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CMU Portugal at Ciência 2018

On July 3, the CMU Portugal Program hosted the session “Information and Communication Technologies: applications and challenges” at Ciência 2018, a major Science Conference organized by the Portuguese Government through the Ministry of Science Technology and Higher Education and FCT, which is held annually in Lisbon to highlight the main achievements in science and technology in Portugal. The session included talks from seven researchers of the Program´s Exploratory Research Initiatives (ERIs) and addressed the main goals and results achieved by these initiatives launched by FCT through the CMU Portugal Program.

The first presentation was led by Alexandre Bernardino (ISR-Lisboa) and focused on the AHA project (Augmented Human Assistance Project). This project consists of the development and deployment of a novel Robotic Assistance Platform supported by IoT technology and designed to promote a healthy lifestyle, sustain active aging, and rehabilitate those with motor deficits. The major star of this project is called Vizzy, a robot designed to support therapists and care professionals in promoting exercise and the importance of an active lifestyle in elderly people. This project was already tested in senior houses and health centers.

“From data to quality assessment and pathology detection. A case study on screening of diabetic retinopathy”, the SCREEN-DR ERI was presented by Professor Ana Maria Mendonça (INESC TEC/FEUP). Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is the major cause of blindness in the industrialized world. The project’s goal is to create a distributed and automatic screening platform for DR, based on the state-of-the-art Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), including advanced Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) management, Machine Learning and Image Analysis, enabling immediate response from health carers, allowing accurate follow-up strategies, and fostering technological innovation.

Francisco Melo (INESC-ID/IST) head of the project INSIDEdiscussed the impact of the use of robots in ASD therapy and explained the benefits of the interaction between the project´s autonomous mobile robot and children with ASD. During his talk, the researcher described the hardware and software infrastructure that supports such rich form of interaction, as well as some preliminary results concerning the use of the INSIDE system in the actual therapy with children at Hospital Garcia de Orta, in Portugal.

Lisbon receives an average of 3 million tourists per year and each tourist stays in Lisbon 2 to 2.5 days, which is a very short window of opportunity for recommending one of the many attractions or cultural events. The GO Local project led by João Magalhães (FCT-UNL) considers this as an opportunity to leverage big data to innovate Tourism services and its long-term vision aims at making big data economically useful by realizing the full potential of big data analysis technologies in the design of innovative services for the end-consumer.

S2MovingCity: Sensing and Serving a Moving City makes use of the unique vehicular and sensing infrastructure available in the city of Porto to provide a more “effective” solution to support planning and city-wide management to improve the city comfort on city dwellers (transportation, persons, and institutions). This talk presented by Ana Aguiar (FEUP/IT), covered two aspects being dealt with in the project: enhancements to the communication infrastructure to support opportunistic gathering and dissemination of heterogeneous sensor data; and data analysis and fusion to model the relation between space, time, weather conditions and speed, building models of congestion and its propagation, and predicting bus arrival times.

Eduardo Marques (INESC TEC) was in charge of the last presentation of the day “Hyrax: Crowd-Sourcing Mobile Devices to Develop Edge Clouds” which  proposes a novel vision of a hyperlocal edge-cloud, i.e., a computational/ storage cloud comprised solely of a collection of nearby wireless edge devices, that pools these devices’ processing power and data, to support a new class of proximity-aware applications that benefit the users. The premise behind these edge clouds is that all of the constituent nodes are edge (and not server-caliber) computers and that any and all computation is performed completely within the edge cloud, i.e., there is no offloading/tethering of the computation/data to a non-edge, back-end, traditional-cloud infrastructure.



The CMU Portugal Program was also represented at the event by demonstrations of some ERI projects, namely the AHA project with the robot Vizzy who walked around engaging with people and was a major success.


VR2 market project headed by INESC TEC researchers is developing a mobile wearable health surveillance device for First Response and other Hazardous Professions. The device is placed directly on the skin and can measure the heartbeat and temperature, being extremely useful for extreme situations such by firefighters in a fire.

SCREEN-DR project which was also at the CMU Portugal Session had a demo to show the work that is being developed to help screening diabetic retinopathy.


To know more about our ERI projects please visit our website.