Force sensor has been used as requisite for knowing information on the amount and the directions of forces on the skin surface. We have developed a four-degrees-of-freedom capacitive force sensor (approximately 20×20×5 mm3) that has a flexible structure and sixteen parallel plate capacitors. An iterative algorithm was developed for estimating four displacements from the sixteen capacitances using fourth-order polynomial approximation of characteristics between capacitance and displacement. The estimation results from measured capacitances had large error caused by deterioration of the characteristics. In this study, effective capacitors had major information were selected on the basis of the capacitance change range and the characteristic shape. Maximum errors in calibration and non-calibration points were 25%and 6.8%.However the maximum error was larger than desired value, the smallness of averaged value indicated the occurrence of a few large error points. On the other hand, error in non-calibration point was within desired value.
Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has been widely used as a non-invasive method to measure brain activity, but it is corrupted by baseline drift noise. Here we present a method to measure regional cerebral blood flow as a derivative of NIRS output. We investigate whether, when listening to languages, blood flow can reasonably localize and represent regional brain activity or not. The prefrontal blood flow distribution pattern when advanced second-language listeners listened to a second language (L2) was most similar to that when listening to their first language (L1) among the patterns of mean and standard deviation. In experiments with 25 healthy subjects, the maximum blood flow was localized to the left BA46 of advanced listeners. The blood flow presented is robust to baseline drift and stably localizes regional brain activity.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of the light emitting materials in ultraviolet (UV) region. In addition, ZnO nanostructures are also attracting increasing research interest as buildingblocks for UV optoelectronic applications. We have succeeded in synthesizing vertically-aligned ZnO nanostructures by laser interference patterning, which is catalyst-free and non-contact technique. In this study, vertically-aligned ZnO nanowall arrays were synthesized using two-beam interference. The maximum height and average thickness of the ZnO nanowalls were about 4.5µm and 200 nm, respectively.UV lasing from a piece of the ZnO nanowall was obtained under the third harmonic of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser excitation, and the estimated threshold power density for lasing was about 150 kW/cm2. Furthermore, UV lasing from the vertically-aligned ZnO nanowall was also achieved. The results indicate that ZnO nanowalls can be applied to random laser.