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Electrical Communication Engineering

IISc Student wins Cadence Design Contest 2015 for a chip that detects obstacles from a distance

Aditya Chowdary, an M.Tech student at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been awarded the first place in the 'Cadence® Design Contest 2015' conducted by Cadence Design Systems. Aditya, from the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, IISc, under the guidance of Prof. Gaurab Banerjee from the ECE department, has designed a device to detect approaching obstacles from a distance.

Teaching a plate of brain cells to control a robot

A group of researchers at IISc have managed to "teach" the brain cells taken from a rat and cultured on a glass plate, to help navigate a robot through an arena—while avoiding obstacles.
The researchers took the brain cells of a rat, and allowed them to grow on a specialized tiny glass plate covered with multiple electrodes. They flooded it with a special liquid medium to keep it alive. In a few weeks, the cells grow specialised structures called dendrites, which connect to other cells, thus forming a network. This network starts showing spontaneous electrical activity with generation and transmission of tiny voltage spikes – much like within the brain.

A new circuit that could help batteries last longer

Miniaturisation of VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) devices has allowed for their usage in versatile applications such as baby monitors and heart rate monitors. One drawback to such miniaturisation of integrated circuits is the reduced capacity and lack of accessibility of the batteries used as power sources. This requires that the power consumed by the device be reduced as much as possible. To address this problem, Sagar Gubbi and Bharadwaj Amrutur of the department of Electrical and Communication Engineering at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed a novel method which manages power better. The new method more efficient, reliable, and produces a hundred-fold improvement for certain operating conditions.

Using wrist pulse to understand body condition

A heart beat generates pressure wave which propagate throughout the arterial system. The shapes of wrist pulse waveforms are influenced by their continuous interaction with the non-uniform arterial system. These waves expand the arterial walls as they travel along and the expansions are palpable as the wrist pulse. A typical pulse signal has a multi period trend. Systolic wave with higher amplitude contributes to the main component of the pulse signal. The diastolic wave contributes to the lower amplitude secondary wave of the pulse signal. The information regarding heart is contained in the systolic wave whereas the secondary wave provides information on the reflection sites and the periphery of the arterial system. Analyzing this information would help one detect abnormalities in the body condition. Many efforts have been made recently to analyze wrist pulse pressure signals using efficient computer based techniques