14 : Tout savoir sur les investissement d'avenir à l'UTC

14 : Tout savoir sur les investissement d'avenir à l'UTC

Robotics : a UTC-Compiègne reality

Robotics is now omnipresent and pervasive in various sectors: health, aeronautics, transportation and civilian and military safety questions, and occupies a highly respectable position in French science and technological research. France ranks 3rd, just after the USA and Japan in terms of academic publications; there are at least 1 000 robotics experts in France. "Even if we must see scientific progress as being based primarily on integration of hardware and software using sensor technologies, actioners, programming or onboard software, robotics in fact draws its specific characteristics from all computer and engineering sciences, viz., mechanical engineering, electronics, computer science and social sciences", states Philippe BONNIFAIT, a research working at the UTC-Compiegne Heudiasyc Laboratory, designated in 2010 as a national node for mobile robot platforms, by ISIS-CNRS.

The Robotex unit ranked 1st ex æquo among 52 laureates from the first call to tender, the Robotex unit will facilitate networking the main actors in the field of robotics from 15 different laboratories. This UTC-Compiegne laboratory has been involved and committed for over 20 years now in the area of smart cars and more specifically in mobile robotics. A development programme of urban electric cars, implemented by UTC in a partnership with the private company Induct is currently projected. "UTC-Compiegne will soon be in a position to propose robot vehicles from 0 to 100 km/h, via an ensemble of onboard sensors that integrate trajectory, speed, breaking distance", adds Philippe BONNIFAIT. "After initial 100% automation trials at low speeds, we shall move to partial automation at more rapid speeds". The funding obtained in the framework of these "excellence" equipment units, will enable UTC and its partners to have a local trial track, close to UTC's Innovation Centre and even an outside hangar to study and control functions for a squadron of aerial mini-drones moving in a natural environment.

Pluridisciplinary research serving medical disfigurations

Studying disfigured patients, refiguring and remodelling them is an object worthy of scientific investigation, just like any other grand causes or pathologies, such as transplant techniques or eye surgery. This is the unusual and fairly unique approach we find in the project Figures*, a recent laureate of the call to tender for "'excellence' equipment" co-ordinate by UTC-Compiegne and its Biomechanical and Bioengineering laboratory (BMBI). There are of course hospital research units, medical foundations and surgery teaching units in many parts of the world, but none of these organisations has concentrated on a single site the staff and the equipment needed to address the issue of disfigured patients as an object of pluridisciplinary research.

"The sum of competences we have gathered here", says Marie-Christine HO-BA-THO, director of the BMBI Laboratory, "are adequate to carry out pluridisciplinary research with specialist physicians treating for patients who have been disfigured accidentally or who have suffered in the process of a maxillofacial transplant. Two of our laboratory teams are already engaged in national and regional programmes centred on questions of tissue engineering used for bone reconstruction and biomechanical research such as required to modelise facial movement, design and assessment of prostheses and implants, not forgetting the importance of facial perception and expression."

This research, inasmuch as it is truly pluridisciplinary, is carried in association with two other UTC-Compiegne laboratories. The Roberval Laboratory, for example, addresses the question of markers or quantitative measurements that can be used to analyse and store facial mimicry. In the long term, a 4D model will be constructed, i.e., incorporating the 4th time dimension for the movement of sub-skin muscles is one of the results of this lab's research. In social and human sciences, the COSTECH Laboratory is proposing that we reflect on the inherent or aided capacity of a human being to change his expression in a disfigured context.

* Facing Faces Institute GUiding RESearch, porté par le CHU d'Amiens et le professeur Bernard Devauchelle

Excellence' equipment (Equipex) : a semi-heavy, intermediate sized piece(s) of research equipment that serve(s) a given innovating project and which can be accessed by industrial partners.

Two Equipex units: ‘Robotex’ and ‘Figures’