memory alloys (SMA) to produce intermittent compression on the human calf. Thus, the research contributes towards a better understanding of utilizing SMAs in the potential development of an active compression device for the lower extremity. An active compression brace proof-of-concept prototype (ACBPP), actuated by SMA wires, was developed along with an analytical model. The use of SMA wires as actuators was investigated by conducting tests applying varying compression on a calf model. After modifying the analytical model, the effect of calf deformation on the performance of the ACBPP due to external pressure was experimentally and analytically investigated when wrapped around a compressible and incompressible calf. Through the development of a 2D finite element model of the leg, the effects of applied external pressure on the internal tissue was examined. The performance, wearability, comfort, potential haemodynamic benefits, and ambulatory use of SMAs in the ACBPP were explored through tests conducted on healthy individuals. First, results of a study on twelve healthy individuals in a seated position showed that the SMA-based ACBPP could apply a constant initial pressure to the leg, similar to commercial compression stockings, and produce intermittent pressures exceeding 30 mmHg. Second, with fourteen healthy volunteers in a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over, double-blind study, the haemodynamic effects of using the ACBPP on human calves were preliminarily investigated during ambulatory use. This proof-of-concept investigation showed that SMAs could potentially be used to increase stroke volume during tilting in healthy controls. Participants feedback showed good ratings for the ACBPP’s wearability and comfort in both studies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carlo Menon
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Cascaded particle filter for tracking using a single RGB-D sensor

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-02-13
Abstract: 

This thesis presents a real-time coarse-to-fine human gait tracking system based on a cascaded particle filter using a single RGB-D sensor. The tracking system is a combination of two different layers which explores how the information between the two sensing modalities can be chained to distribute and share the implicit knowledge associated with the tracking environment. In the first layer, the RGB information is exploited for tracking the coarse body shape, when the prior estimate of the state of the object is distributed based on the hierarchical sampling. For the second layer, the segmented output is used for tracking marked feature points of interest in the depth image. Two approaches, spin image, and geodesic distance, for associating a measure of the estimates are used in this phase. The thesis exhibits the overall implementation of the proposed method combined with a series of experimental analysis.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Shahram Payandeh
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Image Cropping Based on Saliency and Semantics

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-11-29
Abstract: 

This thesis proposes a new automatic image cropping technique and a platform for subjective image quality evaluation on mobile devices. Image cropping is a widely used technique in the printing industry, photography and cinematography. The proposed cropping method considers both the low-level pixel properties and high-level semantics. It is a combination of saliency-based and semantics-based image analysis. In the end, we compare the proposed method with a conventional saliency-based strategy. Furthermore, in order to simplify the final subjective test, we developed an iOS based mobile application for subjective image quality evaluation. The developed application implements two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) test methodology and further reduces the cognitive load of subjects performing the test by providing an easy-to-use, natural interface using the mobile device’s touch screen. The test results show the proposed cropping technique performs significantly better overall compared to saliency-based cropping.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ivan V. Bajić
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.