Projects at Madeira-ITI

This overview lists the current projects at Madeira-ITI, sorted by start date.
Evangelos Karapanos

Funded by FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) under the Carnegie Mellon | Portugal Early Bird 2013 program (CMU|Pt EPB), this project seeks to understand and design for prolonged engagement with wearable activity trackers. 

Triggered by recent advances in sensor technology and ultra low power microcontrollers, the market of wearable activity trackers, such as Fitbit, Jawbone up, andNike+ Fuelband, has grossed over $230M in 2013 and is expected to continue its growth. With chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases accounting for nearly 40% of mortality cases and 75% of health care costs, and obesity alone accounting for an estimated 12 percent of the health spending growth in the U.S., wearable activity trackers promise a new health care model that stresses patient-driven prevention.

Figure 1. Fitbit, a wearable activity tracker that senses individuals' physical activity and encourages behavior change through self-monitoring (e.g., through a dashboard that provides summaries of the data collected such as steps taken a day, a month) as well conditioning (e.g., through a number of rewards, such as badges representing achievements, and competitions with one’s peers).

Yet, researchers have raised concerns over the plausible wear-off of any initial effects on users’ behaviors. A recent survey has found that over a third of owners of wearable activity trackers have discarded them within six months of use. It remains unclear whether this is because healthy routines became established or whether the trackers lost their appeal over time.

The goal of the project is to understand the factors that drive users’ long-term engagement with wearable activity trackers, and to design new solutions for prolonged engagement. 

Sergi Bermudez
The “AHA: Augmented Human Assistance” project is a novel, integrative and cross-disciplinar approach of 4 portuguese universities, CMU and 2 portuguese industry partners that combines innovation and fundamental research in the areas of human computer interaction, robotics, serious games and physiological computing.
AHA’s goal is to develop a new generation of ICT based solutions that have the potential to transform healthcare by optimizing resource allocation, reducing costs, improving diagnoses and enabling novel therapies, thus increasing quality of life.
The project proposes the development and deployment of a novel Robotic Assistance Platform designed to support healthy lifestyle, sustain active aging, and support those with motor deficits.
The AHA project will develop a novel and modular set of ICT based solutions that in isolation or integrated as a Robotic Assistance Platform will address:
1. Physical (re)training: Building on the existing expertise on Augmented Reality (AR) and serious games, we propose to develop adaptive AR physical training tools that deliver online feedback on performance to prevent sedentarism, support active aging and provide personalized tools for function re-training in motor impaired patients.
2. Increasing self-awareness: Monitoring of user state by means of biosensors, computer vision systems and exercise performance data. User state will beassessed in a transparent manner and data will be visualized through friendly user interfaces, and shared with patients, clinicians and/or relatives.
3. Augmented assistance: The above systems will be integrated on a mobile robotic platform with indoor navigation capabilities (in environments such as senior houses and hospitals) that will interact through a virtual coach system to monitor patients, provide reminders on tasks, guide patients through exercises, and assist them in daily routines.
To know more about the AHA Project, visit the NeuroRehabLab.
Simone Ashby

With ProCEED, our aim is to explore the ICT design requirements of local micro-entrepreneurs in Mozambique, prototype these experiences in the form of a mobile-based service that capitalizes on an existing Portuguese TTS system to enable literate and illiterate vendors to connect with their customers, and test and evaluate the service prototype in the field. Our approach is context-driven, involving the participation of a community of micro-entrepreneurs in Maputo for ensuring that the resulting prototype is usable, sustainable, and culturally relevant. This method and the use of cultural and technological probes also facilitates testing of the TTS component for suitability and operability.

Valentina Nisi

Future Fabulators encourages European citizens to imagine, experience and investigate living in a range of possible futures, designed as artistic experiments today. It takes uncertainty as a creative challenge in creating cultural spaces in which visions of everyday life in the time ahead become tangible and discussable. FF merges the voices of futurists, scientists, artists, policy makers and economists with those of the experts of everyday life, aiming to raise awa- reness about the impact of future visions on contemporary culture and lifestyle. FF uses tech- niques from Physical Narration, Context Aware Narrative and Future Pre-enactment to translate future scenarios into storyworlds, that are built as immersive situations in public and private spaces, designed to be playfully explored and enacted by a broad European populace.


- integrate the knowledge and experience of a wide spectrum of European citizens to create plausible and compelling future scenarios

- embody stories about the future, to make them experienceable for an interested public.

- encourage active participation in the creation of pan-European futures.


The process of elaborating futures in Future Fabulators (FF) falls into several activities:


* Imagine  the future worlds using techniques and knowledge from futurologists and everyday citizens

* Sketch the worlds and stories within them as interactive experiences

* Embody the worlds to make them experience-able

* Present the worlds for the public to experience and explore

* Document the experiences of all participants, from designers to visitors

* Evaluate the results of these activities through reflection and analysis together with participants

* Learn to improve the process and its implications

* Disseminate to a general public and professional audiences

* Coordinate the collaboration between the partners and ensure high quality of the project's activities and results.

Ian Oakley

Field robotics is the use of sturdy robots in unstructured environments. One important example of such a scenario is in Search And Rescue (SAR) operations to seek out victims of catastrophic events in urban environments. While advances in this domain have the potential to save human lives, many challenging problems still hinder the deployment of SAR robots in real situations. This project tackles one such crucial issue: effective real time mapping. To address this problem, we adopt a multidisciplinary approach by drawing on both Robotics and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) techniques and methodologies.

Pedro Campos

CEDAR -- Collaborative Engineering Design And Review -- proposes to advance the state of the art in collaborative virtual environments. The main idea of our research approach is to combine the power of novel interaction paradigms with the results from ethnographic observations of real world engineers and their successive evaluations to the different versions of the system. In order to keep the project focused, we will center our research on oil platform engineering activities, namely collaborative design and review.

Nuno Nunes

The Affidavit project ― Automating the Proof of Quality Attributes for Large Scale Software Architectures ― aims to make the current state of knowledge about software architecture design accessible to mainstream system developers by building a framework that will allow architects to investigate the properties of their architectures through architectural simulation and ensure their correct application through architectural transformation. Simulation will support the achievement of quality goals as defined in quality attribute scenarios, by allowing an architect to determine the consequences of architectural decisions, and to make tradeoffs that balance competing quality requirements.


The AEminium project proposes a platform that builds in concurrency by default: instead of sequencing code, programmerrs express dependency information that is used by a compile-time checker to verify correctness conditions and by the libraries and run-time system to enable concurrent executing. As a result, developers can write parallel code in a natural style and have confidence in its correctness and performance.  


  This project aims at developing mathematically well-founded and practically useful technology to verify real-time systems. We are interested on mathematical formalisms and formal methods techniques. We plan to extend the Frama-C tool so as to verify real-time safety properties as well as realtime liveness properties, prioritising the efficiency of our solution so as the render it useful for real-world real-time applications, e.g., avionics controllers. We also plan to use refinement calculus techniques to build parts of a real-time operating system.

Valentina Nisi

The Madeira Life interdisciplinary research team draws inspiration from the everyday life and traditions of the island, in order to imagine, design and produce experiences and services fitting the local context. Supported by digital media and interactive technologies, the Madeira Life team utilize a design research approach which, stresses design artifacts as outcomes that can transform the world from its current state to a preferred state (1).

Leonel Nóbrega

ZON Service Engineering is a project that will provide the real-world setting to test and drive breakthrough ideas in business IT alignment, SOA and service design. In particular it will contribute to create a new set of languages and tools that will enable practical implementation of the BITAM-SOA architecture in a real-world scenario of a complex service-oriented company like ZON Madeira. Practically, the project will encompass the re-engineering of ZON services, including metrics that are considered by the company stakeholders to reflect their business concerns. ZON Service Engineering is a 3 year joint project between ZON Madeira, Madeira Tecnopolo, University of Madeira and University of Porto. It involves partners from Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon and the University of Hawaii. It is funded under the +Conhecimento initiative and led by University of Madeira.