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Projects

Since 2004, IAS-Lab of the University of Padova realized that the tools and the competencies it has been developing in the field of autonomous robots and artificial intelligence could be applied to industrial robotics. At that time, well in advance on the current trend of Industry 4.0, IAS-Lab understood more intelligence and more perception were needed for industrial robot. For this reason, in 2005, IAS-Lab founded the spin-off company called IT+Robotics srl. The expertise of IAS-Lab on intelligent industrial robots started to grow year after year and IAS-lab was able to win many industrial research grants in the competitive calls of the European Commission.

 

UNIPD-Mask

Fig. 1 - UNIPD-Mask

 

 

COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly in Italy in early 2020, with over 200000 positive cases and more than 30000 deaths (Protezione Civile Update). Hospitals faced a shortage of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C- PAP) mechanical ventilation masks. This non-invasive treatment offers essential support in the treatment of patients with respiratory difficulties, such as COVID-19 ones, and can potentially avoid their admission to intensive care. Through an airtight connection with patients' airways, C-PAP devices create a constant positive pressure airflow while improving the patients breathing capacity. As a result, it is absolutely necessary to supply C-PAP devices, and this need led to the development of alternative solutions.

 

The Department of Information Engineering and the Department of Medicine of the University of Padova (Italy) developed UNIPD-Mask (see Fig. 1 and 2): a set of valves that allows converting EasyBreath, the snorkeling mask developed and marketed by Decathlon, into a C-PAP mask (patent pendant n. IT 1020200008305). This repository collects 3D models of the developed parts: https://github.com/iaslab-unipd/UNIPD-Mask.git. They are freely accessible and replicable.

 

Fig. 2 - UNIPD-Mask real picture

 

The proposed invention follows the idea of Isinnova SRL (Brescia, Italy) in the development of Charlotte and solves Charlotte problems related to the limited section of its air inlet and outlet ducts: during inhalation, systems equipped with Charlotte valve are not able to compensate the volume of air inhaled by the patient, resulting in a pressure drop. Moreover, during exhalation, this configuration does not allow for rapid air evacuation, causing a feeling of fatigue in the patient. UNIPD-Mask, using a double-channel for the incoming airflow, is instead able to provide a greater volume of air to the patient, without a drop in pressure inside the mask during inhalation (see Fig. 2).

 

Fig. 2 - Confronto tra Charlotte (blu) e UNIPD-Mask (rosso) in termini di variazione di pressione / Comparison between Charlotte (blue) and UNIPD-Mask (red) in terms of pressure variation

 

Finally, UNIPD-Mask adds an anti-suffocation valve which, in the event of an accidental interruption of air and oxygen flow, allows the patient to continue breathing. It is also possible to connect an outgoing air filter.

 

SOFT ACT

Harvard and Padova Universities to prevent the risk of falling in the elderly

 

Instability is the maIn cause of falls for the elderly people, which increases the risk of fractures and therefore disability, with high health and social costs. Fall prevention is one of the targets of social and health policies for the promotion of active aging.

The SoftAct project aims to meet this need by developing an innovative neuromuscular controller integrated in a "soft exoskeleton" (exosuit: soft wearable robot) for the lower limb, that can detect the loss of stability during walking or standing by the integration of biomechanical, cerebral and muscular signals. This information will activate compensation systems integrated in the soft exoskeleton to prevent possible fall, with an integrated feedback-feedforward system.

The project will see the cooperation of two research groups: the Harvard University, which has an experience in gait and muscle signal analysis (EMG), and which created the prototype of the exosuit, and the University of Padua, with its deep knowledge in the field of brain signal analysis (EEG) and intelligent software for robotics. Prof. Alessandra Del Felice of the Neuroscience Department is the coordinator of the project, and is working with the Department of Engineering Information and prof. Emanuele Menegatti.

 

SPIRIT

 

Spirit Logo_0280x0150.jpg

 

The objective of SPIRIT is to take the step from programming of robotic inspection tasks to configuring such tasks. This includes inspection tasks that use image-based sensors and require continuous motion to fully scan a part’s surface.
 
The project aims at:
 
creating fully automatic offline path planning methods that ensure collision-free full coverage of the areas to be inspected on the part also for complex inspection processes. Instability is the maIn cause of falls for the elderly people, which increases the risk of fractures and therefore disability, with high health and social costs. Fall prevention is one of the targets of social and health policies for the promotion of active aging. The SoftAct project aims to meet this need by developing an innovative neuromuscular controller integrated in a "soft exoskeleton" (exosuit: soft wearable robot) for the lower limb, that can detect the loss of stability during walking or standing by the integration of biomechanical, cerebral and muscular signals. This information will activate compensation systems integrated in the soft exoskeleton to prevent possible fall, with an integrated feedback-feedforward system. The project will see the collaboration of two research groups: the Harvard University, with its experience in gait and muscle signal analysis (EMG), that created the prototype of the exosuit, and  the University of Padua, with its strong know-how in the field of brain signal analysis (EEG) and intelligent software for robotics.
developing reactive inline path planning that is able to automatically adjust to small changes in the environment, such as a different part shape or obstacles.
a seamless mapping of image sensor data to a 3D model of the part. 
generating operational data of inspection robots in industrial environments. This will include data related to accuracy, cycle times and performance indicators of the integrated system.
 
The expected impact is:
 
Reducing the engineering costs for setting up a robotic inspection task by 80%
Creating a software framework that allows the shift from project-based, ad-hoc solutions to a product-based approach.
Reducing the barrier when introducing automatic inspection systems by aiming at a return of investment of less than 2-3 years.
Realizing a potential of several hundred additional robotic installations per year.
Helping SMEs to reach out to worldwide markets by providing a proven framework for inspection robots.
 

SPIRIT cropped

 

The SPIRIT project had its first meeting in Steyr 27-28 February. The general meeting will be 24-26 July at the University of Padova.

 

 

 

 

 

 

terecop logo_teliko

 

EU Comenius 2 Project

Website: http://www.terecop.eu/

Sistemi innovativi di Simulazione e Programmazione

di celle di lavoro robotizzate per la piega di lamiere

 

(Regione Veneto codice 2105/101/10/2214/2009)
 
iSP

 

Programma Operativo F.S.E. 2007-2013 Regione Veneto
Asse “Occupabilità” D.G.R. n. 2214 del 21/07/2009
Progetto finanziato con DDR n. 126 del 26/10/2009



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