Designing Responsible Enviroment

Author: Dr Vladimir Tomberg STSM Period: 2019-08-28 – 2019-09-07

ECI: Yes

Hosting institution: Universidade da Beira Interior

From ITC: Yes



Current STSM visit has aimed the following activities:
1. To develop joint publications: enhance the current synergies, and deep the ongoing common research. Our ambition is to extend the existing cooperation to other topics such as design and prototyping of wearable devices for health and wellbeing, using IoT technology for gathering and analyzing data, just to mention a few.
2. Co-supervision: the visit was aimed co-supervision and guidance of students’ theses.
3. Meeting with R&D management of PLUX company to plan workshops on learning Bitalino platform and collaborative activities between two universities an industry company.
4. Visit other IT-UBI labs and promoting meeting with colleagues of the Computer Science department to discuss future opportunities in terms of R&D and European level funding applications.
5. Planning joint activities: based on our previous experience on the participation at the Tallinn Summer School 2016 and SHELDON winter school 2019, the creation of a summer/winter school at Universidade da Beira Interior is a milestone of our cooperation roadmap.


1. Development of joint publications:

During working meetings in Lisbon and Covilha, I worked together with Nuno Garcia, ALLAB coordinator Prof. Nuno Pombo, and Hugo Silva, researcher, engineer, and Chief Innovation Officer in PLUX.

The main topic for our research activities is using low-cost devices and open source hardware for education, rapid prototyping and exploratory research in biomedical engineering in the context of smart environments for older adults. We consider collecting two-side data collecting: one side from a body of a user using biosignal and bioelectronics acquisition with help of wearable sensors. From another side, by the sensors implemented to the enviromental elements such as furniture, interior elements, and equipment for gathering additional data that can enrich and adjust the data collected from the body.

We have discussed the potential topics for research related to evaluation of sensors used in wearable prototyping. For that, we have discussed and outlined a structure and the first draft of an article “Wearable prototyping Zoo: how to select the right animal?” Expecting result: a set of recommendations: for beginners with a short budget, for teachers who is preparing a workshop, for prototyping of industry medical graded
devices, etc.

Another idea for joint paper related to introduction of Bitalino platform to research project BetterSelf was widely discussed with the partners.

The goal of BetterSelf study is to integrate wearable and environmental sensors into everyday objects that a person interacts with and to make them biomedically smarter in the sense they can monitor some parameters from the person without requiring voluntary action without being
cumbersome, bothering equipment that the person needs to work with. The area is quite unexplored; there is a big amount of companies nowadays that focus on putting more and more sensors at the person, using the wearable approach. But we can think more about synergetic complement to this, which is having wearable data together with non-wearable data.

2. We have planned co-supervision of master student Maris Heinaru from TLU, who is working on a topic of gathering bio signals from a body of a marathon runner and providing back important information about her emotional status for achievement of the better results during competition runs.

3. We had meeting with R&D management of PLUX company and have planned workshops on learning Bitalino platform at November 18, 2019, in Tallinn University. We aim collaborative activities between the universities and PLUX as an industry representative in future H2020 application.

4. I have conducted one research seminar on the topic of design and prototyping of wearable devices in Instituto de Telecomunicações of Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon where I have shared our experience with Portuguese researchers.

5. Planning joint activities: We have discussed a plan of conducting “Research methods in HCI”  summer school in summer-autumn in Lisboa. That school can be organised and conducted in conjunction with Sheldon COST action.


• The article “Wearable prototyping Zoo: how to select the right animal?” was discussed and initiated. Currently, we have structure of the paper and division of the work volume between authors. The paper is aimed to be finished in the end of 2019 – beginning 2020 and is intended for submitting to international Journal.
• The joint paper related to research project BetterSelf is discussed and planned next.
• Co-supervision activities planned for Maris Heinaru from Estonian side and Igor Matias from Portugal.
• Workshops and joint courses are discussed and planned.
• Research seminar was conducted in Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon.


We have drafted plans for series of mutual visits in 2019-2020 academic years. There are plans for mutual visits with Covilha researchers for writing Horizon 2020 project proposals – Portuguese to Estonia in the first semester and Estonians to Portugal in the second semester.
We plan to use Erasmus exchange funds for sending master student M. Heinaru to Instituto de Telecomunicações of Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon in beginning of 2020 for working with Portuguese researchers on sensing bio signals from marathon runners project. The result of that should be her Master thesis and one publication on international conference.

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