Robotics

Developing a better ionic skin

In the quest to build smart skin that mimics the sensing capabilities of natural skin, ionic skins have shown significant advantages. They're made of flexible, biocompatible hydrogels that use ions to carry an electrical ...

Energy & Green Tech

Study examines keys to developing better batteries

It doesn't come on fast. It may take weeks to notice. You have the newly recharged lithium-ion AA batteries in the wireless kitty water fountain, and they last two days. They once lasted a week or more. Another round of charging, ...

Engineering

Folding design leads to heart sensor with smaller profile

As advances in wearable devices push the amount of information they can provide consumers, sensors increasingly have to conform to the contours of the body. One approach applies the principles of kirigami to give sensors ...

Robotics

Mind-controlled robots now one step closer

Tetraplegic patients are prisoners of their own bodies, unable to speak or perform the slightest movement. Researchers have been working for years to develop systems that can help these patients carry out some tasks on their ...

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Signal (electronics)

In the fields of communications, signal processing, and in electrical engineering more generally, a signal is any time-varying or spatial-varying quantity.

In the physical world, any quantity measurable through time or over space can be taken as a signal. Within a complex society, any set of human information or machine data can also be taken as a signal. Such information or machine data (for example, the dots on a screen, the ink making up text on a paper page, or the words now flowing into the reader's mind) must all be part of systems existing in the physical world – either living or non-living.

Despite the complexity of such systems, their outputs and inputs can often be represented as simple quantities measurable through time or across space. In the latter half of the 20th century, electrical engineering itself separated into several disciplines, specializing in the design and analysis of physical signals and systems, on the one hand, and in the functional behavior and conceptual structure of the complex human and machine systems, on the other. These engineering disciplines have led the way in the design, study, and implementation of systems that take advantage of signals as simple measurable quantities in order to facilitate the transmission, storage, and manipulation of information.

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