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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.93M | Year: 2010

The main scientific aims are to radically improve understanding of the human mechanotransduction system and tissue engineered nanobiosensors. This will be achieved through systematic integration of new developments from converging scientific areas by involving academic and industrial participants who are experts in cognitive sciences, microneurography, brain imaging, cell biology and mechanics, tissue engineering, skin physics (tribology and mechanics), microengineering, multi-scale multi-physics modelling, information processing, robotics, prosthetics and medical rehabilitation. The project will build on existing discriminative touch research in order to understand affective touch mediated by the human fingerpad. Sensors capable of detecting directional force and temperature will be developed since a combination of these modalities is critical to the affective component of the neurophysiological response evoked in taction. This next generation of sensors will include NEMS arrays and hybrid bio-NEMS systems. They will be integrated into a robotic finger with articulation controlled by neural network information processing that will allow artificial exploration of a surface to be achieved in ways that mimic human haptic behaviour and affective response. The impact of the project will include alleviating the effects of human touch and vision disabilities, improving the quality of life, security printing, brand protection, smart packaging, space exploration and also the evaluation of products such as textiles and skin creams using the instrumented robotic finger. The consortium includes industrial participants who will undertake specific technical exploitation activities in order to maximise the commercial impact of the research.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2010-3.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.28M | Year: 2011

Light weight component and solutions are increasingly important for a more sustainable world, and aluminium wrought alloys have large potentials for dramatic weight reduction of structural parts. The production of virgin aluminium is, however, highly energy consuming and a higher degree of recycling of aluminium is needed to achieve sustainable industry models for aluminium based components and products. The SuPLight project will address new industrial models for sustainable light weight solutions with 75% recycling in high-end structural components based on wrought alloys. Advanced optimisation algorithms will be used for product and process optimisation with up to 50% increased weight/performance ratio. The project will bridge from atomic scale to continuum FEM simulations as well as tolerance simulations. Novel business models with a holistic life cycle view and higher reactivity to customer contribute to a better impact from the new methods and technology developed in the project. SuPLight will be a multidisciplinary research project, combining physics at the atomic scale level, metallurgy, continuum mechanics, structural mechanics, optimization algorithms, tolerance analysis, life cycle analysis, manufacturing and business modelling. This multidisciplinary is a large challenge but also the key to the real step-change from the project. SuPLight goes beyond prior knowledge on how to reduce weight in structural parts and improve the holistic eco-design of aluminium wrought alloys and to build novel sustainable industry models with a holistic life cycle approach. The project aims to develop new theories, methods and concepts that will be thoroughly tested and demonstrated through the project period. The results will be transformed into new business models, showing how these new approaches can be enabled for other industries as well. Industrial exploitation of the results and to create impact for the European society will be in focus throughout the project

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.06M | Year: 2013

It is estimated that touch screen module revenues will reach $23.9 billion by 2017. These user interfaces have become one of the most common input devices for digital media, e.g. in mobile phones and computers. Current devices incorporate relatively primitive vibrotactile haptic-feedback. The aim of PROTOTOUCH is to develop tactile displays with high fidelity haptic recognition, so that buttons would press and release like those on a real keyboard, for example, which would considerably enhance the user performance, ease of use and user experience of touch screens. Compared to visual and audio rendering, this is an immense technological challenge, particularly given the practical constraints such as cost, power and size etc. PROTOTOUCH will train 11 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and 4 Experienced Researchers (ERs) as a new cohort of researchers that will adopt a radically new approach to overcome the immense development challenges in the design of next generation TDs. The focus of the training will be on (a) the exploitation of the biological processes that evoke the sense of touch, (b) the application of advanced numerical techniques, such as multiscale multiphysics virtual prototyping and information processing, and (c) the translation of innovative technology into commercially viable mass-market and niche products. The ITN will involve a study of the mechanical interactions between a finger pad and a tactile display, the peripheral and central neural response that is evoked and the tactile perception of the subject. The neuromechanical interactions will form the basis of virtual prototyping. The human and virtual data will be analysed using advanced information techniques to delineate the factors that govern the performance of the displays and thus guide the design and optimisation of virtual prototypes prior to fabrication and testing.

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