Archived entries for upc

The future of quality university education in informatics

The future of quality university education in informatics is a keynote and panel discussion that will be held tomorrow at UPC. It’s quite a short notice and the space is presumably limited, but I’m just forwarding this for those who might think it could be interesting.

The main topic of the debate is the need to preserve a high quality university education system with special focus on informatics.

Location, date/time: Aula Màster (UPC Campus Nord), March 17th, 9am

Keynote Lecturer: Andreu Mas-Colell

Moderator: Manuel Hermenegildo

Panelists: Josep Casanovas, Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Carlos Domingo, Jan Van Leeuwen, José Rolim

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.

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