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Concept: Input device


Engaging, hands-on design experiences are key for formal and informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Robotic and video game design challenges have been particularly effective in stimulating student interest, but equivalent experiences for the life sciences are not as developed. Here we present the concept of a “biotic game design project” to motivate student learning at the interface of life sciences and device engineering (as part of a cornerstone bioengineering devices course). We provide all course material and also present efforts in adapting the project’s complexity to serve other time frames, age groups, learning focuses, and budgets. Students self-reported that they found the biotic game project fun and motivating, resulting in increased effort. Hence this type of design project could generate excitement and educational impact similar to robotics and video games.

Concepts: Mathematics, Biology, Life, Education, Educational psychology, Input device, Gameplay, Game designer


Visual function demands coordinated responses to information over a wide field of view, involving both central and peripheral vision. Visually impaired individuals often seem to underutilize peripheral vision, even in absence of obvious peripheral deficits. Motivated by perceptual training studies with typically sighted adults, we examined the effectiveness of perceptual training in improving peripheral perception of visually impaired youth. Here, we evaluated the effectiveness of three training regimens: (1) an action video game, (2) a psychophysical task that combined attentional tracking with a spatially and temporally unpredictable motion discrimination task, and (3) a control video game. Training with both the action video game and modified attentional tracking yielded improvements in visual performance. Training effects were generally larger in the far periphery and appear to be stable 12 months after training. These results indicate that peripheral perception might be under-utilized by visually impaired youth and that this underutilization can be improved with only ~8 hours of perceptual training. Moreover, the similarity of improvements following attentional tracking and action video-game training suggest that well-documented effects of action video-game training might be due to the sustained deployment of attention to multiple dynamic targets while concurrently requiring rapid attending and perception of unpredictable events.

Concepts: Better, Psychology, Improve, Vision, Visual perception, Input device, Video game genres, Field of view


This paper presents a low-cost microcontroller-based data acquisition device. The key component of the presented solution is a configurable microcontroller-based device with an integrated USB transceiver and a 12-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC). The presented embedded DAQ device contains a preloaded program (firmware) that enables easy acquisition and generation of analogue and digital signals and data transfer between the device and the application running on a PC via USB bus. This device has been developed as a USB human interface device (HID). This USB class is natively supported by most of the operating systems and therefore any installation of additional USB drivers is unnecessary. The input/output peripheral of the presented device is not static but rather flexible, and could be easily configured to customised needs without changing the firmware. When using the developed configuration utility, a majority of chip pins can be configured as analogue input, digital input/output, PWM output or one of the SPI lines. In addition, LabVIEW drivers have been developed for this device. When using the developed drivers, data acquisition and signal processing algorithms as well as graphical user interface (GUI), can easily be developed using a well-known, industry proven, block oriented LabVIEW programming environment.

Concepts: Computer, Input device, User interface, Personal computer, Operating system, Graphical user interface, Output, Human interface device


In this study, two D-A molecules NACANA and CANACA, based on carbazole (CA) donor and naphthalimide (NA) acceptor, with different D-A arrangement (A-D-A and D-A-D) were synthesized. The photophysical and electrochemical properties, microstructure and memory behaviors of both A-D-A and D-A-D molecules were systematically investigated. The fabricated devices ITO/NACANA or CANACA layer/Al with a simple sandwich configuration both exhibited volatile nature after shutting off the external electric field. Interestingly, NACANA showed ON-state retention time of ca. 12 min, longer than that of CANACA (ca. 6 min). The difference in retention ability of the programmed states could be assigned to the difference of the D-A arrangement. This type of retention ability adjustment by varying the arrangement of donor and acceptor segments may provide a guide of structure design for future organic-based specific memory devices with tunable volatile property.

Concepts: Time, Structure, Device, Property, Electron acceptor, Input device, Different


Mobile devices are a ubiquitous part of American life, yet how families use this technology has not been studied. We aimed to describe naturalistic patterns of mobile device use by caregivers and children to generate hypotheses about its effects on caregiver-child interaction.

Concepts: Food, Personal digital assistant, Mobile device, Input device, Mobile computers


Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality have been demonstrated to be associated with childhood obesity. It has been suggested that electronic entertainment and communication devices (EECDs) including TVs, computers, tablets, video games and cell phones interfere with sleep in children and youth. The aim of this study was to assess the impact that the use of EECDs in the hour before bedtime has on sleep and weight status to inform sleep promotion interventions and programs to prevent childhood obesity.

Concepts: Sleep, Childhood, Mobile phone, Input device, Video game


The Epilepsy Innovation Institute (Ei2) is a new research program of the Epilepsy Foundation designed to be an innovation incubator for epilepsy. Ei2 research areas are selected based on community surveys that ask people impacted by epilepsy what they would like researchers to focus on. In their 2016 survey, unpredictability was selected as a top issue regardless of seizure frequency or severity. In response to this need, Ei2 launched the My Seizure Gauge challenge, with the end goal of creating a personalized seizure advisory system device. Prior to moving forward, Ei2 convened a diverse group of stakeholders from people impacted by epilepsy and clinicians, to device developers and data scientists, to basic science researchers and regulators, for a state of the science assessment on seizure forecasting. From the discussions, it was clear that we are at an exciting crossroads. With the advances in bioengineering, we can utilize digital markers, wearables, and biosensors as parameters for a seizure-forecasting algorithm. There are also over a thousand individuals who have been implanted with ambulatory intracranial EEG recording devices. Pairing up peripheral measurements to brain states could identify new relationships and insights. Another key component is the heterogeneity of the relationships indicating that pooling findings across groups is suboptimal, and that data collection will need to be done on longer time scales to allow for individualization of potential seizure-forecasting algorithms.

Concepts: Algorithm, Science, Research, Device, Electroencephalography, Epilepsy, Seizure, Input device


Voice prosthesis (VP) device life is a limiting factor of tracheoesophageal (TE) voice restoration that drives patient satisfaction, health care costs, and overall burden. Historic data suggest that TE VPs have an average device life of generally 3 to 6 months, but these data are typically derived from small samples using only 1 or 2 devices.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Illness, Device, Input device


Two-dimensional crystals such as graphene and transition-metal dichalcogenides demonstrate a range of unique and complementary optoelectronic properties. Assembling different two-dimensional materials in vertical heterostructures enables the combination of these properties in one device, thus creating multifunctional optoelectronic systems with superior performance. Here, we demonstrate that graphene/WSe2/graphene heterostructures ally the high photodetection efficiency of transition-metal dichalcogenides with a picosecond photoresponse comparable to that of graphene, thereby optimizing both speed and efficiency in a single photodetector. We follow the extraction of photoexcited carriers in these devices using time-resolved photocurrent measurements and demonstrate a photoresponse time as short as 5.5 ps, which we tune by applying a bias and by varying the transition-metal dichalcogenide layer thickness. Our study provides direct insight into the physical processes governing the detection speed and quantum efficiency of these van der Waals heterostuctures, such as out-of-plane carrier drift and recombination. The observation and understanding of ultrafast and efficient photodetection demonstrate the potential of hybrid transition-metal dichalcogenide-based heterostructures as a platform for future optoelectronic devices.

Concepts: Van der Waals force, Device, Semiconductor, Photodiode, Input device, Optoelectronics, Aircraft carrier


Semiconducting nanomaterials are being intensively studied as active elements in bioelectronic devices, with the aim of improving spatial resolution. Yet, the consequences of size-reduction on fundamental noise limits, or minimum resolvable signals, and their impact on device design considerations have not been defined. Here, we address these key issues by quantifying the size-dependent performance and limiting factors of graphene (Gra) transducers under physiological conditions. We show that suspended Gra devices represent the optimal configuration for cardiac extracellular electrophysiology in terms of both transducer sensitivity, systematically ~5x higher than substrate-supported devices, and forming tight bioelectronic interfaces. Significantly, noise measurements on free-standing Gra together with theoretical calculations yield a direct relationship between low-frequency 1/f noise and water dipole-induced disorders, which sets fundamental sensitivity limits for Gra devices in physiological media. As a consequence, a square-root-of-area scaling of Gra transducer sensitivity was experimentally revealed to provide a critical design rule for their implementation in bioelectronics.

Concepts: Device, Transducer, Noise, Input device, Microphone, Transducers, Flicker noise, Pink noise