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The PORTABLECRAC project develops environmentally friendly and economically beneficial technology to regenerate the activated carbon used in industry for water filtration. Its major focus will be on the adaptation of a compact device that will improve flexibility, and operational and investment costs with respect to existing equipment, assuring replicability and up-scaling the proposed solution. The chemical and water sector requires large amounts of activated carbon to remove contaminants from water, which is a valuable and limited resource. PORTABLECRAC proposes a sustainable and long-term solution whilst creating employment in the EU’s service sector. It also proposes a solution to water treatment with an 86% reduction in cost per kg/AC, and a fourfold reduction in CO₂ emissions. The consortium is composed of partner organisations from three different countries: CONTACTICA SL (project co-ordinator), ENVIROHEMP SL, Universidad de Alicante, and EMIVASA, Spain; GRADO ZERO INNOVATION SRL, Italy; and AGRI-PRO, Portugal; as well as RTD Research and Innovation and Universidad de Vigo. The post Project proposes solution to carbon regeneration appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
  Internet safety start-up Zeeko says more work is needed to understand virtual reality (VR) and has received €100,000 in funding to evaluate the effects it has on children’s health. Founded in 2013, Zeeko works with parents and children to promote a healthy balance for children using screen devices and the internet. The company, received the funding through the Horizon 2020 SME Innovation Associate Programme. Due to the affordable costs of VR hardware, the technology is “increasing in popularity” with children. Others have shown that VR can be employed to treat children’s emotional and relational problems such as depression and anxiety. Zeeko’s project will recruit a group of teachers, parents and children aged ten to 12 years through primary schools in Ireland to participate in an ethnographic study. The study will be carried out both in schools and home environments using techniques previously tested for the study of children’s use of digital devices. Children’s activities with VR will be video recorded in different everyday scenarios, such as lessons at school, completing homework and leisure time. The recordings will then be discussed with the children to explore their experiences. Parents and teachers will also be involved in group discussions and interviews to examine their opinions and concerns about the potential of VR as an educational tool. Marina Everri, head of research at Zeeko, said “very little is known” about the impact of VR on the body, cognition and social relations, especially during a child’s development. “More research, such as the research we are about to commence, is needed to understand the interplay of children’s individual characteristics, their relational and cultural context, and the opportunities and challenges offered by VR technology,” she added. The post Zeeko receives funds to study effects of VR on children appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Hyperspectral imaging and sensing developer Spectral Engines Oy (Oulu, Finland) has received €2.4m in funding to develop a portable drug screening device. The money has been granted under the Horizon 2020 SME support instrument of the European Union for a project called NarcoScan. Earlier this year Spectral Engines won the EU Horizon Prize for developing Food Scanner, a novel spectral sensing platform that offers unique benefits in many applications such as food sensing and analysis. The NarcoScan device will operate on the same principles as the food scanner but will be optimised to identify drugs and be a re-usable pocket-sized instrument for the police. The scanner will be based on Spectral Engine’s sensor and cloud and device connectivity. The goal is to provide high measurement accuracy from low drug concentration and to produce a result within seconds. Spectral Engines’ technology platform can be utilised in a vast spectrum of products and applications ranging from smart agriculture to smart homes and smart industry. The SME Instrument provides funding for small and medium sized EU-based enterprises. By funding Spectral Engines’ latest project called NarcoScan with €2.4m, the EU recognises for the second time Spectral Engines’ position as a pioneer in the field of next-generation sensor technology. The post Spectral Engines to develop drug sensor appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Scientists are working to develop new fleets of autonomous ‘self-optimising’ forklift trucks which will be able to operate alongside humans. The new development will mean that forklifts will operate safely and efficiently in warehouses alongside humans, and automatically adapt to changing work demands. The goal of the project, a multinational collaboration between robotics specialists in the UK, Sweden, Italy and Germany, is to enable the deployment of next-generation automated guided vehicles (AGVs) into current warehouse facilities to support tasks such as packing, palletising and transporting goods. The four-year project, called Intra-Logistics with Integrated Automatic Deployment (ILIAD), is funded with a major grant of €7m from the EU’s Horizon 2020 project. The consortium is led by Örebro University in Sweden, and includes University of Lincoln, UK, University of Pisa, Italy, and Leibniz University, Germany. Working with major industry partners such as Bosch, Kollmorgen Automation, ACT Operations Research, Logistic Engineering Services and Orkla Foods, ILIAD will deliver significant technological advances into a single integrated system ready for easy, low-cost development and without the need for major infrastructure investments. A key requirement is that each robot is ‘human aware’ – equipped with advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence to track and detect human behaviour and plan movements based on the machine’s own observations. Crucially, each vehicle will be self-optimising, learning from self-collected data over time, making the fleets fully scalable with the option of adding or removing robots at any time. Professor Tom Duckett, director of the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (L-CAS) at University of Lincoln and a principal investigator on the ILIAD project, said: “Our goal is to deliver an economical, flexible robotic solution that can be easily deployed and integrated into current warehouse facilities and which guarantees efficient and safe operation in environments shared with humans.” They will also develop qualitative models for human-robot spatial interaction, systems architecture and systems integration. The work will include experimental testing at University of Lincoln. The post Autonomous forklift trucks to work with humans appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Intelligent autopilot and cockpits designed by virtual reality could ease the burden on pilots and make flying safer for Europe’s airline passengers. Figures show that 918 million passengers travelled by air in the EU in 2015. Flight safety is a key priority and researchers have now developed a digital co-pilot that can help to analyse risks and offer in-flight advice to pilots, while also monitoring their stress levels and workload. A consortium of exerts from across the aerospace industry, including global giants Honeywell and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), teamed up with research institutions on the EU-funded A-PiMod project to look at how sophisticated software could relieve stress in the cockpit. The system makes recommendations based on the condition of the aircraft and the condition of the pilot. By measuring eye movements, gestures and inputs from the pilot, A-PiMod draws conclusions about their stress levels, and offers suggestions to the pilot which are adapted to the situation. The software cannot override the pilot’s decisions but can make suggestions about which tasks should be performed. Dr Helmut Tobben of DLR said: “The pilots who tested the system were worried about the data the system collects about the performance of the pilots and whether it would be passed on to the airline,” but he is hopeful that those issues will be resolved. Improved human-centred design is also at the heart of the EU-funded i-VISION project, which uses virtual reality technology to evaluate cockpit configuration. The concept stemmed from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus’s wish to explore new flexible and low-cost tools for designing and evaluating aircraft cockpits. Growing levels of new technology combined with new safety requirements and changing operational needs has meant the flight decks of airliners are becoming ever more complicated places for pilots. The post EU-funded project to create smart autopilot appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Engineering company Trelleborg’s engineered products operation has supplied a bespoke, flexible rubber membrane to WETFEET, a €3.46m research and development project. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, the WETFEET project, which brought together 12 partners spanning six EU countries, aims to address several major constraints that have delayed the sector’s progress to date and develop innovative technology solutions for use in wave energy devices. José Cândido, head of economy and industry at WavEC Offshore Renewables, the company leading the project, said: “In recent years, wave energy research has revealed a number of challenges such as the reliability of technical components, high development costs and risks, as well as industrial scalability of proposed and tested technologies. “WETFEET was set up to address these issues and pull together a team focused on developing viable components, systems and processes to help fulfil wave energy’s potential.” The project has seen the development of a set of breakthrough technology solutions integrated into two wave energy converters, a floating oscillating water column and Symphony, a variable-volume submerged point-absorber. Jacco Vonk, marketing and business development manager for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, says: “We have developed a bespoke flexible rubber membrane for Symphony to drive forward innovation in the wave power category. “Our polymer membrane technology ensures that the membrane not only acts as a seal to protect internal components from external water pressure, but as a bearing to prevent the hull and compensation tank from colliding. Both of which ensure a best-in-class submerged pressure differential device in a smaller geometry, helping to reduce concerns around the cost of Symphony’s development.” The post Trelleborg supports wave energy membrane tech appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Television viewers could be offered advertisements that are a lot more relevant to their own tastes with the help of new technology. The new technology is under development by an EU-funded project called TOUCHVIE, which is working on creating a software called Dive. The software uses artificial intelligence to identify objects, music, décor and locations in video content, so tags can be added to them in real time. Dive could put an end to the old-fashioned model of television advertising, where companies buy slots during breaks in a programme as it is broadcast. The growth of online streaming services and piracy has meant fewer viewers need to use traditional broadcast television, and can instead watch their favourite shows without adverts. Sharique Husain, co-founder of Dive, based in Madrid and Munich, said most advertising on television currently lacks the context to make it relevant to viewers. Husain said: “If the advert is something that is not relevant to the content I am watching, I am likely to find it annoying, even if that advert itself is of high quality. However, if the advert is relevant to what I’m watching and perhaps comes at the right moment when I could be interested, it becomes an experience.” The project has developed a software aimed at making adverts far more contextual, intuitive and personalised. It also aims to bring back the one-screen experience, removing the use of distracting second devices. The idea is that each viewer can be presented with their own personalised, interactive adverts at the touch of a button that do not distract them from the show they are watching. The software uses AI technologies, especially computer vision and deep learning methods. The post TV advertisements to be personalised appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Scientists have discovered a pioneering technique to transform ambient heat into motion in nanoscale devices that could revolutionise future generations of data storage and sensors. The innovative study by a team of international researchers, including Professor Gino Hrkac from the University of Exeter, UK, created a magnetic system capable of extracting thermal energy using a specific type of gear known as a ratchet. The technique is also able to turn magnetic energy into the directed rotation of the magnetisation. Sebastian Gliga, the lead author of the study and Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, recalls: “The system we have studied is an artificial spin ice, a class of geometrically frustrated magnetic materials. We were surprised to see that the geometry of the interactions can be tailored to achieve an active material that acts as a ratchet.” These findings establish an unexpected route to transforming magnetic energy into the directed motion of magnetisation. The effect now found in the two-dimensional magnetic structures comes with the promise that it will be of practical use in nanoscale devices such as magnetic nanomotors, actuators or sensors. The paper, titled ‘Emergent dynamic chirality in a thermally driven artificial spin ratchet’, is published in Nature Materials. The work was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Vienna Science and Technology Fund and the Royal Society. The post Scientists create magnetic motion system appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Bio-plastics are being promoted as a way of reducing the amount of plastic that does not get recycled. Professor Kevin O’Connor has a number of projects with the objective of reducing the amount of waste that goes to the incinerator. O’Connor is doing so in two separate projects, one through a company he set up, Bioplastech and P4SB. Bioplastech currently turns waste into biodegradable polymers which are now being tested with international adhesive companies. P4SB is a €7.4m European Union Horizon 2020 project through which O’Connor and his team at University College Dublin, Ireland, aims to propel the sustainable production of new polymers from waste plastic. Both of these projects are using bacteria and their enzymes to biochemically upcycle these waste materials. O’Connor is a chairperson of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBIJU), a €4bn public private partnership between the EU and the bio-based consortium, which aims to develop sustainable bio-based industrial activity in Europe. The post EU-funded projects upcycle plastic to bio-plastic appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
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