Archived entries for research

The intelligent i-Walker

In the same office we work at, we have the SHARE-it guys. The main purpose of this project is to design and implement AI systems that help people with disabilities, as the acronym indicates: Supported Human Autonomy for Recovery and Enhancement of cognitive and motor abilities using Information Technologies.

This definition, as always, seems quite abstract, but they are already showing stuff that will be really useful. The underlying IA system will allow for the creation of intelligent software and hardware to assist disabled people, specially elders.

SHARE-it IA infrastructure

One of these devices is the i-Walker, an intelligent walker that is location-aware, and assists the patient in moving, for example, through a house or a hospital. The user can interact with an interface plugged into the walker using verbal commands, and its levels of autonomy can be adjusted for a better experience. The same concepts will be applied to a wheelchair.

Other devices that will be built on top of the IA system include an RFID bracelet which collects information about the movements made and the objects around the user. With this information, a PDA will be able to act as a personal agenda, predicting the needs of the user and the recommended actions to take (e.g. it’s time to take the pills).

This running project not only looks good from the research perspective but also seems to have real useful application. In fact, along with one of its leaders, Ulisés Cortés, SHARE-it has started to have a deserved media exposure.

Trip to AAMAS 2008

Last week some of the KEMLg guys (Roberto, João, Javier, Guiem and I) spent some days in Estoril, attending the Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS) conference. It’s been the first time I go to such a big conference, with around ~450 participants.

One could think that an event of this sort can be quite boring. Well, at some specific sessions I got really bored, but attending the whole conference has really paid off. Many papers and specially the invited speakers have been quite interesting. In fact, the research field is very very broad at the moment and there are many topics that are worth checking. If I manage to get some time, I will try to post a review of the advances that seemed more interesting to me.

Concerning our participation, we all presented our papers on the Monday workshops (AHC and SOCASE). It was a funny experience, once we have gone through it. However, we have set ourselves the objective of getting papers accepted for the main conference 😉

The end of a (very) long day

Also, all the Contract presentations in the SOCASE workshop and the Industrial Track had a good attendance and a lot of feedback, and even opened the chance of collaborating with other business process and service contract related projects. It seems that the results of the project will have a fair amount of impact.

Anyway, the best part came after the conference finished, when I went to Porto and spent some days of relax thanks to the priceless hospitality of João. But that’s a different topic 🙂 I have opened a Flickr set of the trip.

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