Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

A weighting chair to "ease the burden" of stepping on a scale

on 20-01-2020

... The Mobile Health project was created to monitor people's health, without any specific action to do so. The monitoring devices should be incorporated in daily use objects, without modifying its appearance or functionality, the data produced should be available for instant or aggregated analysis.

As a proof of concept, a chair capable of approximately measure a person’s weight was developed. To do that, a set of piezoresistive sensors was placed under the seat, as well as the processing and communication units. The raw data can be transmitted directly to a personal device (e.g. smartphone, smartwatch, etc.) using Bluetooth, or can be transmitted through Wi-Fi to the cloud. Depending on the person’s desire, this information can also be available to the medical entities, enabling the possibility of constant tracking and advice. More than that, if permission is conceded, machine learning algorithms can relate the obtained results with other parameters to understand possible relations between different behaviors.

The idea of developing a weighting chair emerged from the difficulty that many people feel in stepping on a traditional scale. This problem is especially important in patients with diseases such as obesity or anorexia, in some cases the social pressure is so high that people refuse to do it.

To developed this project, it was necessary to put together a multidisciplinary team. Felisberto Pereira (PhD students), Ricardo Torres (MSc students), Ricardo Correia (Researcher) and Nuno B. Carvalho (Professor) from Radio Systems – IT Aveiro, are working in the monitoring and communication aspects; Filipe Reis(MSc students), and Samuel Silva (Researcher) from IEETA, are developing the mobile application and machine learning algorithms; Sandra Soares (Professor), and Tiago Santos (Doctor) are taking care of data analysis and patients tests.

Using high-altitude balloons to support decision-making during firefight operations

on 13-01-2020

... Recent national incidents during wildfire fight, revealed a need to improve the process of real-time fire monitoring and mapping. Not only the current available emergency communication system proves to be fallible, but there is also a real difficulty on mapping and predicting wildfire propagation fronts.

In project Eye in the Sky (EIS), a research team led by IDMEC, working in collaboration with researchers from ADAI and IT, aims to design and develop an aerial platform to support communications in emergency situations, while simultaneously providing high-altitude real-time imagery of the fire scenario to ground combat agents.

To this end, the EIS team proposes the development of a platform composed of: a high-altitude balloon (HAB), responsible for the rise in altitude of a desired payload; observation and communications payloads, responsible for image collection and communications relay; and a flying wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carried by the HAB and released at high altitude, responsible for payloads controlled positioning after release when the balloon drifts from the region of interest.

The overall solution will be available as a launch kit, which should include a balloon launch tool as well as all the material needed to launch the platform and placing it at high altitude over the area to monitor.