Centre for Research and Technology Hellas / Information Technologies Institute

The Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH) is the only research centre in Northern Greece and one of the largest in the country and it was founded in 2000. It is a legal entity governed by private law with non-profit status, supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. CERTH has important scientific and technological achievements in many areas including: Energy, Environment, Industry, Mechatronics, Information & Communication, Transportation & Sustainable Mobility, Health, Agro-biotechnology, Smart farming, Safety & Security, as well as several cross-disciplinary scientific areas.

The Information Technologies Institute (ITI) was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organisation under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of Greece, with its head office located in Thessaloniki, Greece. Since 10.3.2000 it is a founding member of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) also supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT).

CERTH-ITI is one of the leading Institutions of Greece in the fields of Informatics, Telematics and Telecommunications, with long experience in numerous European and national R&D projects, It is active in a large number of research domains such as Security and Surveillance, Image and Signal Processing, Computer & Cognitive Vision, Human Computer Interaction, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Multimedia, Database and Information Systems and Social Media Analysis. CERTH-ITI has participated in more than 60 research projects funded by the European Commission and more than 85 research projects funded by Greek National Research Programmes and Consulting Subcontracts with the Private Sector (I&T Industry). In 2008, the Information Technologies Institute attracted an income of 14 M€ from National and European competitive R&D projects. For the last 10 years, the publication record of ITI includes more than 250 scientific publications in international journals, more than 450 publications in conferences and 70 books and book chapters.

Role in Project

CERTH will lead WP4, focusing on the robot cognition. In this scope, CERTH will be responsible for the research and development of the BADGER methods for GPR data processing and sensor fusion, focusing on robot localization (T4.2), as well as the development of the semantic representations of the robot’s operational context, including the world model (T4.4) and its adaptable representations derived during the robot’s operation, along with the high-level decisions that the robot will take for path planning (T4.5).

Relative Expertise

The Information Technologies Institute of CERTH exhibits substantial research activity, both basic and industry-oriented, as well as technology transfer actions, in the area of computer vision, robotics perception and cognition, e-health, virtual, augmented and mixed realities where included modeling and simulation of complex virtual environments and humans, with special focus on disabilities, haptic force feedback applied research, 3D modelling and compression, deformable objects and cloth modelling, collaborative virtual environments, new sensor development for head/hands/body tracking, multimedia analysis/synthesis, gesture recognition, head motion modelling and tracking, advanced applications of virtual/augmented/mixed reality in education and training, e-health, assistive technologies, culture, industry and e-business.

In BADGER, CERTH will mainly capitalize on its well-established experience in the fields of multimodal signal processing and fusion, 3D reconstruction, robotic vision, navigation, modelling and cognition, which has been obtained through CERTH’s involvement in a series of relevant EU-funded research projects, as further described below.

Relevant Projects

  • Scan4Reco - Multimodal Scanning of Cultural Heritage Assets for their multimodal digitization and presentive conservation via spatiotemporal 4D Reconstruction and 3D Printing (HORIZON2020 REFTLECTIVE-7-2014). Scan4Reco aims to deliver a multi-modal and multi-discipline platform that will be able to non-destructively scan any cultural asset, by introducing a novel and innovative approach for the scientific and wider community, enabling the processing of multi-sensorial input in such a way that produces a hierarchical, multi-layered and multidimensional complete model of the object of interest. In BUDGER, CERTH will build upon its experience gained in Scan4Reco towards 3D reconstruction through multi-spectral penetrating sensors.
  • SARAFun - Smart assembly robots with advanced functionalities (Horizon2020 ICT-23-2014-RIA). The SARAFun project has been formed to enable a non-expert user to integrate a new bi-manual assembly task on a collaborative robot in less than a day. This will be accomplished by augmenting the robot with cutting edge sensory and cognitive abilities as well as reasoning abilities required to plan and execute an assembly task. Aided by the human instructor, the robot will finally learn to perform the actual assembly task, relying on sensory feedback from machine vision, force and tactile sensing as well as physical human robot interaction.
  • RAMCIP – Robotic Assistant for MCI Patients at Home (HORIZON2020 PHC-19-2014-RIA). RAMCIP will research and develop a novel domestic service robot, with the aim to proactively and discreetly assist older persons, MCI and AD patients in their every-day life. Instead of simply being an obedient servant, the RAMCIP robot will have high-level cognitive functions, driven through advanced human activity and home environment modelling and monitoring, enabling it to optimally decide when and how to assist. CERTH leads among others the tasks related to SLAM and to modelling and monitoring of the robot’s operational domestic environment, as well as the development of the RAMCIP robot’s cognitive functions.
  • VERITAS - Virtual and Augmented Environments and Realistic User Interactions To achieve Embedded Accessibility DesignS (2010: FP7 ICT - IP). VERITAS aimed to develop, validate and assess an open framework for built-in accessibility support at all stages of ICT and non-ICT product development. VERITAS has developed detailed virtual user physical, cognitive, behavioral and psychological models, as well as the corresponding simulation models to support simulation and testing at all stages of product planning and development. CERTH will build upon its experience gained in VERITAS in the scope of modelling and simulation.