Research

people, technology, future and progress - man with futuristic 3d glasses and microchip implant or sensors over gray background with virtual screen

Science Adventure

Science Adventure is an affiliate institute of UCM, and is a spin-off of QBT SAGL, a Swiss company with years of experience in the development of algorithms and calculation software.

Science Adventure develops integrated software and hardware systems based on the study of artificial intelligence (AI) with machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) technologies and semantic language analysis (or NLP).

The systems can be applied to different sectors: aerospace, automotive, healthcare, welfare, financial and real estate, for the observation and study of social behaviour, IoT, and for the study of climate change.

The systems can be used in software programs such as semantic search engines, automatic indexers, voice recognition as well as on drones or satellites.

In particular, the systems developed by Science Adventure can be used alone or in larger projects, as a single component of the system.

Science Adventure develops solutions based on AI, NLP and ML.

In particular, Science Adventure has experience in the field of social studies, used in behavioural models applied not only to software but also to futures studies.

Science Adventure also deals with hardware tools such as 3D printers, virtual reality and augmented reality equipment.

In the Science Adventure laboratory, located at the Ludes Campus in Lugano, UCM students are offered the opportunity to gain experience and use state-of-the-art technologies and tools.

The Laboratory represents a huge advantage for students who can interact directly with the staff of experts and scientists working within or collaborating with Science Adventure.

In the first semester of 2019, Science Adventure offered UCM students of the Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, an elective seminar introducing the techniques of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence applied to Physiotherapy. The Seminar is repeated every semester with the cyclical participation of the students.

Topics of the Seminar

What is Artificial Intelligence: General Principles and Applications in Medicine

Prof. Federico Cecconi

Social and legal aspects of the AI implementation

Angela Di Iorio, lawyer

Specific applications of AI in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation

Alessandro Barazzetti and Prof. Federico Cecconi

Research Center

UCM Science Adventure  in a vision of cultural and technological development, finances and collaborates with research institutes in order to find innovative solutions to improve the quality of life.

SA works with primary Swiss and international research institute and public institution devoted to innovation such as:

Read More

Projects in Progress

drone

Real Estate Advisory Drone (READ)

SciAdv proposes the development of the READ Real Estate Advisory Drone project, that is an innovative system which, thanks to the use of autonomously guided micro drones equipped with a high resolution camera and proximity sensors, creates extremely detailed maps of internal environments allowing images to be obtained and high-resolution videos that, re-elaborated by specific software, extrapolate useful data for the preparation of a real estate valuation, absolutely real, reliable and objective.

Our vision is that the valuation of the property carried out with the traditional method does not take into consideration all the elements necessary to determine the real and updated value of the property. For a real, reliable estimate and as accurate and current as possible, the READ system aims to provide a product / service, which through the use of micro drones, which thanks to its multiple functions can best meet the demands of the Real Estate market, now in complete transformation.

READ: Partner

 

Supsi – Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (www.supsi.ch)

Idsia – Istituto di Studi sull’Intelligenza Artificiale Dalle Molle di Lugano (www.idsia.ch)

UCM – Higher Education Institution Foundation (www.ucm.edu.mt)

 

Innosuisse – Agenzia Svizzera per la promozione dell’innovazione – Confederazione

2018:

  1. Patent filed in Italy / EU with extension in Switzerland and US
  2. Launch of a feasibility study in the Innosuisse / Supsi 
  3. Drafting the Business Plan of the project

2019:

  1. Start contacts with potential Italian partners / clients
  2. April: feasibility study and project definition and related technologies concluded.

The result of the feasibility study will allow us to accurately estimate the following release times of the complete system following the definition of the technologies that do not yet exist

  1. June: start-up of the project

2020:

  1. January: Prototype release
  2. March: Pre-production system release
  3. October: Commerce
space mission

AlSat#1 Space Mission

The first purpose of the “Alsat # 1” mission is a competition between schools: middle and high schools will be able to take part in a technological challenge according to a contest that will be defined by ADAA and will include several events of increasing complexity. The schools that will be able to communicate with the satellite, send and receive data from the satellite, etc. will be awarded. ADAA will help schools design and build the ground stations (also by providing special kits)

 

The second purpose of the “Alsat # 1” mission is to allow the students of the universities involved to try their hand at a space project that, despite its small size, involves knowledge and design as if it were a conventional mission.

 

The payload or payload of the mission is to use the TCP / IP protocol for land-edge communication; a new type of radiation sensor developed by the University will also be tested.

Partner

The universities actively participate in the realization of AlSat thanks to the collaboration with the teaching staff and the students, who have the opportunity to put into practice what they study through projects of thesis and publications

Partner Companies

A cubesat is a type of miniaturized satellite having a cubic shape, a volume of 1 dm³ and a mass not exceeding 1.33 kg. Usually his electronics are made using COTS components.

The CubeSat model has been developed since 1999 by the California Polytechnic University and Stanford University.

The term “cubesat” was coined to denote those nanosatellites that meet the specifications described in the CubeSat project

The design is based on a frame made with Additive Manufacturing technology

The structure and content must be able to withstand:

  • Variations at high temperature
  • Vibrations and shocks
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Space vacuum

The OBC unit (On Board Computer) is used to receive commands from the ground station and to transmit the on-board status and data recorded by the PayLoad

A ground antenna (Ground Station) is used to communicate with the CubeSat and manage its operational control in the various phases of the mission

The transmission will take place through the TCP / IP protocol to realize «the internet from space»

Device capable of monitoring cosmic radiation based on silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) coupled with a sparkling crystal.

It is an extremely sensitive light detector capable of detecting even a single photon.

When particles pass through it becomes a detector of nuclear radiation or cosmic particles.

Developed by the SUPSI team of students.

Thanks to the collaboration with radio amateurs a kit will be created that will allow students to build a ground station with which to dialogue with AlSat # 1

The competition will involve middle and high schools in Italy, Switzerland and Malta.

Students will be able to build their own ground station using the kit on their own or they will be able to ask for help and support from ADAA.

ADAA will publish the call for tenders for schools with the rules for participation in the competition by the end of 2019.

The winning schools will be awarded in a public event in the presence of astronauts and aerospace scientists.

STAGE 1 – May / September 2017:

  1. Definition of the ‘payload’ and the ‘mission statement’
  2. Determination of our operational headquarter ADAA HQ in Ferno
  3. Fundraising

 

STAGE 2 – October 2017 / December 2019:

  1. Purchase of components
  2. SW Development
  3. Assembly of electronic boards: OBC & Payload
  4. Implementation of the radio communication system

 

STAGE 3 – January 2020 / June 2020:

  1. Testing and certification for the flight

PHASE 4 – within the first half of 2019:

  1. Satellite transfer to the launch base
  2. Final installation of the ‘Ground Station‘

 

JUNE 2020 – AlSat launched into orbit

  1. Start of the competition

At the beginning of 2018, the main phase of planning and development was launched which led to the launch of a precursor flight with a balloon at the altitude of about 40 km, on 15 September 2018, with a Flight Plan approved by ENAC, from the Parco delle Groane at Frutteto at the Municipality of Ceriano Laghetto (MB) at 11.00.

The balloon crossed the troposphere with a constant decrease in temperature up to 55 ° C below zero at about 10 km where it passed the tropopause to enter the stratosphere. The temperature is therefore decreased until it reaches 70 ° C below zero at about 20 km and then starts to rise again until it reaches the 0 ° C of the stratopause at 50 km of altitude.

A balloon weighing 3000 grams inflated to Elio was used.

The system consists of a Nylon rope to which the support structure of the on-board instrumentation consisting of a GPS tracker, a 360 ° video camera and a radio for sending data to the ground station will be hooked. The camera has taken over the earth at 360 ° from the maximum altitude achieved by transmitting spectacular images to the ground.

The mission payload consists of the Alsat # 1 satellite equipped with both software and hardware communication electronics, which was tested by acquiring data on the atmosphere, transmitted to the ground station.

fly

Fly your Thesis Parabolic Flight

Fly Your Thesis is a mission of the European Space Agency that allows university students every year to take scientific experiments in a micro-gravity environment.

The microgravity is recreated through parabolic flights on board a specifically modified A320 aircraft.

Parabolic flights allow simulating weightlessness using the free fall method even in the presence of atmosphere.

 

Ideally, the flight is divided into three phases.

 

The plane rises to 45 °, for about 30 s, with a strong acceleration: the passengers are crushed against their seats and their weight increases compared to that measured on the ground as the gravitational attraction is added to that due to the acceleration of the plane uphill.

The pilot stops feeding the aircraft engines. From this moment both the aircraft and the passengers are subject to the force of gravity alone. The plane continues to rise for a few seconds, describing a parabola: already at this stage the passengers feel the weightlessness, because both they and the aircraft are attracted by the same gravitational force. Once the point of maximum height is reached, the plane continues to describe its parabola, beginning the phase of descent in free fall towards the ground for 20-30 s: during this phase, the passengers float in the plane.

The pilot returns to power the engines, regaining control of the aircraft and, after a certain interval, is ready to repeat the cycle.

In reality, since we move within the earth’s atmosphere, we must take into account the friction that always manifests itself as a force opposed to the direction of motion, thus producing a weight, both in the moment of ascent and in that of the descent.

 

In order to allow a trajectory similar to that in free fall, the pilot of the plane is forced to balance the friction force with the engines, thus allowing the aircraft’s crew to undergo an almost constant gravitational attraction during the descent phase and therefore an almost total absence of weight.

Study of cluster headache

 

It is an extremely painful primary neurovascular headache. It has a periodic character, with active phases alternating with spontaneous remission phases.

The intense pain is caused by the excessive dilation of the cranial vessels that generate pressure on the sensitive terminations of the trigeminal nerve

The etiology is still unknown.

 

Causes of aggravation

 

Muscular tension

Nerves

Only half of the brain is affected by the disease.

Different types of headaches can be included, caused by the headache.

 

Why Zero-G

What little we know about the ache of this headache is that it is caused by excessive blood flow to the brain.

In a state of gravity 0 the blood moves from the lower part of the body to the upper one. This would simulate a “crisis” in a healthy patient.

 

What we could measure

 

Causing a “crisis” in a healthy patient we could do nervous reaction tests.

How muscle reaction and muscle tension change.

Observe the reaction of the eye to identify whether it is similar or not to that during a real crisis.

The perception of pain may also be interesting, whether it varies or not.

Correlation with spatial migraine

If the answers were positive, a therapy could be developed.

 

Nerve reaction test

Muscle tension test

Visual tests

 

The tools needed to collect data for the purpose of the search are:

– biometric bracelets (for pressure, heart rate, etc.)

– eeg headset to measure brain activity

April – July 2019: selection of the student theme

October 2019: presentation of the ESA application form

October – May 2020: preparation of the experiment

May 2020: FLIGHT

June – July 2020: Post Flight Analysis, Publication

k2

K2 Exploration Experiment

In 2018 an explorer carried out an exploration mission on K2, one of the highest and most sought-after peaks (8.600m) During the exploration, vital parameters were recorded transmitted in real time to SA thanks to a dedicated satellite connection. Before the mission the explorer was subjected to a series of clinical examinations which were followed by a repetition of the same upon return.

The analysis of the data is underway, followed by a publication and a conference

Projects During Analysis and Selection

Semantic Juris Search Library

The purpose of the project is to convert appropriately selected documents regarding judicial and jurisdictional phases of particular socio-economic and political importance into digital format, which have strongly affected Italian society and fed a database to obtain a search engine based on semantic analysis of document interfaces acquired.

UCM has appropriately selected legal documents whose analysis process involves the use of the following technologies:

– Professional scanners

– OCR system for the acquisition of texts

– Natural Language Processing system to analyze texts and index them

– Web Interface to manage and access content

– Web App

The indexed texts will also be used for the purposes of legal scientific research to identify:

– Links and correlations between events and / or individuals through the topological analysis of contents

– Extract knowledge from data with a Big-data approach to reconstruct the survey and process methodology and arrive at an investigative model to be used with Machine Learning technologies within software applications in the forensic field.

– Application of the investigative model to comparable situations, based on the analysis of socially relevant behaviors with AI technologies in predictive perspective in the realization of similar behaviors.

The field of study presupposes the creation of a strongly interdisciplinary team that includes:

– Computer science for the definition of system architectures and related software tools

– Legal expertise for the study and definition of the legal technicalities of the project

– Data scientist for model definition and related data analysis

– AI expertise for the realization of Machine Learning systems

SA has the technologies necessary to acquire and analyze the texts in order to achieve the purpose of the project.

SA has acquired great experience in Digital Forensic thanks to the creation of legal search engines both in Italy and in Switzerland (www.nemesionline.com) in addition to the consolidated experience in the development of technologies based on Machine Learning and AI.

Social Behavior Study

The aim of the project is the realization of a software based on AI able to analyze data coming from different sources, related to real events connected to the current Middle Eastern conflicts and to generate a scenario analysis with predictive ability of possible critical and imminent threats, which can be realized in the area of ​​study.

To realize a predictive software it is necessary to define the strongly interdisciplinary fields of study, designed to build the set of information necessary to create software capable of self-learning, according to the principles of Deep Machine Learning:

 

– Computer science for the definition of system architectures and related software tools

– Sociology for the study of the behavior of individuals

– Psychology for the study of the behavior of the individual

– Legal expertise for the study of legal / cultural aspects

– Data scientist for model definition and related data analysis

– AI expertise for the realization of the Machine Learning system

– Hystory expertise for the study of the historical and evolutionary aspects of societies

– Climate change expertise for the study of the impact of climate change on populations.

An activity protocol will be defined that each member of the expert team will have to carry out.

The result of this study will be a behavioral model that will be inserted in a scenario analysis software: the software will react to the events that will constantly be monitored generating forecasts and alarms.

SA is able to provide its own team of R&D experts to define the research protocol, coordinate the project and implement the predictive software.

In this project the involvement of several subjects / universities is necessary to create the strongly interdisciplinary team necessary for the realization of the research protocol.

Smart Coat

Implement a system for measuring the stress levels of health personnel, particularly the surgeon, during normal clinical activities with the aim of generating alarms.

The analysis of the stress levels of the healthcare personnel is a fundamental aspect in the recent organizational applications of the hospital structures and assimilable to guarantee patients the maximum possible reliability also in view of insurance reimbursements in case of error.

 

For the realization of the project it will be necessary to cover the following research areas:

– Computer science for the definition of system architectures and related software tools

– Legal expertise for the study and definition of legal aspects

– Data scientist for model definition and related data analysis

– IoT expertise for the realization of the prototype

– Psychologist for the definition of the rules that define the clinical aspects of stress

 

The main purpose of the project is to realize a Poc of the functioning system to be tested in a real clinical environment.

SA provides its own team of experts in particular in the IoT sector for the realization of the Poc.

For this purpose a 3D printer will be placed at UCM Ludes Campus for the realization of the physical prototype applicable in wearable form.

It will also be necessary to involve a hospital or similar facility for the field tests.

3d Robotic Hand

Using the 3D printer present at the SA headquarters in the UCM laboratory, it is proposed to print a model of robotic hand in 3D specifically designed at low cost so that it can be proposed as an improvement solution of life even in poor and developing countries.

It will not only be a mechanical model but will incorporate sensors and actuators that are easily available in the electronic components market or offered in assembly kits directly from SA.

Disruptive AI software on which the operation of the hand that will be released in open source will be based.