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Kobayashi M.,Tsukuba University of Technology
Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics | Year: 2017

Tenpin bowling is an adaptive sport for persons with severe visual impairment, including blind persons with adequate support. It is known as "Blind bowling." To play it, blind players are allowed to use a guide rail, and sighted assistants support the players by informing them of scores, ball trajectories, positions of remaining pins, etc. However, these blind players desire to play without the support of sighted assistants. Therefore, to solve this need, an automatic pin counting system was developed as an initial step. The system detects the number of remaining pins and positions using simple image processing, and communicates the information utilizing a speech synthesizer. Evaluation of the system showed that it was sufficient to assist the blind player's practice. Moreover, an unexpected effect was found: all blind persons who take part in the game are able to enjoy whole games. This is because the system continuously announces to everyone present, the remaining pins of the targeted blind player, as well as every other player. As a consequence, the system helps the blind player, both when bowling alone, and when enjoying a game with other participants.

Arai T.,Tsukuba University of Technology
Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems | Year: 2017

A definition of chaos in the sense of Li-Yorke is given for an action of a group on a uniform space, and it is shown that if a continuous action of an Abelian group G on a second countable Baire Hausdorff uniform space X without isolated points is chaotic in the sense of Devaney, then it is also chaotic in the sense of Li-Yorke. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York

Yoshitomi T.,University of Tsukuba | Hirayama A.,Tsukuba University of Technology | Nagasaki Y.,University of Tsukuba | Nagasaki Y.,Japan International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics
Biomaterials | Year: 2011

The ultimate objective of nanoparticle-based therapy is to functionalize nanomedicines in a micro-disease environment without any side effects. Here, we reveal that our pH-responsive nitroxide radical-containing nanoparticles (RNP pH) disintegrate within the renal acidic lesion and act as scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to a relief of acute kidney injury (AKI). RNP pH was prepared using amphiphilic block copolymers possessing 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-N-oxyl (TEMPO) moieties via amine linkage as a side chain of the hydrophobic segment. The self-assembled RNP pH disintegrated at pH below 7.0 because of a protonation of the amino groups in the hydrophobic core of the nanoparticles, thereby resulting in an improvement in ROS scavenging activity. Using a renal ischemia-reperfusion AKI model in mice, the therapeutic effect of RNP pH on ROS damage was evaluated. Unlike the RNP without pH-triggered disintegration (RNP Non-pH), the RNP pH showed extremely high ROS scavenging activity and renal protective effects. It is interesting to note that the side effect of nitroxide radicals was markedly suppressed due to the compartmentalization of nitroxide radicals in the core of RNP pH in untargeted area. The morphology changes in RNP pH were confirmed by analyzing electron spin resonance spectra, and these findings provide the evidence of the real therapeutic effect of the environment-sensitive specific disintegration of nanoparticles in vivo. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Itoh Y.,Tsukuba University of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics | Year: 2011

This paper introduces an innovative demosaicing algorithm for color filter array (CFA). Conventional demosaicing algorithms usually detect edges in horizontal-, vertical- or omni-direction, and apply a directional filtering along the edge direction. It is found that these algorithms do not properly work for diagonal edges. We, then, invent a similarity based filtering using unified high-frequency (UHF) map. This new technique enables flexible filtering masks so as to be able to deal with edges of any direction. It is confirmed through experiments that the proposed algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms in terms of PSNR and subjective quality. In addition, the proposed algorithm requires fewer resources than the state-of-the-art algorithms. © 2011 IEEE.

Kobayashi M.,Tsukuba University of Technology
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2016

To realize a blind bowling support system that tells information to a blind player using a voice synthesizer, a function of ball course detection is being developed after implementation of a function of counting remaining pins. The new function detects a position of thrown ball on an area of arrow marks on the bowling lane using a depth sensor. The sensor is connected to a pipe frame that bridged over the lane. Based on the evaluation by a blind bowling player, it can be shown that the function works basically well, although there is still potential to improve its stability. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.

Donoyama N.,Tsukuba University of Technology | Ohkoshi N.,Tsukuba University of Technology
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Year: 2012

Objectives: Massage therapy is one of the most commonly used complementary therapies for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate the effects of traditional Japanese massage therapy on various symptoms of patients with PD. Design: The study design was a case series study. Setting: The study was conducted at the Center for Integrative Medicine, Tsukuba University of Technology, Japan. Subjects: The subjects were 10 patients with idiopathic PD (mean age, 69.6±7.7 years; range, 55-85 years) who presented for consultation with a neurologist between February and April 2009 and who desired massage therapy in conjunction with standard pharmaceutical treatment. Intervention: The intervention comprised a 30-minute session of traditional Japanese massage in conjunction with standard conventional medication. Outcome measures: The outcome measures were as follows: Gait speed in the 20-m walk test (10-m walk and return) for gait disturbance, angular range of shoulder joint motion for frozen shoulder, and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for assessing the severity of each of various symptoms (hypophonia, shoulder stiffness, muscle pain, heaviness or lassitude of a body part, and fatigue), as determined before and after the massage session. Results: (1) Patients with gait disturbance showed improved gait speed, (2) those with frozen shoulder showed improved range of motion of the shoulder joint, and (3) VAS scores for assessing the severity of other subjective symptoms were improved. Conclusions: These results suggest that traditional Japanese massage therapy used in combination with medication is effective for alleviating various symptoms in patients with PD and may contribute to enhancing their health-related quality of life. Larger studies with a control group are required to verify these findings. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Noguchi E.,Tsukuba University of Technology
Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical | Year: 2010

Digestive disorders impose a heavy medical and economical burden on society and they represent one of the most common reasons for seeking medical consultation. Acupuncture is one of the procedures available to treat these conditions; however, partly because of the limited scientific evidence as yet obtained, the method has not been widely accepted by the medical community as an evidence-based effective treatment.This article presents some recent experimental work on the effectiveness of acupuncture in changing motility in the stomach and duodenum in anesthetized rats. We have shown that electrical or mechanical acupuncture of abdominal points inhibits visceral motility; the effect is due to a spinal reflex that involves activation of sympathetic nerve fibers and requires a peripheral stimulation of skin or muscles capable of activating group VI afferent nerve fibers. In contrast, acupuncture to a hindlimb enhances gastric or duodenal motility, and the reflex at work is supra-spinal and involves the vagus nerve; the peripheral stimulation activates type III afferent fibers.In addition to the reflexes that are activated, the effects of acupuncture may be mediated via centers in the limbic system, the hypothalamus and the brain stem. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Masaki I.,Tsukuba University of Technology
BioPsychoSocial Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: Although previous studies have shown detrimental effects of visual impairment on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), they were primarily conducted on elderly individuals with visual impairment. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate if HRQOL is impaired in young college students with visual impairment and to explore the relationships between HRQOL and other factors. It was hypothesized that visual impairment is not influential enough to lower the HRQOL of young people due to their better physical fitness and more flexible mentality. Methods: A total of 21 college students (mean age = 25 years old) with varying degrees of visual impairment completed the short form (SF)-36 health survey and questionnaires on daily physical activities. Subjects were grouped depending on the type of visual impairment: blind (n = 11) or severely impaired (n = 10). In addition, grip strength and single-leg standing balance were assessed. Results: No between-group differences were found in the SF-36 scores. However, compared to the general Japanese standards (50.0 ± 10.0), the Vitality scores of the blind group were lower (41.9 ± 7.2, p = 0.004) and the Physical Function scores of the severely impaired group were higher (55.3 ± 2.4, p = 0.001). In addition, a negative correlation was found between standing balance (variability of foot center of pressure) and the Physical Component Summary score of the SF-36 (r2 = 0.35, p = 0.005). Conclusions: These findings suggest that even among young people severe visual impairment leads to reductions in some components of HRQOL. © 2015 Masaki.

University of Tsukuba and Tsukuba University of Technology | Date: 2014-12-17

Provided is an organic-inorganic hybrid composite of a polymerized cyclic nitroxide radical compound and inorganic nanoparticles. Such a composite is capable, for example, of maintaining a stable nanoparticle shape in gastric fluid, and can be used by itself or as a carrier for delivery of another drug to the intestines.

University of Tsukuba and Tsukuba University of Technology | Date: 2013-02-06

Provided is an organic-inorganic hybrid composite of a polymerized cyclic nitroxide radical compound and inorganic nanoparticles. Such a composite is capable, for example, of maintaining a stable nanoparticle shape in gastric fluid, and can be used by itself or as a carrier for delivery of another drug to the intestines.

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