- CODEFROR: The objective of the joint exchange project is to investigate aspects of human cognitive development with the double goal of developing robots able to interact with humans in a friendly way and of designing and testing protocols and devices for sensory and motor rehabilitation of disabled children. The methodology we intend to follow will combine science driven investigation of human cognitive development and engineering based implementation of devices and protocols. The intended focus is on social interaction and how the knowledge of this aspect of development could lead to robots able to communicate with humans in a natural and “biological way” (friendly robots), and/or give rise to training and rehabilitation techniques for children with sensory, motor and cognitive disabilities.
- PACE: The PACE research and training programme sits at the interface between basic science, technology and clinics, in order to unveil how humans control and adapt their movements in complex, naturalistic environments. PACE programme will contribute to train a new generation of scientists aware of the emerging needs and challenges of aging European societies, as well as of the importance of better integrate people with disabilities.
- BLINDPAD: For visually impaired people it is difficult to digitally get graphical contents increasingly conveyed through sight. The sense of touch can potentially bridge the gap, as it is crucial – in absence of vision – for understanding abstract concepts and acquiring information about the surroundings. Examples are learning at school and developing mental maps in orientation and mobility daily tasks. However, available touch screens have limited or no tactile feedback at all. The potential and the market of tactile displays is largely unexploited, although there is a clear demand from users: these devices need to become more versatile, cheaper, portable and socially acceptable. The objective of the project is to make graphical contents accessible through touch by building and field-testing a Personal Assistive Device for BLIND and visually impaired people (BLINDPAD). The device will use smart materials as actuators and will be connected to state-of-art mobile devices. BLINDPAD will put veridical touch-based information into the hands of users, exploiting and enhancing their residual sensory abilities. BLINDPAD will be a personal, portable and cheap solution to improve knowledge and independence, thus increasing chances of employment, of social inclusion and, ultimately, of a better quality of life.