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University of Maine, France and HUMAN Inc | Date: 2014-06-23

A combinatorial microenvironment generator is configured for the generation of arbitrary, user-defined, steady-state, concentration gradients with negligible to no flow through the growth medium to perturb diffusion gradients or cellular growth. More importantly, the absolute concentrations and/or gradients can be dynamically altered upon request both spatially and temporally to impose tailored concentration fields for in-situ stimulus studies. Here, diffusion occurs via an array of ports, each of which can be an independently controlled source/sink. Together, the array of ports establishes a user-defined, 3D concentration profile. Useful methods related to this device are also provided.

A method for treating depression using a biomarker includes measuring a level of phosphoethanolamine in a blood sample collected from a subject, comparing the level of phosphoethanolamine in the blood sample with a predetermined threshold, in response to the level of phosphoethanolamine in the blood sample being below the predetermined threshold, determining that the subject requires a treatment for depression, and treating the subject determined to suffer from depression.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2015

Addressing barriers to widespread Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations in the NAS is a key goal of NASA research and development (R&D). One such barrier is the lack of tools enabling operators to team with automation to operate multiple UAS with minimal human oversight. This, in turn, requires a flexible testbed enabling research into key human automation teaming (HAT) areas (e.g., seamless sharing/trading of control between human and automation, trust calibration with highly autonomous systems, transparency, and understanding limitations of automation as a teammate). We propose to develop a ground station that serves as a Human Automation Teaming Testbed for management of Multiple UAS (M-HATT). M-HATT will facilitate R&D into HAT requirements by providing a testbed with: a) an architecture interoperable with NASA's Live Virtual Constructive – Distributed Environment (LVC-DE) and international standards (e.g., 4586), and designed with sound properties (modular, flexible, extensible, and scalable); b) tools to configure new experiments without requiring substantial code changes; and c) human-centered interfaces and tools for tuning properties of automation. These capabilities will enable human systems integration (HSI) researchers to rapidly gain insights into challenging HAT research questions. In Phase I, we will define M-HATT requirements and create a proof of concept demonstration. In Phase II, we will implement M-HATT software components, and collaborate with NASA HSI researchers to use M-HATT to perform simulation studies and flight tests, and develop a commercialization plan.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 240.01K | Year: 2016

By the time an individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer s Disease AD or dementia they have often already experienced both gradual and dramatic changes to their health cognitive function employment and financial status among other life events A number of key interview based studies like The National Health and Aging Trends Study NHATS and The Health and Retirement Study HRS have provided us with tremendous insight into the transitions that occur as individuals experience the early stages of AD or dementia but we have less information about these changes at the most granular levels of daily life and this lack of data limits both our search for preventative strategies and our understanding of social and environmental factors which can mitigate the severity of the disease We propose to develop an easy to use quickly configurable smartphone based application for data gathering which would drop the cost of high granularity measurements by three orders of magnitude making it possible for scholars of AD and ageing more generally to gather new kinds of high granularity measurements about how every aspect of health finance time and family interact in caregiving Our proposed smartphone based data collection platform has data types that will be highly overlapping with existing studies of the elderly including HRS and NHATS and once validated this tool could be employed broadly in scientific research dramatically lowering the cost of doing research with elders thus dramatically increasing the ability of researchers to engage protective and mitigating events at high fidelity We estimate that the validated platform could be deployed at an annual cost of less than $ subject and would yield up to M data points per subject per year for the AD research community Survey based tools have long been the standard for measuring aging related changes in health and cognitive function Here we propose to develop a low cost high density data gathering platform that leverages smartphone technology to gather new kinds of high granularity measurements about how every aspect of health finance time and family interact in caregiving We estimate that the validated platform could be deployed at an annual cost of less than $ subject and would yield up to M data points per year

A high torque active mechanism for an orthotic and/or prosthetic joint using a primary brake which can be provide by magnetorheological (MR) rotational damper incorporating and an additional friction brake mechanism driven by the braking force generated by the MR damper. This combination of MR damper and friction brake mechanism allows an increase in torque density while keeping the same level of motion control offered by the MR damper alone. The increased torque density achieved by this high torque active mechanism allows to minimize the size of the actuating system, i.e. its diameter and/or breath, while maximizing its braking torque capability. In this regard, the friction brake mechanism is advantageously positioned around the MR damper, such that the dimension of the package is minimized.

The disclosed apparatus, systems and methods relate to tracking abdominal orientation and activity for purposes of preventing or treating conditions of pregnancy or other types of medical conditions. In certain specific embodiments, the system, device, or method relates to identifying abdominal orientation risk values, calculating and updating a cumulative risk value, comparing the cumulative risk value to a threshold, and outputting a warning when the cumulative risk value crosses the threshold.

HUMAN Inc | Date: 2014-09-17

To provide a method for simply measuring ethanolamine phosphate in a sample, and a reagent, kit, program and the like useful in the method. A measurement method of ethanolamine phosphate includes a first step of adding an enzyme, which can catalyze a reaction that forms acetaldehyde from ethanolamine phosphate, to a sample, and conducting a first enzymatic reaction to form acetaldehyde, phosphoric acid and ammonia; and a second step of quantifying at least one of the resultant acetaldehyde, phosphoric acid and ammonia to determine an amount of the ethanolamine phosphate in the measurement sample.

A motorized prosthetic device includes a joint member, a limb member, a pressure sensor, and a kinematic sensor. The pressure sensor indicates interaction between the motorized prosthetic device and the ground and the kinematic sensor measures torque at the joint member. A controller receives data from the pressure sensor and kinematic sensor and calculates a control signal based at least on the received data. An electrical motor receives the control signal and operates an actuator in accordance with the received control signal.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 458.43K | Year: 2014

The goal of this project is to establish a user-centered optimal design framework for customized lower-extremity exoskeletons, in which human-exoskeleton physical interactions and dynamics can be predicted and optimized to provide design requirements. The objectives are to establish: (1) mathematical models of disability parameters, performance indices, and desired/task-failure motions; (2) formulations for constraint status, contact load, and coupled dynamics; (3) optimization method of contact load distribution; (4) sensor integration for required data and experimental validation; and (5) prototype design modification, fabrication, and usability tests. This research will open a new paradigm for systematic characterization of disability parameters and the desired motions from engineering perspectives, leading to user-specific mathematical models. The potential to reduce the need for involving human subjects as part of the design iteration loop will result in accelerated development and better performing assistive devices at reduced cost. Given the growing number of individuals who would benefit from customized exoskeletons as assistive devices, this project will have broad social impact by resolving major hurdles to their widespread use. This research will be integrated into comprehensive education and outreach plans for minority students and individuals with disabilities.

The algorithm with controlled infeasibility will provide physically valid solutions of task failure as well as desired motions for integrated human-exoskeleton systems. The concurrent formulations for constraint status/loads and coupled dynamics will resolve the problems of incorporating physical interactions into optimal motions. As a novel design method, this project will introduce optimal contact load distribution subject to exoskeleton dynamics and transformation of a complex design into a dynamically equivalent model. The feedback loops in the design framework will serve as self-evaluation/contingency plans. This research will transform exoskeleton technologies through user-centered design and predictive evaluations by systematically considering end-user requirements and limitations right from the beginning and at each stage of design. Project outcomes will represent a significant breakthrough that will bring exoskeleton technologies to the next level by (a) functioning as a central hub that systematically connects and integrates relevant disciplines; and (b) providing customized design, reduced design cycle, optimized systems with light weight and natural motion, and improved user comfort and safety.

HUMAN Inc | Date: 2016-02-03

An SMS-based human/computer interface that may be applied to a wide variety of tasks. The interface allows a human user to interact with a computer system using SMS messages. The user sends messages to the computer system and receives messages from the computer system in a format that would normally be used for interacting with a human acquaintance. The computer system includes a natural language processor with an associated lexicon of conventional language (such as English words) and SMS-unique language. The language processor determines the users meaning and the system then generates responses that are appropriate within the present context The computer system includes the ability to bring in a human operator when conditions warrant such an intervention.

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