Under the MobiWise project, two research groups (Radio Systems and Network Architectures and Protocols) from IT in Aveiro, joined forces in order to boost crosswalk awareness. The initial goal was to develop a sensor without battery that would increase the safety of citizens, pedestrians and drivers in the crosswalks. A sensor, placed near the crosswalk entrance, would detect when someone wants to cross it and transmit this information to the cars driving on that direction.
To accomplish this, we needed to put together different areas of knowledge and integrate them in a unique solution. The development involved concepts of energy harvesting, backscatter communications and vehicular networks.
In order to power the sensor, a matrix of piezoelectric materials was developed and placed near the crosswalk. Whenever someone steps on this matrix it generates energy that supplies the sensor. With that energy, the sensor is capable of performing backscatter communication, reflecting and modulating a continue wave transmitted by the Road Side Unit (RSU). After receiving the modulated wave, the RSU forwards this information to the vehicles that have high probability of traversing the crosswalk.
At this moment, this information arrives to the driver by the means of a mobile phone, however such information can be integrated in the vehicle’s Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) or even used by autonomous vehicles without interference or awareness of the driver.
Having recently concluded his PhD at Instituto Superior Técnico hosted by IT, Afonso Teodoro was the winner of the 29th edition of the IBM Scientific Award. Afonso was distinguished for his work “Mixture Models for Inverse Imaging Problems – Going Beyond Denoising in a Plug-and-Play Fashion”, developed under the supervision of Mário Figueiredo (IT/IST).
In his work, Afonso Teodoro aims to improve the information extracted from images or photographs with poor resolution. “Basically, in this work, I start with a noisy and blurred image and try to imagine a richer and cleaner version”, he explains. “To this end, I developed a methodology that is applicable to various types of image degradation, as I just mentioned, which produces very interesting results in terms of final image quality” he concludes. From medicine, industry, automation, safety, agricultural and entertainment, Afonso´s work has many possible applications.
Afonso Teodoro received the €15k cash award during a ceremony that took place in Técnico last December 17, in which the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, was present.
Since its first edition in 1990, the IBM Scientific Award is attributed every year by IBM Portugal to a young Portuguese researcher to distinguish works of high merit in the field of Computer Science.
Photo credits: Débora Rodrigues/Técnico