To improve the quality of life of individuals with neurological impairments by advancing the scientific understanding of motor and somatosensory systems to engineer new rehabilitation therapies and technologies.
This laboratory, located in the Magee Womens Research Institute, is under the direction of Doug Weber, PhD. RNEL scientists and trainees work at the intersection of neuroscience and engineering, exploring neural coding and feedback control in sensorimotor systems and developing neurotechnologies for restoring sensory and motor functions. Researchers use a variety of advanced techniques for studying biomechanics and neurophysiology of reaching, grasping and locomotion, including 3D motion analysis, electromyography, multichannel neural recording and stimulation, human magnetoencephalography (MEG), and human electrocorticography (ECoG). Active projects include development of motor and sensory neural interfaces for controlling and sensing prosthetic limbs, and functional neuroimaging and neurofeedback therapy in people with spinal cord injury. RNEL research focuses intently on human rehabilitation applications and the breadth of research projects provides a rich training environment for students interested in rehabilitation science and engineering.
The RFID Center of Excellence, under the direction of Ervin Sejdic, PhD, is likely the most well equipped RFID Research Center in the world. The Center is currently housed in two laboratories within Benedum Hall. Equipment includes numerous Real Time Spectrum Analyzers, state of the art Network Analyzers, numerous professional grade power meters, Spectrum Analyzers, LCR meters and all the necessary bench support equipment including as RF amplifiers, power supplies, various antennas, etc. The Center also houses two Anechoic Chambers and a GTEM Cell. Commercial RFID readers and tags for all classical RF bands are available for use in standards and performance testing.
Radio Frequency (RF) technology is permeating most all aspects of everyday life well beyond cellular telephones and pagers including the Internet of Things. The components to use RF in various devices are relatively simple to use and they extend the functionality of common household, personal and industrial, scientific and medical objects and equipment. The RF Prototyping and Measurements facilities provide for testing and demonstration of novel and unique applications of this technology. The devices available include commercially available components and custom designed devices built within the Swanson School of Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh. Examples include: implantable medical devices, low power communications, and human interface systems. This laboratory is the home of the PENI Tag. The PENI Tag technology is an enabling technology that makes possible operational devices that are currently as small as 3 cubic millimeters in size with no batteries or connecting wires. The design of the small Systems On a Chip devices (SOC) requires the most modern computer workstations and software. Chips are designed and simulated in this laboratory by a team of researchers. They are then submitted for fabrication over the internet to a remote foundry. The completed chips are then tested here.
The PENI Tag technology makes it possible to remotely provide power to operate a wide range of devices and systems that are used for product identification, such as bar codes in the supermarket, as well as sensing things such as temperature and humidity, and also to provide security functions. Devices designed by teams using this laboratory have been the subject of extensive media coverage and have acquired the interest of technology and management persons of numerous major US corporations.