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Micro-Glassblown 3-D Coriolis Vibratory MEMS Gyroscope

Micro-glassblowing batch fabrication process for 3-D MEMS gyroscope

Patterning Silica Islands Onto Thermoplastic Shrink Film

Biosensors have a variety of applications from glucose monitoring to drug discovery. The ability to detect low concentration of analytes in biological samples is important for creating effective biosensors. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel lithographic method for capturing, concentrating, and identifying biological agents.

Energy Efficient Trigger Word Detection via Accelerometer Data

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an energy-efficient voice monitoring technique for smart devices, such as smartphones and wearables, based on accelerometer data.

Individual Identity Verified Through Device-Free, WiFi Based Framework

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a device-free, WiFi based framework that can isolate individual identity, from a small group of users, simply by observing variations in WiFi signals through a user’s gait.

Frequency Reference For Crystal Free Radio

Wireless sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to greatly impact society. Millimeter-scale wireless microsystems are the foundation of this vision. Accordingly, to realize this potential, these microsystems must be extremely low-cost and energy autonomous. Integrating wireless sensing systems on a single silicon chip with zero external components is a key advancement toward achieving those cost and energy requirements.  Almost all commercial microsystems today use off-chip quartz technology for precise timing and frequency reference. The quartz crystal (XTAL) is a bulky off-chip component that puts a size limitation on miniaturization and adds to the cost of the microsystem. Alternatively, MEMS technology is showing promising results for replacing the XTAL in space-constrained applications. However, the MEMS approach still requires an off-chip frequency reference and the resulting packaging adds to the cost of the microsystem.  To achieve a single-chip solution, researchers at UC Berkeley developed: (1) an approach to calibrating the frequency of an on-chip inaccurate relaxation oscillator such that it can be used as an accurate frequency reference for low-power, crystal-free wireless communications; and (2) a novel ultra-low power radio architecture that leverages the inaccurate on-chip oscillator, operates on energy harvesting, and meets the 1% packet error rate specification of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. 

Fully Balanced Micro-Machined Inertial Sensor

· New balanced Coriolis vibratory gyroscope architecture · Features: o Force and torque balanced on both x and y modes o Vibration immunity for gyroscope architecture o High Q-factor on both modes o Simple construction o 1-2 orders of magnitude lower ARW or white noise output

Zero-Quiescent Power Transceiver

Trillions of sensors are envisioned to achieve the potential benefits of the internet of things.  Realizing this potential requires wireless sensors with low power requirements such that there might never be a need to replace a sensor’s power supply (e.g. battery) over the lifetime of that device.  The battery lifetime of wireless communications devices is often governed by power consumption used for transmitting, and therefore transmit power amplifiers used in these devises are important to their commercial success.  The efficiencies of these power amplifiers are set by the capabilities of the semiconductor transistor devices that drive them.  To achieve improved efficiencies, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a novel method and structure for realizing a zero-quiescent power trigger sensor and transceiver based on a micromechanical resonant switch.  This sensor/transceiver is unique in its use of a resonant switch (“resoswitch”) to receive an input, amplify it, and finally deliver power to a load.  This novel technology also greatly improves short-range communication applications, like Bluetooth.  For example, with this technology, interference between Bluetooth devices would be eliminated.  Also, Miracast would work, despite the presence of interfering Bluetooth signals.

Methods for Fabrication of Electric Propulsion Tips

The technology is a method for fabrication of silicon microfabricated emitter tips.This process has two-step etching process which utilizes field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) and indium propellant.

Video Frame Synchronization for A Federation of Projector Using Camera Feedback

The technology is a video frame synchronization technique for multiple projector displays.It features technique based on camera feedback and works by adjusting frame display times between projectors.It allows for collaborative displays between resource limited devices.

Microfabrication of High Quality 3-D Structures Using Wafer-Level Glassblowing of Fused Quartz and Ultra Low Expansion Glasses

Micro-glassblowing MEMS fabrication process for low expansion and low loss materials

UltraSPI: A Serial Bus Interface to Enable High-Performance and Energy-Efficient Data Logging

This technology features new serial bus interface module for constrained sensor systems.It features better matches flashed-based storage devices read and write performance and augments existing flash-based storage with non-volatile RAM.Additionally, user can enable slave to slave transfer and read caching and buffering while flushing with faster speed and lower energy overhead.

Lever Mechanisms for Anti-phase Mode Isolation in MEMS Tuning-fork Structures

The technology is a design structures for mode isolation in tuning fork structures on MEMS vibratory sensors.It features two coupling design structures added to tuning fork structure.The device separates in-phase and anti-phase mode tuning fork resonances by raising the in-phase resonance over the anti-phase resonance.

A Neuromorphic Robot that Interacts with People Through Tactile Sensing and Bi-directional Learning

The device is an interactive neuromorphic robot, using to mimic neuro-biological architectures and learning.Properties include:a spiking neural network to control robot behavior, inexpensive parts which are easily available, and two-way learning and behavior shaping.The technology is autonomous, highly mobile, and includes on-board measurement equipment.

Cacophony: A Framework for Next Generation Software Sensors

The technology is a software architecture for providing robust predictions for software systems from cloud sourced data points. Properties include:the ability to “wrap” existing software sensors with additional services. The technology is used by executing software on a cloud based server and manipulating data points from user update systems, such as Waze, and provide predictive services around these data points.

Model-based System for Rapid Post-disaster Health Monitoring and Damage Detection of Civil Infrastructure

Current systems for structural health monitoring use a sensing network and a basic data analyzer to measure different response parameters of the structure. When any of the response parameters exceed a predefined threshold, the system automatically sends out warning signals, as illustrated in Figure 1. This type of systems suffers from the following important drawbacks:1. This type of systems only measures the global responses of the structure (e.g., maximum displacement of the floors relative to the base level). Considering the complexity of the structural system behavior, these global measurements can miss key information about the true state of damage in the structure and the structural serviceability.                                Figure 1: Current system for structural health monitoring.2. Since this type of system is not model-based, it cannot provide any detailed information on the location, type, severity, and extent of damage. As a consequence, this type of system is only useful to determine whether the building should be evacuated for further inspection or can continue operation. This type of system may be prove to false negative readings though, implying a structure is safe when it actually may not be. 3. Increasing the accuracy of this type of systems requires deployment of a dense sensing network (i.e., using large numbers of different sensors to monitor the response of all parts, sub- assemblies, and components of the structure), which is an impractical solution. The dense sensing network results in high installation and maintenance costs and reduced system robustness due to possible sensor mal-functioning or erroneous reading.Currently, the only applicable and useful method for monitoring the state of health of civil structures and identifying the potential damages after a catastrophic event is visual screening and inspection, which is a subjective, time-consuming, and expensive. An accurate inspection sometimes requires destruction of architectural and nonstructural components such as claddings, partition walls, facades, and removal of contents or equipment. Moreover, visual inspection cannot be performed during the short critical time following a catastrophic event such as an earthquake, during which the fast and accurate evaluation of the state of health and serviceability of critical structures such as hospitals and bridges are vital. 

Digital Oscillator Method to Implement Non-Contact Sensors for Gesture Detection Displays

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Electrical Engineering have invented an oscillator and frequency counter method for highly-sensitive non-contact gesture detection based on the Theremin patent and updated by implementing modern digital electronics.

AUTOMATIC FEEDBACK OF STUDENT WORK USING SMARTPENS

With school budgets tightening and class sizes increasing, less resources are available for educators to assess the learning of their students.  Online education offers the potential to address these concerns, but the inability to quickly and easily assess student performance and provide feedback to a large audience of students, holds back this resource.     

High-sensitivity Angular Interferometer

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed an invention that consists of an angular interferometer able to measure angle variations of a coherent, collimated light source with an accuracy below 30 nrad. The optical setup is compact and consists of a few simple optical components. The novelty of this innovation lies in the use of a simple, cost-effect technique to amplify the sensitivity of the instrument. The disclosed invention is in principle capable of being integrated into more compact, high-sensitivity commercial instruments for a fraction of the cost of current, state-of-the-art instruments (currently exceeding $30,000).   Commercial devices used to measure the angular deviation of a single beam include autocollimators and interferometers. The highest resolution offered by a commercial system is 25 nrad. The disclosed angular interferometer is able to measure relative angle variations (of a sample beam relative to a reference beam) below 30 nrad, though the resolution is known to currently be limited by the specific details of the current application and can therefore be further reduced with minor, inexpensive improvements.

Self-Calibrating Micro-Fabricated Resonant Load Cells

The technology is a cost-efficient and highly sensitive micro-mechanical test frames for the characterization of small-scale materials and structures. It is designed for a manufacturing process and self-calibration procedure for the practical use of MEMS resonant sensors as ultra-sensitive load cells. The properties of the technology include:cost-effective fabrication and implementation, load cells with unprecedented combinations of resolution and range, the ability for load cells to be mounted on hybrid micro-mechanical test frames or integrated with on-chip actuators, and the calibration involves no external instrumentation.

Miniature Diamond Gyroscope

The primary application for gyroscopes is in navigation.  While the currently available gyroscopes have important applications, these are limited due to large size, and sensitivity to temperature.To meet these challenges, investigators at University of California at Berkeley have developed a miniature diamond gyroscope, based on nitrogen vacancy centers in diamonds. This miniature diamond gyroscope extend the capabilities of existing technology by enabling gyroscopes of very small sizes.  The miniature diamond gyroscope provides new technique for sensing rotations based on the negatively-charged nitrogen-vacancy NV center in diamond.  The key advantages of this technology is that it is all-solid-state, operates over a wide range of temperatures.  The active part of the sensor is very small, on the scale of 1 cubic millimeter.  The sensitivity under optimal conditions is comparable to or better than other large scale gyroscope technologies. Publication- http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.0093,

A Cavity-Based Atom Interferometer Inertial Sensor

Light-pulse atom interferometers (LALIs) are useful as inertial sensors, measuring acceleration and rotation. In addition to being extremely sensitive, LAIs show a highly accurate scale factor and stable baseline even without calibration, unlike classical sensors such as laser gyroscopes. Rotation sensing however, does not yet benefit fully from this stability.  In existing sensors, one of these dimensions for the enclosed area A is determined by the atoms’ initial velocity, a quantity known to relatively low precision. Moreover, all LAIs, including “compact” versions for inertial navigation, use beam splitters based on Raman transitions (which limit their sensitivity and introduces systematic effects), atomic fountains (which are ~1-m tall and must be carefully aligned with respect to the vertical), and free-beam optics (which limit available laser intensity and wavefront purity). To address these challenges, investigators at University of California at Berkeley have developed a cavity-based atom interferometer which overcomes these limitations.  This atom interferometer is provided a 40 cm optical cavity to enhance the available laser power, minimize wavefront distortions, and control other systematic effects symptomatic to atomic fountains.  This innovated system allows the production of LAI inertial sensors that simultaneously measures linear accelerations and rotations. The cavity-based interferometer offers the full performance of a large-scale atomic fountain within a small volume.  The cavity-based interferometer will surpass the baseline stability of current rotation sensors.  It will allow spatial separations between atomic trajectories comparable to larger scale fountains within a more compact device.

Frequency Tuning of Disk Resonator Gyros via Resonator Mass Perturbation

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a new method for tuning the resonant modes in MEM vibratory gyroscopes using mass perturbation of the sensor's resonant structure.

MEMS Resonators with Increased Quality Factor

On-chip capacitively transduced vibrating polysilicon micromechanical resonators have achieved quality factor Q's over 160,000 at 61 MHz and larger than 14,000 at about 1.5 GHz -- making them suitable for on-chip frequency selecting and setting elements for filters and oscillators in wireless communication applications. However, there are applications -- such as software-defined cognitive radio, that require even higher Q's at RF to enable low-loss selection of single channels (instead of bands) to reduce power consumption down to levels conducive to battery-powered handheld devices. To address those higher Q RF applications, researchers at UC Berkeley have invented design improvements to MEMS resonators that reduce energy loss and in turn increase resonator Q. In reducing energy loss to the substrate while supporting all-polysilicon UHF MEMS disk resonators, the Berkeley design improvements enable quality factors as high as 56,061 at 329 MHz and 93,231 at 178 MHz -- that are values in the same range as previous disk resonators using multiple materials with more complex fabrication processes. Measurements confirm Q improvements of 2.6X for contour modes at 154 MHz, and 2.9X for wine glass modes around 112 MHz over values achieved by all-polysilicon resonators with identical dimensions. The results not only demonstrate an effective Q-enhancement method with minimal increase in fabrication complexity, but also provide insights into energy loss mechanisms that have been largely responsible for limiting Q's attainable by all-polysilicon capacitively transduced MEMS resonators.

High Range Digital Angular Rate Sensor Based On Frequency Modulations

An FM gyroscope with inherently digital output. Tradeoff between quality factor and range and bandwidth is eliminated, allowing the use of ultra-high Q for improved noise performance without limiting the bandwidth and range. Temperature is self-sensed and self-calibrated, so the hysteresis and lags are eliminated.

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