Smart Home and Smart Car Technology

Sensors and monitoring may become the norm to allow people to drive and live in their homes longer using technology. The monitors and sensors report back to the hospital, a service, and/or the family, allowing interventions if necessary. Researchers with AMBI continue to advance the technology in this area.

A PET study of a brain shows abnormalities in both parietal lobes as a result of Alzheimer's disease.

NIRVANA Nissan-Iowa Instrumented Vehicle for Advanced Research for Neuroergonomic Assessment

Instrumented vehicles permit quantitative assessments of driver performance in the field, in a real car, under actual road conditions. These natural or naturalistic measurements are not subject to the same type of human bias that affects inter-rater reliability on a standard road test. NIRVANA (Nissan-Iowa Instrumented Research Vehicle of Advanced Neuroergonomic Assessment) is one of these types of vehicles. These vehicles are designed to examine objective indices of driving performance in normal and potentially unfit drivers and to assess the safety and usability of prototype automotive technologies. Each consists of a mid-sized vehicle with extensive instrumentation and sensors hidden within its infrastructure.

caenorhabditis elegans (round worm)

Round worm (c. elegans) is often used as model organism to study many kinds of disorders in aging. Our research focuses on proteins involved in Huntington's and Parkinson's.

mutations of c. elegans

The c. elegans is genetically altered to study the difference between how protein is regulated by a wild c. elegans versus
a genetically altered c. elegans. We are studying how these changes in C. elegans might be used to help discover how the human
body processes proteins in diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's.

Driver to driver communication

What if you knew what another driver was going to do? How many collisions would be avoided? AMBI reseachers are working to enhance the communication between elderly drivers and nearby drivers to help decrease the risk of an accident.

10.9 million drivers over the age of 65 have diabetes. There is research indicating that hypoglycemia compromises driving performance, resulting in slower response times and reduced cognitive function. Often times the driver is not even aware of the issue. AMBI researchers look for ways to monitor glucose levels and provide interventions if necessary to prevent an accident.

electrical oscillations in the brain while making a mistake

These plots show low-frequency brain waves related to making an error (red). Learning what happens in the brain when we make mistakes may one day help us improve our behavior - and potentially make fewer mistakes.

Dynamic MRI

If you have ever had an MRI you know that you have to try to move as little as possible. For many types of MRI, including an MRI of your heart, you need to hold your breath. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty holding their breath. or, because of medical issues, are unable to hold their breath. Using new techniques, AMBI researchers, long with others, have developed methods that allow people to breath during an MRI and still get the images required.

ARGOS Automobile for Research in Ergonomics and Safety

ARGOS (the Automobile for Research in Ergonomics and Safety) was developed to measure critical aspects of driver control
in the field, under conditions that cannot be reproduced in a laboratory. This multipurpose field research consists of
a mid-sized vehicle with extensive instrumentation and sensors hidden within its infrastructure.

Quantitative measurements acquired with ARGOS include variables related to steering wheel position,
accelerator and brake pedal position, vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, headway. These
electronic data are synchronized with lane-tracking video images, forward-view video images, and
driver-gaze video images for analysis of performance on complex tasks such as navigation, multitasking
and driver decision-making. The AMBI uses this technology to look at driver performance under varying conditions of aging.