Ongoing projects

AI-Driven VR training in an adaptive user context 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

The project will explore AI and 3D scanning techniques in the development of VR training courses. Proofs of concept (POCs) and user cases on how VR training courses can optimise motivation and knowledge transfer among employees. This project is initially aimed at 50 SMEs that develop VR training simulations. In addition, 129 training and education centers that offer training courses and issue certificates belong to the target group.

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Sizing system for respirator masks. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

This project seeks to develop a novel sizing system specifically for filtering facepiece respirator masks. We will work from anthropometric databases and 3D scanning of face and head shapes of participants to build up the sizing system for adults and adolescents. The masks will be designed, fabricated and tested at the Antwerp Design Factory, and qualitative and quantitative studies of the masks to be performed with users to establish important factors like model comfort and performance.

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The semiotics of physical human augmentation. Contextual empowerment of human-augmentation products. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

The objective of this study is to develop a research-based framework for the development of human-augmentation products that strengthen the user's identity or capabilities by capturing contextual and physiological user input. Human augmentation is an interdisciplinary field that aims to enhance and amplify human abilities. It comprises many different types of technological apparatuses such as prosthetics, orthotics, and physically assistive devices that replace missing or lost functions, exoskeletons that extend physical abilities, or heads-up-displays using augmented reality or virtual reality. Human augmentation can be divided in three main categories: mental augmentation – which enhances human cognition, sensory augmentation – which enhances human senses, and physical augmentation – which enhances human actions. Initially, the majority of efforts towards human augmentation focused on the improvement of physical abilities, while in the 20th century, due to progress in microelectronics, augmentation has been extended by advanced sensing and cognitive improvements. Within this study, the focus lies on visible and body-near human-augmentation products, and thus primarily on physical augmentation. Physical human augmentation further includes cosmetic augmentation (e.g. anaplastology or orthodontics), functional augmentation (e.g. prosthetics or powered exoskeletons) and medical augmentation (e.g. implants or bionic lenses). When developing these human-augmentation products, industrial designers and medical experts primarily focus on the user's urgent and objective needs, such as basic functionality, usability and safety. With a focus on functionality and physical characteristics at the expense of personal user aspects, they do not succeed in expressing and encouraging their users' concerns, identities and lifestyles. Accordingly, we focus on the semiotic (visual) and functional interaction between user, context and human-augmentation product. A well-designed human-augmentation device should have the ability to positively influence the bystanders' perception, resulting in an improved self-expression and self-confidence for the user. The corresponding main research question comprises "How can human-augmentation products be developed in such way that they strengthen the user's individual and contextual identity, increasing user-product attachment, user well-being and respect social values and ethical boundaries?". In the context of this design research, an overarching framing methodology of research through design (RtD) will be applied. RtD is an evolving research process that embeds design as a research means in order to generate new knowledge. This doctoral project is divided in four work packages (WP's). After thoroughly reviewing the state of the art literature (WP1: 'understand'), the research focuses on the exploration of the design context through prototyping for specific use cases (WP2: 'conceptualize') and validation by assessing the social impact of the prototypes in real-life experiments (WP3: 'measure'). For each use case cycle (one use case per year), two to three dynamic human-augmentation prototypes will be evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively on their stigma-eliciting potential in real-life conditions. As a reference during the experiments of each use case cycle, subjects wearing the newly-developed prototypes will be compared to subjects wearing classic, currently available human-augmentation products and to subjects wearing nothing. After each conceptualization and measurement cycle, insights and results will be steered towards implementation of new knowledge and tools (WP4'). The study will bridge the current technical and user-centred imbalance in the industrial design engineering of human-augmentation products. The resulting framework will comprise design methodology, design recommendations for the development of human-augmentation products and measuring techniques to validate design decisions.

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PRINT-4-POCT: Rapid prototyping of millifluidic devices for Point-of-Care testing applications. 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2024

Abstract

This research programme evaluates the potential of using 3D-print platforms for rapid prototyping of millifluidic devices for point-of-care testing (POCT) applications. This rapid prototyping approach will be validated by performing two case studies with research partners from the UZA and also the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology (LEH) at UAntwerp.

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Design for Demonstrators. 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2024

Abstract

This project will investigate the phenomenon of demonstrators, and how demonstrators and other emerging forms of prototypes are manifestations in design processes. Based on case studies in industry and interviews with modern thought leaders, the candidate will develop a design methodology to enhance the dialogue between stakeholders, creation of (physical and virtual) prototypes through digital fabrication, and relevant assessment methods.

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Fast track development FFP2-FFP3 face masks. 16/03/2020 - 15/03/2021

Abstract

This project started with anticipated shortages in respiratory protective equipment (RPE) at the beginning of the COVID crisis, March 2020, with the challenge to develop an emergency production line of FFP2 and FFP3. The aim was set to achieve local production, with documented and ensured quality. A design brief was drawn from existing respiratory equipment available at UZA and a protocol for emergency validation and quality control was derived from RPE regulations (EN149). Validation methods were constructed in consult with FAGG and FOD-economie. Our team at Antwerp Design Factory immediately started concurrent engineering both modeling, tooling, sourcing and validation. Results comprised validated models for industrial production (curved patterns), fully customizable production line with linear patterns including emergency quality control, with external validation by IFA and Mensura. The customizable line is extremely compact and produces 5000 FFP2 masks in one 38hour shift with 8 operators. Tooling can be realized by 3D prints and laser cutters. Our developments were supported by a scientific advisory board from policy makers, academic and industrial stakeholders. Masks were provided to UZA, ZNA to protect caregivers at COVID units and to the province of Antwerp, to initiated contact tracing.

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3DScan^3. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

This is a joint application of research groups at the faculty of Design Sciences. At this faculty, the research focus on the human being in relation to artefacts comprising products and services, design heritage, and buildings. The factor that connects this myriad of research activities is scale – the human experiential scale of the tangible and visual artefacts, that can be perceived directly with the sensory system, without additional instrumentation (e.g., magnifying glasses or telescope). We aim to consider, understand, and reflect on artefacts that are the result of a design process, situated on a scale from millimetres to kilometres. For all research groups, enhanced digitalisation systems are required to keep up with the pace of competing institutions, or in some aspects the new infrastructure will allow us to go beyond the state of current art in design science (esp. digital heritage/time machine and digital human body modelling).

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Development and validation of a user-friendly method to deploy immersive technologies in the process of product development. 01/11/2019 - 30/10/2021

Abstract

The goal of this research is to provide a user-friendly method for product developers to interact with Virtual, Augmented Reality and/or Mixed reality (MR, merging the real and the virtual world). We will define and validate a method to deploy MR in the process of product development. The project was defined by the observation that the product development process can be improved by revisiting interaction in mixed MR with design objects. For example, organic shapes (e.g. geometrical surfaces with non-trivial curvatures) can be directly handled in MR and then tuned to flexible manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, bypassing the need for complex and cumbersome on-screen manipulations in digital drawing. The goal of this research is achieved by the development, implementation, testing and validation of a toolkit that incorporates latest advancements in MR in different stages of the design process: ideation, system design, concept design and prototyping/manufacturing. Envisioned improvements are: increased efficiency, more accurate communication, enhanced perception, faster verification, less iterations and faster decision making. Consequently, the toolkit will improve the outcome of the product development process and/or reduce efforts to achieve a non-inferior product. The toolkit focuses on products that directly interact with the human body.

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Design for a Circular Economy: How to design optimal plastics usage in a circular economy 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

Did you know that metal straws are actually environmentally not better than plastic ones? As a design researcher I'm interested in supporting the transition of the plastics industry towards a circular economy from a human-centred perspective. Meaning, that it does not help to forbid the usage of straws if they are simply replaced by other materials without influence on motivation of behaviour change. We have to design new ways of experiencing the same drinking consumption or change people's motivation towards reuse. Research is needed to investigate the opportunities to redesign the usage of these valuable unique materials.

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Products as enablers for pro-environmental behaviour: investigation of reusable alternatives for single-use plastics. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

Recently, the European Union decided on a ban for several types of single-use plastics by 2021 and a considerable reduction of many more. By then, good alternatives for these products are desired. As a response to this ban and to consumers' avoidance of plastic litter, (new and existing) reusable alternative products come into scope. Existing examples of replacement products of single-use plastics include reusable straws, reusable shopping bags, reusable vegetable bags, reusable lunch wraps/boxes, menstrual cups, washable diapers, safety razors, reusable coffee travel cups, reusable cotton buds… . These products offer good alternatives to reduce our environmental impact, but only if they are used in the proper manner. Due to their characteristics of reusability and longevity, they need to be stronger, thicker and consist of more material or other materials that have a larger impact during production (such as metal or glass). Based on different LCA studies, the example of a single-use LDPE bag learns us that in order to be environmentally better for climate change: cotton bags should have to be reused 52 times (organic cotton: 149 times), paper bags: 43 times; PP woven bags: 5 times; and PET bags: 8 times. Clearly, if these products are used in the same manner as single-use products, the environmental impact will be even worse. For some alternatives, the question arise if this is at all possible. In this research project, we will study of the long(er) term usage of these reusable alternatives, in order to investigate what motivates or demotivates people to keep on using these products. Long-term is defined as the usage time that starts from the time that equals the similar climate change impact. In addition, there is interest in gaining insights as to the effect of the usage of these types of products on the general attempt towards sustainable living. Understanding the driving variables towards adopting reusable alternatives will form the basis to set up a model on how products or product service systems can influence the long-term product interaction and motivate sustainable living.

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Preventive measures for high physical strain workers 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

In this project we focus on preventive measures for dockers under physical load. We aim to achieve maximal support through recommendations for new products and training, in collaboration with physiotherapy.

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The use of 3D technology for the restoration of complex cultural heritage objects. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Fragile and very detailed cultural heritage objects, such as sculptured ceramics, can't be restored manually without further damage. 3D technology could be a great help in the process of repair. This includes 3D scanning, modelling, and 3D printing. A restored object, which is treated for aesthetic, commercial or museological purposes and with sustainable materials, has an overall greater value. For example, the proposed research would make it possible to produce replicas of fine and detailed sculptures for a better tactile sense experiences. There are four main aims in this research proposal: - Developing a method for restorers by creating a digital toolbox: what kind of scanning, modelling and printing techniques are available and for what type of sculpted ceramics or other artworks could they be used? - Therefore, there is also the need to get more insight the damages present in cultural heritage, starting with sculptured ceramic objects. - Defining which conditions are necessary for a good repair: Authenticity and other values are important to consider during conservation and the correspondent ethical decision has an influence on the visual result in the end. - Formulation and validation of the methodology by a collection of cases.

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Past projects

Robust Optimization Demo - VaProFam Demo. 30/09/2020 - 23/11/2020

Abstract

Innovative visualisation embodied in a demonstrator, to empower communication between stakeholders of abstract design and optimisation algorithms, developed at Flanders Make Codesigns. Based on research through design approach and to be exhibited during the Danders Make "Top Tech on tour"

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A Design Methodology for Mass-Personalization with Additive Manufacturing. 01/05/2020 - 31/10/2020

Abstract

Increasingly differentiating customer needs and expectations in combination with the highly competitive global market creates the necessity of new approaches. Mass-Personalization (MP) presents an opportunity to meet diversifying customer needs in consumer products market with a near mass-production efficiency. Traditional product development methodologies fall short to guide design for MP and a dedicated systematic methodology is essential. The proposed approach bases on a dynamic product template that automatically adapts with user input and produces a reliable output. Increasingly differentiating customer needs and expectations in combination with the highly competitive global market creates the necessity of new approaches. Mass-Personalization (MP) presents an opportunity to meet diversifying customer needs in consumer products market with a near mass-production efficiency. Traditional product development methodologies fall short to guide design for MP and a dedicated systematic methodology is essential. The proposed approach bases on a dynamic product template that automatically adapts with user input and produces a reliable output.

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LoRaWan MuseumLogger. 01/01/2020 - 30/06/2020

Abstract

In partnership with the Antwerp Fashion Museum, this project aims to develop of an open source data logging system to monitor the climate conditions at the museum depots of MoMu (light, humidity and temperature (lux,% RH, ° C)) as well as visual inspection of insect traps. The LORA protocol is used to operate the remote data loggers for a long time. Because our museum objects are increasingly being kept outside the home, these data loggers must be accessible from an external location. With financial support from the Flemish government (Department of Culture, Youth and Media), the focus is on open hardware and software components in order to be able to build a data log system that delivers quality data tailored to the museum. Moreover, this open methodology makes the data logger modular and enables relatively inexpensive implementation of a similar setup at other museums. MoMu has already realized several prototypes that demonstrate the feasibility of this idea. In collaboration with the University of Antwerp (Product Development Department: the Antwerp Design Factory), we want to further develop these prototypes into a truly functioning product (Minimal Viable Product - MVP) that will be used effectively to take care of the climate control of MoMu's external depot.

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Demonstrator CONCEVAL. 10/09/2019 - 30/12/2019

Abstract

Demonstrator development for a Flanders Make project, focused on generative design and semi-automatic ranking of design proposals. Involves hardware and software to enable an embodied experience with the algorithm.

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Mixed reality for mission-critical teamwork. 01/07/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

We foresee that interactive augmented reality (AR) systems will be part of the professional of the future. The usability of such AR displays is key, even more in complex tasks. This proposal is deepening a specific aspect of augmented support, namely that of information display during mission-critical activities such as firefighting; in such cases, situational awareness needs to be improved, possibly by expanding the perception with additional sensors, spatial reasoning/mapping, and by remote support from a dispatcher. However, the current scientific body of knowledge only provides limited guidelines and case studies, but not true insights in optimal augmentation. We propose a human-factors approach in framing AR displays for mission-critical systems. The STRIMPRO will enable us to initiate comprehensive survey and a landmark experiment, published in a proper academic setting while engaging professionals and their supply chain for follow-up funding.

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Cognitive assessment platform (CAP): Capturing physiological interaction parameters of caregivers during stressful ICU interventions, towards the development of dynamic caregivers' assistant interfaces (CAI). 01/07/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

An intensive care unit (ICU) is a safety critical environment where caregivers' activities are crucial to human lives. Adverse events, defined as injuries or complications that are provoked by a medical human error rather than the patient's underlying disease, occur in about one-third of cases in adult ICU patients and the risk of error is cumulative. The risk factors of adverse events include high nursing workload, caregivers' sleep deprivation or fatigue, communication failure, a high patient-to-nurse ratio and poor management. Work-related stress with the accompanying emotions provoked specifically in ICU is well documented. Nonetheless, only few studies have utilized physiological measures regarding research conducted on stress on medical caregivers. Within this project, it is aimed to develop a cognitive assessment platform (CAP) which comprises wearable sensors to enable monitoring of physiological parameters and location in real-time of caregivers within an ICU. This allows creating cognitive states of caregivers, linked to time and place. Workload, fatigue and stress are the monitored cognitive states, as they are the most significant threats towards patient safety. This innovative approach will allow us to correlate the cognitive states of caregivers with specific locations at the ICU, TISS-28, tasks and episodes during their working day and night, which will provide new insights and better understanding of the workflow of the ICU caregivers. Ultimately, this research may provide rich opportunities for examination and discovery in optimising the workflow of ICU caregivers.

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Optimization of functions in human-product systems. 01/04/2019 - 30/03/2020

Abstract

Design of products that closely interact with the human body require extensive integration of geometrical and/or physiological knowledge. In that design process it is common to design and validate firstly a human-product system that fulfills a set of specifications, given in advance. The system to be designed often contains some unknown functions that have to be provided by the designer for optimal performance, comfort and safety of the end product. These unknown functions are regularly pinpointed by the designer based on experience, user insights and testing. The past decades, structural optimization techniques such as topological optimization have found their way to standard CAD applications. A commonly known example is found in structural CAD/CAM, e.g. car design, such as a chassis that can be design for 3D printing by only specifying forces (statics & dynamics), optimized for weight, strength, dynamic load and vibrations. A promising application domain is 3D prints of ortheses or prosthetic connections, where statics are optimized towards geometry of the body; to be extended through current research with soft tissue and dynamics. The specific aim of this application is to initiate a design method to deploy state-of-the-art mathematical optimization algorithms and computational methods in the design of flow systems for medical substances, with the aim to optimize therapeutic, diagnostic and/or user related effectiveness of the envisioned end product, at the level of system design (human-product system). The specific exercise that is conducted for this aim, within the realm of this small project, is determining the rheology of medical substances (fluids) from experiments that can be easily conducted in vitro. Rheology determines flow behavior which is, in turn, crucial for proper functioning at the level of diagnostics, therapeutics and/or usability. For example, shear stresses in cell therapeutics during injection play a crucial role for effectiveness and viability of injected cells at place were they should be active or activated (e.g. under the skin). Shear stresses are also directly related to ease of use for injection, pain and/or discomfort for the subject. Summarizing, shear stress in function of shear rate is the overall determinant for the flow behavior of the substance and in extension the properties of an envisioned applicator. This unknown function (rheology-in Newtonian fluids equivalent with viscosity) will be determined by functional optimization as a generalization of Lagrange multiplicators matched with empirical data. The specific results of this project will enable us to measure rheology with only very limited amount of substance. An additional advantage is that this can be done with easy to handle and achievable equipment, for example a power bench with controlled displacement and respective logged forces. As such, internal shear stresses and flow of medical substances can be modelled easily and accurately, whereas the substance would be otherwise (too) expensive to assess with complex and expensive equipment, normally needed for extensive rheological studies. The acquired info can directly be deployed in the design and optimization of next generation medical applicators, e.g. for intradermal vaccination and/or for therapeutic cell delivery, optimized for therapeutic efficiency and usability. The broader aim of this project is to initiate a method to incorporate state-of-the-art mathematical optimization techniques within the design process of products that require close interaction with the human body. This overall aim will contribute in the long run to the dissemination of powerful mathematical methods for practical applications in product development and industrial design. As such, the project could be a germ for a future proof, data-driven product development process. Insights gained in practical applications and design problems could, in turn, provide input for future math developments.

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Point-of-care testing for free bilirubin diagnosis (FREEBDX). 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This project seeks to develop a point-of-care test to measure free-bilirubin concentration in neonates. UA-PO and ams, an external partner, will translate a laboratory protocol to measure free bilirubin, developed at UA-UZA, into an appropriate setup for point-of-care testing. The setup will be benchmarked against the laboratory protocol in the UZA laboratory.

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Caretech: missing link between research, development and application of care techology 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

At the university of Antwerp, innovative products/services are defined based on state of the art scientific knowledge and technology. The aim of this project is to develop a workflow to facilitate and accelerate transition from these innovations in the domain of health and health care, to actual enrollment.

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SmartGLAZ: head-mounted display for motorhelmets. 01/05/2018 - 30/04/2020

Abstract

See-through head-mounted displays (HMD) have the capability of superimposing a virtual image or information on the real world scene without impairing the view of the outside scene enabling a wide range of new applications, including smart personal protective equipment (firefighter helmets etc.), education and scientific research, assembly, military, medical treatment, safety and navigation. smartGLAZ specifically focusses on integrating such an HMD in a helmet to display context-based safety and navigation information. At first instance, the project targets helmets for electrical bicycle users, but the solution has also potential for integration in other types of helmets, e.g. for fire fighters.

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Urban pre-Composter, decentralized pre-treatment of organic waste. 03/03/2018 - 30/04/2018

Abstract

The Urban pre-Composter is a public underground system that is used to collect organic waste in an urban context. The added value of this innovative concept is the ability to pretreat the waste in order to reduce its volume. Consequently, less transportation is needed to carry this waste. This directly implies that the environmental impact on these cities will be reduced, and in addition on social domain, the concept reduced the amount of hindrance and annoyance that is currently related to waste collection. During this project the aim is to convert and improve the design into a verified installation concept that can be commercialized.

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The development of a toolkit for high school pupils of the 2nd grade to gain hands-on experience in practice about the scientific theory taught in the science & math classes. The toolkit support both teachers & students to engage in STEM-education. 01/10/2017 - 30/03/2019

Abstract

Development of a building kit, tailor-made for 4th year ASO students (possibly TSO), around energy, as part of the Energy Wizard project by multidisciplinary teams of international students who participate in the European Project Semester at the Product Development department of the UAntwerp, . The building kit contains e.g. a kind of water mill in which 'water energy' is converted into kinetic energy. A professor and students in training as science teachers at the Antwerp School of Education provide input based on their insights into the curriculum and the knowledge to be acquired for the intended target group (second grade ASO).

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Developing a user-friendly control system for a dexterous arm prosthesis for children with a bilateral transverse arm reduction 01/07/2017 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

The loss of an upper limb dramatically affects a person's daily activities. Recent developments in bionics and prostheses make it possible to compensate this loss of functionality with a bionic robotic hand. These bionic hands are commercially available and can enable a person to perform multiple types of hand movements. Controlling a bionic hand is in most cases based on the interpretation of two surface electromyography (EMG) signals. To control the multiple degrees of freedom (DOF) of a robotic hand with only two EMG signals, a sequential control strategy is used. This sequential control strategy requires a lot of training from the user. Currently different strategies are being developed to enable a user friendly and more efficient type of control. Most developments in the field of upper extremity prostheses are aimed at adults with a single arm reduction. Children with a double arm reduction are often unable to use the available prostheses and those that are available don't provide a solution for their specific needs. This project aims to integrate the most recent developments in prosthesis control and bionic robotics and make them available for children with a double arm reduction. The research is unique and novel because it aspires to develop and verify the use of non-invasive control strategies that enable children with a double or single arm reduction to control prostheses (with multiple DOF) outside of lab conditions. This project is primarily focused on one user. Larrissa (anonymous name) is an 8-year-old Belgium girl that misses both hands and feet. At the age of 1,5 she lost both hands and feet due to illness. Because her current prosthesis (and all other prosthesis) isn't suited for a bilateral amputee and offers little functionality she remains highly dependent on the help of others. The development was initiated in 2015 by Jos d'Haens (BAP physiotherapy, MOVANT) and was complemented with the master thesis of Erik Haring. This collaborative project between the department of Product Development and Rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences resulted in a first prototype of a prosthetic socket, designed for Larissa. Jos d'Haens developed a miniaturised robotic hand that can perform three primary grip types. The compact dimensions make this bionic hand especially suitable for children. The prototype of the prosthetic socket (physical connection with the wearer) was the tangible output of the master thesis of Erik Haring. This project aims to provide the missing link, a user-friendly and intuitive control system that translates human input into desired movements of the robotic hand. We defined two clusters of research questions within the project 1. Human input: Which signals can be captured within the stump of the child? Are these signals suitable to serve as input for an intuitive control strategy for the prosthesis? 2. Control strategy: How can we transform these signals into a user-friendly control strategy? 2.1 Focus on movements: Developing a prosthesis control strategy that enables the child to perform at least the three primary grip patterns: power grip, precision grip and lateral grip. With these three grips users can perform 80% of the most common daily activities. 2.2 Focus on intuitive use and user-friendliness: With the actual feedback of the child we aim for a control system that can activate at least three grip patterns in a user-friendly and intuitive way. Apart from a functional fit, we will gather user feedback on the social acceptance of the movements and look of the prosthesis. We hope to apply and expand the knowledge and insights obtained from this study to other projects for young amputees. The methodology could serve as a basis for the development and design of similar intuitive and child friendly control strategies for prosthesis and assistive devices.

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Development of a modular product-architecture for wearable EEG headsets (Ctrl-Mind). 01/07/2017 - 30/06/2018

Abstract

Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) enable the user to control his or her environment directly, omitting the need for speech and/or bypassing the neuro‐muscular system. The BCI market is expected to have an annual growth of 15% the forthcoming decade. Non‐invasive BCIs, based on caption of EEG signals, have an expected share of 40% of this grow market. Current R&D roadmaps mainly focus on technology development and – adaptation. One of the key facilitators to unlock this market, complementary to current roadmaps, is the development of user –friendly wearable EEG headsets. This POC project responds to this opportunity by combining two innovative R&D aspects. We combine 1) state‐of‐the art parametric design methods for using statistical shape models of the human body (3D anthropometry) in product development (3D ergonomics) with 2) an innovative system for automatic electrode positions, to construct an architecture for wearable EEG‐headsets that is modular, in the sense that the design allows for various embodiments in function of target population and BCI‐application. The resulting development platform will allow exploitation in a B2B setting in the abovementioned growing BCI market.

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ColdID: prevention of nail toxicity at cancer patients. 01/06/2017 - 31/05/2019

Abstract

Cytotoxic chemotherapy is a commonly used treatment for curing breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Cytotoxic chemotherapy may however also induce serious side effects such as nail changes (e.g., color, brittleness, damages, ...). In its most severe form, this may lead to onycholysis or the releasing of a portion of the nail, which is often preceded or accompanied by severe pain. Nail toxicity is observed at 44% of patients treated with taxanes. Nail toxicity can be avoided or mitigated through the use of ice gloves. Ice gloves are cooled to -20 ° C and worn during a chemotherapeutic treatment. Unfortunately, the use of ice gloves is very painful and therapeutic compliances are limited. This project allows to develop a medical instrument to avoid nail toxicity at cancer patients. The instrument aims to allow a painless and effective prevention of nail toxicity.

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Cobioto, Corneale Biopsy Tool. 06/03/2017 - 05/03/2018

Abstract

Keratitis, or an inflammation of the cornea, is a common eye disease in which a biopsy of the cornea is required to determine its underlying cause which can range from infectious causes (including viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic), mechanical (contact lens wear), non infectious (Vitamin A deficiency) (Gorski et al., 2015). Currently, no standardized tool is available for taking such biopsy and corneal scrapings are performed with a scalpel or wide bore needle, very often with inconclusive results as too little material is removed for fear of penetration. Consequently, biopsies are not performed as often and a broad-spectrum antibiotic is prescribed, assuming bacterial keratitis. The delay in providing optimal treatment can result in untoward sequelae such as corneal scarring and opacification requiring corneal transplantation. Collaborative research between the department of ophthalmology (UZA) Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (Ophthalmology/Vaxinfectio – UA/UZA) and Product Development (UA) together with the industrial partner D.O.R.C. will lead to the development of a standardized tool for taking a biopsy of the cornea where the safety of the patient is guaranteed thereby addressing the aforementioned shortcomings.

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InLocoMotion: Dynamic 3D human body shapes from static 3D scans and sparse motion tracking for the improvement of human-product systems: a case on cycling drag force estimation 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

The human body is a complex biomechanical system with a large anatomical diversity. New methods for industrial design are emerging based on accurate 3D models and statistical analysis of their rich spatial geometry and complex variations. Most applications of this 3D anthropometry in the field of Product Development are confined to static 3D shapes, whereas many products such as garments, (space) suits, sports equipment, medical devices, vehicles, and household appliances might benefit from accurate dynamic deforming 3D models of the human body. Currently, even for products that dynamically interact with the human body (e.g. shoes), only static geometric information is considered, thereby ignoring the potential to consider full 3D surface in motion and dynamic deformation. In this Baekeland PhD project, we will construct and validate design methods to use dynamic 3D anthropometry in the process of product development and extend the use of static 3D anthropometry. We will combine the aforementioned state-of-the-art statistical shape models with state-of-the-art animation techniques and translate them to CAD tools and techniques to support the envisioned extension. Firstly, a method is provided to generate any individual 3D body shape in any position from a combination of geometrical shape information and temporal position parameters that is both easy to assess. Shape information will comprise an individual's shape in a static pose, e.g. standing position, or a set of 1D anthropometric parameters. Position parameters will be achieved by adapting reliable and accurate of-site motion capturing techniques. We will also investigate how product developers might use these parameterized person-specific dynamic 3D models in the process of product development i.e., what shape and position information they need during the design process and what the requirements are on that information such that they will use it most effectively. This will pinpoint how product developers will preferably interact with the envisioned human-product models. Next, these requirements will be used to develop CAD tools and techniques in which products can be designed on person-specific dynamic human body models, and resulting human-product models can be tuned and optimized by a anthropometric measurements and position parameters. For instance, a stack of person-specific human-product models can be generated with the same effort required to generate only one such model. Finally, we will validate our method by simulating drag force of cyclists, in comparison to ground truth values in a wind tunnel. The target is to come very close to real drag force values with a fraction of the cost and investment. Although this PhD will directly contribute to the subfield of aero-design and engineering in cycling, the lead up methods will also prove the accuracy of underlying models. We will thus establish a direct and accurate link for the product developer between human(-product) CAD models and the actual physical model to support simulation, verification and validation. Our method will improve the process of product development in several aspects. It will have the potential to reduce development costs by omitting the need for physical prototyping. An early stage verification of product functionality and composition of design specifications will require less iterations and entail a shorter time to market for new products. Our method will not only enhance comfort and functionality of final products but will also allow to develop new categories of consumer and medical wearable products, that owe their functionality to close and dynamic product-body interaction and extensive ergonomics.

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Virtual SIZE; 01/12/2016 - 30/06/2019

Abstract

The project's overall aim is to develop a technology platform that allows developing cycling apparel with an optimized fit based on personal measurements. The first objective is to develop a measurement system that allows to measure an individual cyclist. The second objective makes it possible to develop a 3D shape model of trunk and limbs of a cyclists.

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Supporting co-creation to reduce street litter in Zemst 07/11/2016 - 12/12/2016

Abstract

Within the project " street litter along slow roads", the municipality of Zemst requested our support to organise a cocreation session with its citizens. The session included a 2 day workshop focusing on problem definition and idea generation during the first session and problem selection and implementation during the second session. The project fits within the 'ideate for sustainability' service provision goal of the research group.

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Living actively and independently at home – Support more older adults to live longer in their homes with the contribution of ICT based solutions (gAALaxy). 01/11/2016 - 31/10/2018

Abstract

gAALaxy - The universal system for independent and interconnected living at home. The motivation behind the gAALaxy project is to support older adults in staying autonomous and socially active in their familiar environment and in introducing them to AAL-technologies while using an ambient (integration of the system into life and living environment) and activating (inclusion and participation of the end-user into social environment) approach. The goal of the gAALaxy development is to bundle existing, innovative AAL solutions with professional home automation systems in order to deliver a unique and unified end-user experience. The core of the gAALaxy vision is the creation of a holistic residential gateway revolving around ambient home automation technologies enhanced with activating and engaging AAL technologies which offers access to call centre technologies or relevant tele and social services.

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Urban pre-Composter, decentralized pre-treatment of organic waste. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

The Urban pre-Composter is a public underground system that is used to collect organic waste in an urban context. The added value of this innovative concept is the ability to pretreat the waste in order to reduce its volume. Consequently, less transportation is needed to carry this waste. This directly implies that the environmental impact on these cities will be reduced, and in addition on social domain, the concept reduced the amount of hindrance and annoyance that is currently related to waste collection. During this project the aim is to convert and improve the design into a verified installation concept that can be commercialized.

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Accuracy of vibrotactile feedforward for posture and motion steering. 01/07/2016 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It is a barrier between our body and the environment protecting us from dehydration, infection and injuries. The skin thus provides us with a sense of touch which has several functions such as 1) providing tactile information about our environment and 2) providing input to enable motor interactions with our direct environment e.g. grasping and manipulating objects. Due to the bimodal functionality of the tactile sense, the skin is particularly interesting for communicating motion related instructions through haptic cues directly engaging our motor learning systems. Opportunities for applications have been identified in sports and training, surgery, music, navigation, prosthesis, to develop assistive devices e.g. navigation aid for the visually impaired and for balance correction in vestibular disorders, to attain correct posture, gait, and for the purpose of rehabilitation e.g. after stroke. However, research is mainly confined to in-lab applications. In order to unlock the realm of opportunities for off-site applications, wearable haptic communication systems for posture and movement management should be developed and evaluated. Thereby vibrotactile signals directly deployed onto the skin are identified most promising for wearable systems. Frequency, intensity/amplitude, burst, and rhythm characteristics for optimal perception at various body locations are known in literature. We will investigate the accuracy of a basic system that steers actual posture and movement towards a reference condition through feedforward, that is, the subject receiving instructions on the actual or future desired reference condition. The independent variable in our study design is the feedforward time. The depended variable is a measure accuracy obtained by integrating the total immediate joint angle differences of desired and reference position over the time domain. An optimal feedforward time is explored and validated for movement instructions and for obstacle avoidance with vision and in blindfolded subjects.

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Assessment of electrode pressure and signal quality of improved wearable EEG headset prototypes 01/04/2016 - 31/03/2017

Abstract

The human body appears in many sizes and shapes. Traditional anthropometry aims to map linear-1D- geometrical body characteristics and their statistical distributions. Advancements in 3D scanning, image construction and image processing resulted in a realm of databases containing true and accurate 3D forms of the human body, with accelerated construction of new body forms and databases. A statistical shape model is a collection of 3D forms such that each point on a given form has a corresponding point on any other form of that collection. Moreover, in a statistical shape model of the human body (or body part), similar anatomical landmarks ought to correspond, for example the tip of each nose; statistical shape models take account of the true-3D- geometrical variation of the human body. With the appropriate design tools to make the wealth on geometrical information contained in statistical shape models available for the purpose of product development, better products can be developed, especially: more comfortable, better fitting and thereby better functioning products. In current optical 3D scans, subjects wear a hairnet to prevent artifacts and to reconstruct the form of their skull. However the actual skull form is only approximated due to the presence of hair layer, lacking abilities in traditional 3D scanning to construct a true and accurate statistical shape model of the human skull. In the doctorate of D. Lacko, statistical shape models of the human skull are constructed from medial images (CT and MRI scans) thereby excluding the effect of hair. Complementing CAD tools and methods for parametric design, sizing systems and true generic manikins [22] allow developing new products that closely interact with the human skull such as hearing aids and wearable electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets. EEG is a technique to measure brain activity through detection of small electric field fluctuations by sensitive electrodes, amplification and signal processing. EEG registration has a myriad of potential clinical and off-site applications comprising diagnosis of e.g. ALS, Alzheimer, polysomnography, epilepsy monitoring, enriched, augmented, supplemented or alternative communication, research e.g. cognitive processing and didactics, associations, commercial applications such as gaming and neuro-marketing,... The development of wearable, comfortable, acceptable and calibrated EEG headsets is needed to improve clinical use and to boost potential off-site applications. With the accurate shape model of the human skull combined with CAD tools, non-functional wearable EEG headsets (mock-ups) are developed within the research groups Product Development and Vision Lab with the following prperties: 1) better fit and stability and 2) reproducible electrode positioning on the skull after successive mounting, compared to current commercially available EEG headsets. The research hypothesis is that our EEG headsets with these assets will also allow capturing EEG signals with improved signal quality. This hypothesis was never investigated due to the lack of stable fitting EEG headsets with calibrated and reproducible electrode positioning on the skull. Within this project, resources are asked to endow our EEG mock-ups with pressure and impedance/admittance measurements for testing this hypothesis.

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Design from Recycling. 01/11/2015 - 31/10/2017

Abstract

The aim of the Design from recycling-project is to provide the necessary information for the Flemish SMEs and to support the design of product that are manufactured from recycled plastics. Additionally, the project also focuses on determining the sustainability level of these products. The target groups are on the one hand the Flemish companies involved in developing and manufacturing plastic products and on the other hand recyclers of plastics. Design FROM recycling is not the same as the already well known Design FOR Recycling, in which the focus is on designing recyclable products. The main research questions are: a) How do we design specifically with and for recycled plastics? b) How do we efficiently match recycled material flows and potential products? c) what is the added value of products made from recycled materials (compared to virgin materials) in terms of eco-efficiency and resource efficiency?

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Enabling higher gaming experiences through digital tokens. 13/07/2015 - 12/07/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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An investigation into the cross-cultural differences in the adoption process of electric cars 01/02/2015 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

In my PhD thesis I developed a model of the adoption of the electric car and empirically tested it in Flanders. The current project extends that work in an international context, as follows: 1. Empirically test the electric car adoption model in various European countries 2. Test an alternative model, based on ethical determinants, in various European countries 3. Explain differences between these countries based on cultural frameworks.

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PhyT: Physical and thermal comfort of helmets. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The general purpose of this research is to model a virtual head that allows developing individualized bicycle helmets for Physical and Thermal comfort (PhyT). Three objectives are defined. The first objective is to model a 3D Anthropometric Head Shape Model. The second objective is to build a Biomechanical Head Shape Model. The third objective is to build a Thermal Head Shape Model.

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Virtual thermal and Virtueel thermisch en biomechanisch hoofdmodel om lokaal (dis)comfort te kwantificeren (vir-head) head model to quantify local (dis)comfort (vir-head). 01/07/2014 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This research aims at developing the methodological basis of a virtual thermal and biomechanical head model (vir-head). The model will allow designing head mounted products for thermal and physical comfort through insight in local pressure accumulation and local thermal responses on the head.

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Expertise Mercator project. 26/06/2014 - 27/06/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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CADANS: A CAD platform for 3D Statistical anthropometric Design. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

The project aims to develop tools and techniques to deploy the wealth of information contained in statistical shape models of the human body in the process of new product development. The focus is on the deployment of shape models of the human head, in close colaboration with stakeholders from industry.

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Applications of biobased plastics in extrusion processes for durable end products (DURBIO). 01/10/2013 - 31/05/2015

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Bridging design Entrepreneurship 2013 (Bride). 01/07/2013 - 31/03/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal service agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Community. UA provides the Flemish Community research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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