Engineering

A bathroom scale could monitor millions with heart failure

Millions of heart failure patients are readmitted to hospitals every few months to adjust medications. It sends medical costs sky-high and patients suffer unnecessarily. A new bathroom scale could give clinicians the data ...

Engineering

Researchers flip how electrical signals move liquid droplets

When medical laboratories analyze blood samples for signs of disease, they sometimes use instruments that rely on a technology called digital microfluidics. The technique uses electric signals to pull tiny droplets of the ...

Engineering

Your body has internet—and now it can't be hacked

Someone could hack into your pacemaker or insulin pump and potentially kill you, just by intercepting and analyzing wireless signals. This hasn't happened in real life yet, but researchers have been demonstrating for at least ...

Energy & Green Tech

How wireless recharging works – and doesn't, yet

Though the days of hardwired wall-mounted phones are ending and wireless internet connections are common at home and on the go, people are still dependent on cords to charge their mobile devices. My research, and that of ...

Robotics

Plant cyborg able to move itself to a preferred light source

A team of researchers at the MIT Media Lab built a cyborg that combines a plant with electronics and ultimately allows the plant to choose when it would like to move to a brighter spot. The cyborg is the brainchild of team ...

Engineering

Monitoring electromagnetic signals in the brain with MRI

Researchers commonly study brain function by monitoring two types of electromagnetism—electric fields and light. However, most methods for measuring these phenomena in the brain are very invasive.

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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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