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2014


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Series of Multilinked Caterpillar Track-type Climbing Robots

Lee, G., Kim, H., Seo, K., Kim, J., Sitti, M., Seo, T.

Journal of Field Robotics, November 2014 (article)

Abstract
Climbing robots have been widely applied in many industries involving hard to access, dangerous, or hazardous environments to replace human workers. Climbing speed, payload capacity, the ability to overcome obstacles, and wall-to-wall transitioning are significant characteristics of climbing robots. Here, multilinked track wheel-type climbing robots are proposed to enhance these characteristics. The robots have been developed for five years in collaboration with three universities: Seoul National University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Yeungnam University. Four types of robots are presented for different applications with different surface attachment methods and mechanisms: MultiTank for indoor sites, Flexible caterpillar robot (FCR) and Combot for heavy industrial sites, and MultiTrack for high-rise buildings. The method of surface attachment is different for each robot and application, and the characteristics of the joints between links are designed as active or passive according to the requirement of a given robot. Conceptual design, practical design, and control issues of such climbing robot types are reported, and a proper choice of the attachment methods and joint type is essential for the successful multilink track wheel-type climbing robot for different surface materials, robot size, and computational costs.

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DOI [BibTex]

2014


DOI [BibTex]


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MoSh: Motion and Shape Capture from Sparse Markers

Loper, M. M., Mahmood, N., Black, M. J.

ACM Transactions on Graphics, (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia), 33(6):220:1-220:13, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2014 (article)

Abstract
Marker-based motion capture (mocap) is widely criticized as producing lifeless animations. We argue that important information about body surface motion is present in standard marker sets but is lost in extracting a skeleton. We demonstrate a new approach called MoSh (Motion and Shape capture), that automatically extracts this detail from mocap data. MoSh estimates body shape and pose together using sparse marker data by exploiting a parametric model of the human body. In contrast to previous work, MoSh solves for the marker locations relative to the body and estimates accurate body shape directly from the markers without the use of 3D scans; this effectively turns a mocap system into an approximate body scanner. MoSh is able to capture soft tissue motions directly from markers by allowing body shape to vary over time. We evaluate the effect of different marker sets on pose and shape accuracy and propose a new sparse marker set for capturing soft-tissue motion. We illustrate MoSh by recovering body shape, pose, and soft-tissue motion from archival mocap data and using this to produce animations with subtlety and realism. We also show soft-tissue motion retargeting to new characters and show how to magnify the 3D deformations of soft tissue to create animations with appealing exaggerations.

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pdf video data pdf from publisher link (url) DOI Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

pdf video data pdf from publisher link (url) DOI Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Can I recognize my body’s weight? The influence of shape and texture on the perception of self

Piryankova, I., Stefanucci, J., Romero, J., de la Rosa, S., Black, M., Mohler, B.

ACM Transactions on Applied Perception for the Symposium on Applied Perception, 11(3):13:1-13:18, September 2014 (article)

Abstract
The goal of this research was to investigate women’s sensitivity to changes in their perceived weight by altering the body mass index (BMI) of the participants’ personalized avatars displayed on a large-screen immersive display. We created the personalized avatars with a full-body 3D scanner that records both the participants’ body geometry and texture. We altered the weight of the personalized avatars to produce changes in BMI while keeping height, arm length and inseam fixed and exploited the correlation between body geometry and anthropometric measurements encapsulated in a statistical body shape model created from thousands of body scans. In a 2x2 psychophysical experiment, we investigated the relative importance of visual cues, namely shape (own shape vs. an average female body shape with equivalent height and BMI to the participant) and texture (own photo-realistic texture or checkerboard pattern texture) on the ability to accurately perceive own current body weight (by asking them ‘Is the avatar the same weight as you?’). Our results indicate that shape (where height and BMI are fixed) had little effect on the perception of body weight. Interestingly, the participants perceived their body weight veridically when they saw their own photo-realistic texture and significantly underestimated their body weight when the avatar had a checkerboard patterned texture. The range that the participants accepted as their own current weight was approximately a 0.83 to −6.05 BMI% change tolerance range around their perceived weight. Both the shape and the texture had an effect on the reported similarity of the body parts and the whole avatar to the participant’s body. This work has implications for new measures for patients with body image disorders, as well as researchers interested in creating personalized avatars for games, training applications or virtual reality.

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pdf DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

pdf DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Segmented molecular design of self-healing proteinaceous materials.

Sariola, V., Pena-Francesch, A., Jung, H., Çetinkaya, M., Pacheco, C., Sitti, M., Demirel, M. C.

Scientific reports, 5, pages: 13482-13482, Nature Publishing Group, July 2014 (article)

Abstract
Hierarchical assembly of self-healing adhesive proteins creates strong and robust structural and interfacial materials, but understanding of the molecular design and structure–property relationships of structural proteins remains unclear. Elucidating this relationship would allow rational design of next generation genetically engineered self-healing structural proteins. Here we report a general self-healing and -assembly strategy based on a multiphase recombinant protein based material. Segmented structure of the protein shows soft glycine- and tyrosine-rich segments with self-healing capability and hard beta-sheet segments. The soft segments are strongly plasticized by water, lowering the self-healing temperature close to body temperature. The hard segments self-assemble into nanoconfined domains to reinforce the material. The healing strength scales sublinearly with contact time, which associates with diffusion and wetting of autohesion. The finding suggests that recombinant structural proteins from heterologous expression have potential as strong and repairable engineering materials.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Breathing Life into Shape: Capturing, Modeling and Animating 3D Human Breathing

Tsoli, A., Mahmood, N., Black, M. J.

ACM Transactions on Graphics, (Proc. SIGGRAPH), 33(4):52:1-52:11, ACM, New York, NY, July 2014 (article)

Abstract
Modeling how the human body deforms during breathing is important for the realistic animation of lifelike 3D avatars. We learn a model of body shape deformations due to breathing for different breathing types and provide simple animation controls to render lifelike breathing regardless of body shape. We capture and align high-resolution 3D scans of 58 human subjects. We compute deviations from each subject’s mean shape during breathing, and study the statistics of such shape changes for different genders, body shapes, and breathing types. We use the volume of the registered scans as a proxy for lung volume and learn a novel non-linear model relating volume and breathing type to 3D shape deformations and pose changes. We then augment a SCAPE body model so that body shape is determined by identity, pose, and the parameters of the breathing model. These parameters provide an intuitive interface with which animators can synthesize 3D human avatars with realistic breathing motions. We also develop a novel interface for animating breathing using a spirometer, which measures the changes in breathing volume of a “breath actor.”

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pdf video link (url) DOI Project Page Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Bio-Hybrid Cell-Based Actuators for Microsystems

Carlsen, R. W., Sitti, M.

Small, 10(19):3831-3851, June 2014 (article)

Abstract
As we move towards the miniaturization of devices to perform tasks at the nano and microscale, it has become increasingly important to develop new methods for actuation, sensing, and control. Over the past decade, bio-hybrid methods have been investigated as a promising new approach to overcome the challenges of scaling down robotic and other functional devices. These methods integrate biological cells with artificial components and therefore, can take advantage of the intrinsic actuation and sensing functionalities of biological cells. Here, the recent advancements in bio-hybrid actuation are reviewed, and the challenges associated with the design, fabrication, and control of bio-hybrid microsystems are discussed. As a case study, focus is put on the development of bacteria-driven microswimmers, which has been investigated as a targeted drug delivery carrier. Finally, a future outlook for the development of these systems is provided. The continued integration of biological and artificial components is envisioned to enable the performance of tasks at a smaller and smaller scale in the future, leading to the parallel and distributed operation of functional systems at the microscale.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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3D Traffic Scene Understanding from Movable Platforms

Geiger, A., Lauer, M., Wojek, C., Stiller, C., Urtasun, R.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI), 36(5):1012-1025, published, IEEE, Los Alamitos, CA, May 2014 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we present a novel probabilistic generative model for multi-object traffic scene understanding from movable platforms which reasons jointly about the 3D scene layout as well as the location and orientation of objects in the scene. In particular, the scene topology, geometry and traffic activities are inferred from short video sequences. Inspired by the impressive driving capabilities of humans, our model does not rely on GPS, lidar or map knowledge. Instead, it takes advantage of a diverse set of visual cues in the form of vehicle tracklets, vanishing points, semantic scene labels, scene flow and occupancy grids. For each of these cues we propose likelihood functions that are integrated into a probabilistic generative model. We learn all model parameters from training data using contrastive divergence. Experiments conducted on videos of 113 representative intersections show that our approach successfully infers the correct layout in a variety of very challenging scenarios. To evaluate the importance of each feature cue, experiments using different feature combinations are conducted. Furthermore, we show how by employing context derived from the proposed method we are able to improve over the state-of-the-art in terms of object detection and object orientation estimation in challenging and cluttered urban environments.

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pdf link (url) [BibTex]

pdf link (url) [BibTex]


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Adaptive Offset Correction for Intracortical Brain Computer Interfaces

Homer, M. L., Perge, J. A., Black, M. J., Harrison, M. T., Cash, S. S., Hochberg, L. R.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 22(2):239-248, March 2014 (article)

Abstract
Intracortical brain computer interfaces (iBCIs) decode intended movement from neural activity for the control of external devices such as a robotic arm. Standard approaches include a calibration phase to estimate decoding parameters. During iBCI operation, the statistical properties of the neural activity can depart from those observed during calibration, sometimes hindering a user’s ability to control the iBCI. To address this problem, we adaptively correct the offset terms within a Kalman filter decoder via penalized maximum likelihood estimation. The approach can handle rapid shifts in neural signal behavior (on the order of seconds) and requires no knowledge of the intended movement. The algorithm, called MOCA, was tested using simulated neural activity and evaluated retrospectively using data collected from two people with tetraplegia operating an iBCI. In 19 clinical research test cases, where a nonadaptive Kalman filter yielded relatively high decoding errors, MOCA significantly reduced these errors (10.6 ± 10.1\%; p < 0.05, pairwise t-test). MOCA did not significantly change the error in the remaining 23 cases where a nonadaptive Kalman filter already performed well. These results suggest that MOCA provides more robust decoding than the standard Kalman filter for iBCIs.

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pdf DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Juggling revisited — A voxel based morphometry study with expert jugglers

Gerber, P., Schlaffke, L., Heba, S., Greenlee, M., Schultz, T., Schmidt-Wilcke, T.

NeuroImage, 95, pages: 320-325, 2014 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Assessing attention and cognitive function in completely locked-in state with event-related brain potentials and epidural electrocorticography

Bensch, M., Martens, S., Halder, S., Hill, J., Nijboer, F., Ramos, A., Birbaumer, N., Bodgan, M., Kotchoubey, B., Rosenstiel, W., Schölkopf, B., Gharabaghi, A.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 11(2):026006, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Objective. Patients in the completely locked-in state (CLIS), due to, for example, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), no longer possess voluntary muscle control. Assessing attention and cognitive function in these patients during the course of the disease is a challenging but essential task for both nursing staff and physicians. Approach. An electrophysiological cognition test battery, including auditory and semantic stimuli, was applied in a late-stage ALS patient at four different time points during a six-month epidural electrocorticography (ECoG) recording period. Event-related cortical potentials (ERP), together with changes in the ECoG signal spectrum, were recorded via 128 channels that partially covered the left frontal, temporal and parietal cortex. Main results. Auditory but not semantic stimuli induced significant and reproducible ERP projecting to specific temporal and parietal cortical areas. N1/P2 responses could be detected throughout the whole study period. The highest P3 ERP was measured immediately after the patient's last communication through voluntary muscle control, which was paralleled by low theta and high gamma spectral power. Three months after the patient's last communication, i.e., in the CLIS, P3 responses could no longer be detected. At the same time, increased activity in low-frequency bands and a sharp drop of gamma spectral power were recorded. Significance. Cortical electrophysiological measures indicate at least partially intact attention and cognitive function during sparse volitional motor control for communication. Although the P3 ERP and frequency-specific changes in the ECoG spectrum may serve as indicators for CLIS, a close-meshed monitoring will be required to define the exact time point of the transition.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Identifiability of Gaussian Structural Equation Models with Equal Error Variances

Peters, J., Bühlman, P.

Biometrika, 101(1):219-228, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]


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Quantifying the effect of intertrial dependence on perceptual decisions

Fründ, I., Wichmann, F., Macke, J.

Journal of Vision, 14(7):1-16, 2014 (article)

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Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Two numerical models designed to reproduce Saturn ring temperatures as measured by Cassini-CIRS

Altobelli, N., Lopez-Paz, D., Pilorz, S., Spilker, L., Morishima, R., Brooks, S., Leyrat, C., Deau, E., Edgington, S., Flandes, A.

Icarus, 238(0):205 - 220, 2014 (article)

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Web link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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CAM: Causal Additive Models, high-dimensional order search and penalized regression

Bühlmann, P., Peters, J., Ernest, J.

Annals of Statistics, 42(6):2526-2556, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Policy Evaluation with Temporal Differences: A Survey and Comparison

Dann, C., Neumann, G., Peters, J.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 15, pages: 809-883, 2014 (article)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Uncovering the Structure and Temporal Dynamics of Information Propagation

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Leskovec, J., Balduzzi, D., Schölkopf, B.

Network Science, 2(1):26-65, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Time plays an essential role in the diffusion of information, influence, and disease over networks. In many cases we can only observe when a node is activated by a contagion—when a node learns about a piece of information, makes a decision, adopts a new behavior, or becomes infected with a disease. However, the underlying network connectivity and transmission rates between nodes are unknown. Inferring the underlying diffusion dynamics is important because it leads to new insights and enables forecasting, as well as influencing or containing information propagation. In this paper we model diffusion as a continuous temporal process occurring at different rates over a latent, unobserved network that may change over time. Given information diffusion data, we infer the edges and dynamics of the underlying network. Our model naturally imposes sparse solutions and requires no parameter tuning. We develop an efficient inference algorithm that uses stochastic convex optimization to compute online estimates of the edges and transmission rates. We evaluate our method by tracking information diffusion among 3.3 million mainstream media sites and blogs, and experiment with more than 179 million different instances of information spreading over the network in a one-year period. We apply our network inference algorithm to the top 5,000 media sites and blogs and report several interesting observations. First, information pathways for general recurrent topics are more stable across time than for on-going news events. Second, clusters of news media sites and blogs often emerge and vanish in a matter of days for on-going news events. Finally, major events, for example, large scale civil unrest as in the Libyan civil war or Syrian uprising, increase the number of information pathways among blogs, and also increase the network centrality of blogs and social media sites.

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DOI [BibTex]


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Causal discovery via reproducing kernel Hilbert space embeddings

Chen, Z., Zhang, K., Chan, L., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 26(7):1484-1517, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Impact of Large-Scale Climate Extremes on Biospheric Carbon Fluxes: An Intercomparison Based on MsTMIP Data

Zscheischler, J., Michalak, A., Schwalm, M., Mahecha, M., Huntzinger, D., Reichstein, M., Berthier, G., Ciais, P., Cook, R., El-Masri, B., Huang, M., Ito, A., Jain, A., King, A., Lei, H., Lu, C., Mao, J., Peng, S., Poulter, B., Ricciuto, D., Shi, X., Tao, B., Tian, H., Viovy, N., Wang, W., Wei, Y., Yang, J., Zeng, N.

Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2014 (article)

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Brain-Computer Interface Based on Self-Regulation of Gamma-Oscillations in the Superior Parietal Cortex

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 11(5):056015, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Objective. Brain–computer interface (BCI) systems are often based on motor- and/or sensory processes that are known to be impaired in late stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We propose a novel BCI designed for patients in late stages of ALS that only requires high-level cognitive processes to transmit information from the user to the BCI. Approach. We trained subjects via EEG-based neurofeedback to self-regulate the amplitude of gamma-oscillations in the superior parietal cortex (SPC). We argue that parietal gamma-oscillations are likely to be associated with high-level attentional processes, thereby providing a communication channel that does not rely on the integrity of sensory- and/or motor-pathways impaired in late stages of ALS. Main results. Healthy subjects quickly learned to self-regulate gamma-power in the SPC by alternating between states of focused attention and relaxed wakefulness, resulting in an average decoding accuracy of 70.2%. One locked-in ALS patient (ALS-FRS-R score of zero) achieved an average decoding accuracy significantly above chance-level though insufficient for communication (55.8%). Significance. Self-regulation of gamma-power in the SPC is a feasible paradigm for brain–computer interfacing and may be preserved in late stages of ALS. This provides a novel approach to testing whether completely locked-in ALS patients retain the capacity for goal-directed thinking.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]


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On power law distributions in large-scale taxonomies

Babbar, R., Metzig, C., Partalas, I., Gaussier, E., Amini, M.

SIGKDD Explorations, Special Issue on Big Data, 16(1):47-56, 2014 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Predicting Motor Learning Performance from Electroencephalographic Data

Meyer, T., Peters, J., Zander, T., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 11:24, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Special issue on autonomous grasping and manipulation

Ben Amor, H., Saxena, A., Hudson, N., Peters, J.

Autonomous Robots, 36(1-2):1-3, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of Positron Emission Tomographic Tracers for Imaging of Papillomavirus-Induced Tumors in Rabbits

Probst, S., Wiehr, S., Mantlik, F., Schmidt, H., Kolb, A., Münch, P., Delcuratolo, M., Stubenrauch, F., Pichler, B., Iftner, T.

Molecular Imaging, 13(1):1536-0121, 2014 (article)

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Extreme events in gross primary production: a characterization across continents

Zscheischler, J., Reichstein, M., Harmeling, S., Rammig, A., Tomelleri, E., Mahecha, M.

Biogeosciences, 11, pages: 2909-2924, 2014 (article)

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Indirect Robot Model Learning for Tracking Control

Bocsi, B., Csató, L., Peters, J.

Advanced Robotics, 28(9):589-599, 2014 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An extended approach for spatiotemporal gapfilling: dealing with large and systematic gaps in geoscientific datasets

v Buttlar, J., Zscheischler, J., Mahecha, M.

Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 21(1):203-215, 2014 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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On the Quantification Accuracy, Homogeneity, and Stability of Simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems

Schmidt, H., Schwenzer, N., Bezrukov, I., Mantlik, F., Kolb, A., Kupferschläger, J., Pichler, B.

Investigative Radiology, 49(6):373-381, 2014 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Natural Evolution Strategies

Wierstra, D., Schaul, T., Glasmachers, T., Sun, Y., Peters, J., Schmidhuber, J.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 15, pages: 949-980, 2014 (article)

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Factors controlling decomposition rates of fine root litter in temperate forests and grasslands

Solly, E., Schöning, I., Boch, S., Kandeler, E., Marhan, S., Michalzik, B., Müller, J., Zscheischler, J., Trumbore, S., Schrumpf, M.

Plant and Soil, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Discovery with Continuous Additive Noise Models

Peters, J., Mooij, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 15, pages: 2009-2053, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A few extreme events dominate global interannual variability in gross primary production

Zscheischler, J., Mahecha, M., v Buttlar, J., Harmeling, S., Jung, M., Rammig, A., Randerson, J., Schölkopf, B., Seneviratne, S., Tomelleri, E., Zaehle, S., Reichstein, M.

Environmental Research Letters, 9(3):035001, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Kernel methods in system identification, machine learning and function estimation: A survey

Pillonetto, G., Dinuzzo, F., Chen, T., De Nicolao, G., Ljung, L.

Automatica, 50(3):657-682, 2014 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Development of a novel depth of interaction PET detector using highly multiplexed G-APD cross-strip encoding

Kolb, A., Parl, C., Mantlik, F., Liu, C., Lorenz, E., Renker, D., Pichler, B.

Medical Physics, 41(8), 2014 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Epidural electrocorticography for monitoring of arousal in locked-in state

Martens, S., Bensch, M., Halder, S., Hill, J., Nijboer, F., Ramos-Murguialday, A., Schölkopf, B., Birbaumer, N., Gharabaghi, A.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(861), 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Simultaneous Whole-Body PET/MR Imaging in Comparison to PET/CT in Pediatric Oncology: Initial Results

Schäfer, J. F., Gatidis, S., Schmidt, H., Gückel, B., Bezrukov, I., Pfannenberg, C. A., Reimold, M., M., E., Fuchs, J., Claussen, C. D., Schwenzer, N. F.

Radiology, 273(1):220-231, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Cost-Sensitive Active Learning With Lookahead: Optimizing Field Surveys for Remote Sensing Data Classification

Persello, C., Boularias, A., Dalponte, M., Gobakken, T., Naesset, E., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 10(52):6652 - 6664, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Principles of PET/MR Imaging

Disselhorst, J. A., Bezrukov, I., Kolb, A., Parl, C., Pichler, B. J.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 55(6, Supplement 2):2S-10S, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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IM3SHAPE: Maximum likelihood galaxy shear measurement code for cosmic gravitational lensing

Zuntz, J., Kacprzak, T., Voigt, L., Hirsch, M., Rowe, B., Bridle, S.

Astrophysics Source Code Library, 1, pages: 09013, 2014 (article)

ei

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Efficient nearest neighbors via robust sparse hashing

Cherian, A., Sra, S., Morellas, V., Papanikolopoulos, N.

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, 23(8):3646-3655, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A freely-moving monkey treadmill model

Foster, J., Nuyujukian, P., Freifeld, O., Gao, H., Walker, R., Ryu, S., Meng, T., Murmann, B., Black, M., Shenoy, K.

J. of Neural Engineering, 11(4):046020, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Objective: Motor neuroscience and brain-machine interface (BMI) design is based on examining how the brain controls voluntary movement, typically by recording neural activity and behavior from animal models. Recording technologies used with these animal models have traditionally limited the range of behaviors that can be studied, and thus the generality of science and engineering research. We aim to design a freely-moving animal model using neural and behavioral recording technologies that do not constrain movement. Approach: We have established a freely-moving rhesus monkey model employing technology that transmits neural activity from an intracortical array using a head-mounted device and records behavior through computer vision using markerless motion capture. We demonstrate the excitability and utility of this new monkey model, including the fi rst recordings from motor cortex while rhesus monkeys walk quadrupedally on a treadmill. Main results: Using this monkey model, we show that multi-unit threshold-crossing neural activity encodes the phase of walking and that the average ring rate of the threshold crossings covaries with the speed of individual steps. On a population level, we find that neural state-space trajectories of walking at diff erent speeds have similar rotational dynamics in some dimensions that evolve at the step rate of walking, yet robustly separate by speed in other state-space dimensions. Significance: Freely-moving animal models may allow neuroscientists to examine a wider range of behaviors and can provide a flexible experimental paradigm for examining the neural mechanisms that underlie movement generation across behaviors and environments. For BMIs, freely-moving animal models have the potential to aid prosthetic design by examining how neural encoding changes with posture, environment, and other real-world context changes. Understanding this new realm of behavior in more naturalistic settings is essential for overall progress of basic motor neuroscience and for the successful translation of BMIs to people with paralysis.

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pdf Supplementary DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf Supplementary DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Sérsic galaxy models in weak lensing shape measurement: model bias, noise bias and their interaction

Kacprzak, T., Bridle, S., Rowe, B., Voigt, L., Zuntz, J., Hirsch, M., MacCrann, N.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 441(3):2528-2538, Oxford University Press, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Diminished White Matter Integrity in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Schmidt-Wilcke, T., Cagnoli, P., Wang, P., Schultz, T., Lotz, A., Mccune, W. J., Sundgren, P. C.

NeuroImage: Clinical, 5, pages: 291-297, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl publications toccontinuously distributed
Continuously distributed magnetization profile for millimeter-scale elastomeric undulatory swimming

Diller, E., Zhuang, J., Zhan Lum, G., Edwards, M. R., Sitti, M.

Applied Physics Letters, 104(17):174101, AIP, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We have developed a millimeter-scale magnetically driven swimming robot for untethered motion at mid to low Reynolds numbers. The robot is propelled by continuous undulatory deformation, which is enabled by the distributed magnetization profile of a flexible sheet. We demonstrate control of a prototype device and measure deformation and speed as a function of magnetic field strength and frequency. Experimental results are compared with simple magnetoelastic and fluid propulsion models. The presented mechanism provides an efficient remote actuation method at the millimeter scale that may be suitable for further scaling down in size for microrobotics applications in biotechnology and healthcare

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Biopsy using a Magnetic Capsule Endoscope Carrying, Releasing and Retrieving Untethered Micro-Grippers

Yim, S., Gultepe, E., Gracias, D. H., Sitti, M.

IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Engineering, 61(2):513-521, IEEE, 2014 (article)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Investigation of tip current and normal force measured simultaneously during local oxidation of titanium using dual-mode scanning probe microscopy

Ozcan, O., Hu, W., Sitti, M., Bain, J., Ricketts, D.

IET Micro \& Nano Letters, 9(5):332-336, IET, 2014 (article)

pi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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SoftCubes: Stretchable and self-assembling three-dimensional soft modular matter

Yim, S., Sitti, M.

The International Journal of Robotics Research, 33(8):1083-1097, SAGE Publications Sage UK: London, England, 2014 (article)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Bio-Hybrid Cell-Based Actuators for Microsystems

Carlsen, Rika Wright, Sitti, Metin

Small, 10(19):3831-3851, 2014 (article)

Abstract
As we move towards the miniaturization of devices to perform tasks at the nano and microscale, it has become increasingly important to develop new methods for actuation, sensing, and control. Over the past decade, bio-hybrid methods have been investigated as a promising new approach to overcome the challenges of scaling down robotic and other functional devices. These methods integrate biological cells with artificial components and therefore, can take advantage of the intrinsic actuation and sensing functionalities of biological cells. Here, the recent advancements in bio-hybrid actuation are reviewed, and the challenges associated with the design, fabrication, and control of bio-hybrid microsystems are discussed. As a case study, focus is put on the development of bacteria-driven microswimmers, which has been investigated as a targeted drug delivery carrier. Finally, a future outlook for the development of these systems is provided. The continued integration of biological and artificial components is envisioned to enable the performance of tasks at a smaller and smaller scale in the future, leading to the parallel and distributed operation of functional systems at the microscale.

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link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Staying sticky: contact self-cleaning of gecko-inspired adhesives

Mengüç, Y., Röhrig, M., Abusomwan, U., Hölscher, H., Sitti, M.

Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 11(94):20131205, The Royal Society, 2014 (article)

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Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]