This spring, with a stabilized design code-named “Kite.d”, the Amulet team specified a new board and case design for the latest Amulet revision. Team members Ron Peterson and Taylor Hardin delivered the designs to New Hampshire’s DataEd, and with their assistance facilitated the fabrication of 150 Amulet Kite.d main- and daughter-boards. DataEd facilitated basic electrical testing of the design before delivery, and now that we’ve received them, the team is busy assembling the latest round of Amulets for upcoming studies. Check out some on-site pictures below!
Parts being placed on 6 Amulet Kite.d boards
A technician tests assembled boards for electrical soundness
Amulet team member Taylor Hardin tests functional capabilities of a new unit
Last month in Boston at the annual USENIX conference, the Amulet team’s most recent paper was selected for presentation. Entitled “Application Memory Isolation on Ultra-Low-Power MCUs”, the paper explores increasing the security level of the Amulet platform, through novel uses of memory protection and isolation. To read more, click through to the PDF below.
PDF: Application Memory Isolation on Ultra-Low-Power MCUs
This past week, some members of the Amulet team gathered at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH for the annual Amulet retreat. Activities included brainstorming new Amulet applications, prioritizing tasks for the coming year, and finalizing the latest Amulet hardware revision. (From left: Gunnar Pope, Byron Lowens, Ryan Halter, Vivian Motti, Ryan Scott, Dave Kotz, Taylor Harding, George Boateng, Varun Mishra, John Batsis, Ron Peterson, Jacob Sorber, Patrick Proctor)
We’ve just released a version 1.1 of the hardware, with many fixes and improvements; see our GitHub site.
- Changed from spring terminals to SPI-BI-WIRE POGO pin connector for programming both the MSP430 and nRF51822
- Repositioned the LCD screen to provide more room for the programmer ports and LEDs
- Broke out UART TX/RX lines for debugging the nRF51822
- Complete case redesign to better fit the mother-daughter boards, buttons, and LCD screen
- Replaced the 4 pin charging connector with a more sturdy USB charging port
Today at the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2016) the Amulet team presented a paper about the design and evaluation of the Amulet platform – and unveiled a video overview of the platform and its capabilities. Check out the specs below the photo.
Indeed, we are pleased to share the Amulet hardware and software, open-source on GitHub, under a generous license that allows free use by the research community. We encourage you to download the details, fabricate your own Amulet wearable, and let us know what you think!
The Amulet team is collaborating with geriatrician Dr. John Batsis of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to explore the use of the Amulet in developing intervension methods to help obese elderly people maintain function while they remain living at home. This “grant … from the National Institute on Aging will allow Dr. John A. Batsis to focus on strategies for improving health care delivery and wellness in older adults with obesity by using video conferencing, personal monitoring devices and frequent coaching by healthcare providers.” [press release]
Check out the video interview with Dr. Batsis on WCAX television.
This research is supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K23AG051681.
In collaboration with Dr. John Batsis of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, who just received an NIH grant to study methods for helping obese, elderly patients, the Amulet team will be helping to develop novel apps and measurement techniques involving the Amulet. Read more in the press release.
It’s been quite awhile since our last hardware update, so we thought it best to update you all on our newest Amulet Hardware! Below are pictures and specs for our most recent hardware revision, which features a Sharp LS013B7DH03 display, three capacitive touch sensors, and a custom 3D printed case that is made up of two different types of materials–a soft flexible plastic to cover the buttons, and a hard durable plastic to encase and protect the inner electronics.
Full List of Features
- Texas Instruments MSP430FR5989, 2 KB SRAM and 128 KB of FRAM
- Analog Devices ADMP510 microphone
- Everlight ALS-PT19 light sensor
- Texas Instruments TMP20 temperature sensor
- STMicroelectronics L3GD20H gyroscope
- Analog Devices ADXL362 accelerometer
- Lapis Semi ML8511 UVA/B sensor
- Nordic nRF51822 used as a modem for communicating with peripheral BLE devices (such as a heart-rate monitor)
- User Interface:
- Sharp LS013B7DH03 display with 128×128 resolution
- Two buttons
- Three capacitive touch sensors with low power MPR121 touch controller
- Haptic buzzer, and two LEDs.
- The small secondary storage board holds a microSD card reader.
- The board also includes a battery charger (MCP73831)
- 110mAh battery
- Supported Applications:
- EMA – Displays a question after a timer or manual trigger, gets the user’s input, and logs it to the SD card
- Battery Meter – Lists the current charge left in the batter in terms of percentage
- Blinky – Demonstrates how to blink an LED
- Clock – A clock for the system
- Fall Detection – Detects when the wearer falls down
- Heart Rate Log – Records and displays the user’s heart rate
- Pedometer – Counts the user’s steps
- Sun Exposure – Measures a user’s sun/light exposure over time
- Temperature – Measures temperature over time
A few weeks ago we assembled our first complete Amulet, ready for wearing! Here are a few shots so you can get a look at the case – which is mounted on a off-the-shelf wristband we hacked to encase the battery.
On one side, a button and a scrollwheel.
On the other side, two buttons.
On top, a low-energy display (like e-ink).
More pictures (inside the case!) below the break.
Perhaps the largest annual event related to mHealth is the mHealth Summit, held near Washington DC. Today, the summit kicked off with a Privacy & Security Symposium, including a presentation by David Kotz on Developing a Secure mHealth Platform for Wearables, in which he described the Amulet project. The talk presented the Amulet approach to providing a wearable hub for body-area mHealth applications, and our latest hardware and software prototypes. The talk generated a lot of interesting questions from the audience of about 60-70 people.
More news once we publish our new paper describing Amulet – hopefully within the next six months.