The Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science is one of the departments considered of excellence by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). The Department has received an extraordinary fund of 6.6 million euros from MIUR for the period of 2018-2022, for the purpose of recruiting researchers and acquiring infrastructures, as well as investing in high level educational activities.
The project's objectives concern not only the enhancement of interdisciplinary research through the purchase of equipment and the financing of PhD scholarships, but also and especially the establishment of 9 educational laboratories which will deliver high-quality teaching and research activities and strengthen the relationship between them.
The Autonomous Driving laboratory is the obvious complement of the IoT and Robotics lab. It is located in an industrial area easy to reach from the department.
The availability of large spaces enables experimentation activities with large robots, drones and high-speed car models. The students are able to use a development environment very similar to the one present in the IoT and Robotics laboratory and scale up the complexity and the realism of their tests.
The Electronics educational Laboratory consists of 8 workstations for 3/4 people equipped with an oscilloscope, multimeter, function generator, power supply and welding station. The laboratory is used both for exercises in study courses and for research activities in the creation and characterization of circuits and electronic boards.
The term FabLab stands for FABrication LABoratory, a small workshop offering digital fabrication tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, microcontrollers and so on.
Being placed inside a University, the main goal of our FabLab is educational: it will be a place devoted to open, free experimentation, where students can develop their own ideas, follow their passions, and learn in a creative way – without worrying about credits and grades. For this reason, the FabLab will not be associated to any specific course, trying to foster creativity and innovation in our students.
Beyond offering fabrication tools, the FabLab will also be a hackerspace and a sort of social club – students will be free to spend their time here, collaborating on their projects but also learning and exchanging their knowledge in a cooperative way.
IoT and Robotics
The laboratory of IoT and Robotics is an educational and research facility aiming to establish direct contact between students and researchers on one side, and the most up-to-date technologies in robotics and industrial IoT on the other.
The facility contains equipment for collaborative robotics, for high precision localisation of people, robots and goods. The presence of small and manageable mobile robots allows us to simulate both a production environment and a logistic area.
All equipment and the robots are accessible through open APIs, which allows us to develop and test policies for high-level control, motion planning and for human-robot interaction.
The IoT Testbed is an experimental facility that supports research and teaching on low-power wireless networking and localization, common in Internet of Things scenarios.
You can think of the testbed as a scientific instrument, like a microscope, that however is distributed over a large area and that we use to run experiments with the systems we design.
We have 130 nodes spread over nearly 8000sqm in our university building. Each node contains a mini-computer with several ports to which different types of low-power radios can be connected.
Around the world, there are very few testbeds of this size. Ours is particular because we have several radios, including ultra-wideband (UWB) ones. These can be used for communication but also to estimate distance between devices very precisely, with an error below 10cm. UWB already appeared on smartphones and is expected to become very common, like WiFi and Bluetooth.
Moreover, we are in the process of installing also millimeter wave (mmWave) devices, also increasingly popular in IoT. The applications of all the radio technologies in the testbeds are many, e.g., including the control of robots and drones; movement analytics in sports museums, or stores; logistics and manufacturing.
Finally, the testbed is also a fantastic tool for courses, where students can experience “hands-on” the complexity of large-scale IoT wireless systems and the real-world applications they enable.
The Multisensory Interactions educational Laboratory focuses on the study of systems that interact with users by leveraging multiple sensory modalities, such as vision, audition and haptics.
We engage undergraduate and graduate students as well as partner companies in using advanced methodologies of the fields of human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence and human perception to develop interactive systems capable of understanding the behavior and emotions of users and communicating information to them in a satisfactory and effective manner.
We teach students to design, develop and evaluate proof of concepts prototypes of multisensory interactive systems. Students learn how to use sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, as well as real-time programming languages to detect the gestures of users and transform them into sounds, visual, and haptic stimuli, applying the knowledge of human perceptual processes.
The lab is composed of two rooms: the Performance Lab and the Control Room. Both rooms are acoustically insulated and are interconnected at audio and visual level.
They are fully equipped with state of the art technologies, including: a Motion Capture System, 3D surround sound system, microphones, XR headsets, haptic wearables, headphones, networked music performance systems and advanced cameras.
The Laboratory collaborates with several companies in the sectors of Healthcare, Creative Industries, Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Brain-Computer Interfaces, and Sport.
Networking and Security
The Networking and Security Educational Laboratory hosts students at B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. level for education and research activities on wireless networks, 5G and beyond, software defined networking and radios, cybersecurity and vulnerability testing. The laboratory is equipped with a rack of workstations and routers (to build and test real networks) as well as virtualized resources (to emulate networks and services) and software defined platforms (to build and test actual communication systems).
The Sensing Technologies educational Laboratory develops advanced methodologies and technologies for the analysis and automatic recognition of remote sensing signals and images on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
The primary objective is to develop systems and techniques capable of analyzing big data acquired from space for a wide range of applications related to Earth observation for environmental monitoring and land management and planetary exploration.
Particular attention is paid to the entire chain of data analysis starting from their acquisition, pre-processing, automatic analysis, possible fusion, up to the definition of the product for the final user of the results.
The above activities are carried out on various types of remote sensing data, including multispectral, hyperspectral, SAR, Lidar, radar sounder, and ancillary data of various kinds, acquired from various platforms, eg. plane, drone and satellite.
The laboratory is also equipped with a hyperspectral scanner, lidar and thermal chamber that are used to carry out acquisitions both from the ground and in flight using the drone supplied to the laboratory.
The Wireless Technologies educational laboratory addresses a wide variety of teaching tracks that include
. radiating systems for wireless communications, sensing, and radars
. radio-frequency circuits and electromagnetic compatibility
. industrial, biomedical, and structural diagnostics
. innovative EM materials and smart EM devices.
The laboratory offers the Bachelor, Master, and PhD students the possibility to develop hands-on experience on state-of-the-art tools and methodologies.
The design, simulation, and validation of advanced devices, systems, and control algorithms is addressed in several different applicative scenarios ranging from 5G communication and beyond towards smart EM scenarios to satellite antennas, and from biomedical EM diagnosis to subsurface structural diagnostics and smart material design.
The objective of the teaching process is to enable the young students and researchers to learn and develop skills that connect the wireless propagation theory to the practical implementation of complex applications, algorithms, and devices