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The Center of Intelligent Systems includes laboratory facilities for basic experimental work as well as advanced research, namely:
Assistive Robotics Laboratory
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Responsible: Prof. Jorge Martins

The Assistive Robotics Lab is devoted to the study of humanoid robotics, orthotics, prosthetics and exoskeletons in general. The underlying inspiration of the activities at the Assistive Robotics Lab is the understanding of the human neuro-musculo-skeletal dynamics in locomotion and manipulation tasks. This understanding provides the key elements to the development of new variable impedance actuators and physical Human Robot Interaction control laws that target both kinematic and dynamic compatibility between man and machine.

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Human walk analysis

Inertial Measurement UnitsFunctional Electrical StimulationPressure Sensing and Foot Switches

Active ankle-foot orthoses

Industrial Robotics Laboratory
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Responsible: Prof. Jorge Martins

The Industrial Robotics Lab explores new scenarios outside of the traditional industrial robot role. Its activities are fully aligned with the Strategic Research Agenda for Robotics in Europe, Robotics 2020, and in particular focus on Human robot interaction (human-robot co-worker) and hyper-flexible cells. The ultimate goal of the Industrial Robotics Lab is to reach the scenario of a factory of the future, where autonomous robots jointly participate in the production process with their human counterparts, using both cognitive and physical Human Robot interaction.

Flexible link

Industrial robots

Mechatronics Laboratory
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Responsible: Prof. Carlos Cardeira

The research developed in the Mechatronics Laboratory focuses on a new design paradigm that intertwines the mechanical, electronic and computer engineering domains, under a common systemic framework. In the Mechatronics Laboratory, we conduct research and development in the areas of system dynamics, modeling and identification, instrumentation, control systems, and design with applications to robotics and automation. Ground and aerial robotic vehicles and service robots are examples of R&D made in this laboratory, targeting advances in the development of assistive technical aids for aged persons or for the impaired, and of guidance, positioning and navigation systems using new platforms and challenging scenarios.

Mechatronics Laboratory robots

Helicopter test bench

QuadR-ANT quadcopter

QuadR-ANT quadcopter

Ground mobile robots

Indoor blimp


Surgical Robotics Laboratory
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Responsible: Prof. Jorge Martins

The Surgical Robotics Lab is devoted to exploring new solutions for surgical procedures, relying on robotic arms and developing specific purpose mechatronic devices. By merging pre-operative and intra-operative medical imaging modalities, we develop new registration algorithms which navigate robotized surgical procedures either in co-manipulation or tele-manipulation with the Surgeon. The multidisciplinary team working at the lab has focused on specific surgical procedures such as accurate positioning of hip implants, accurate positioning of pedicle screws for spine fusion, accurate needle positioning for brain biopsies, and targeted prostate biopsies.

Robot assisted and ultrasound guided arthroplasty

Robot assisted arthroplasty

3D ultrasounds

Laboratory for Smart Structures and Composites (LECA)
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Responsible: Prof. José Sá da Costa

This Laboratory, financed by the Portuguese Foundation for the Science and Technology (project REEQ/378/EQU/2005 from the National Program for the Scientific Re-equipment), is coordinated by Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IDMEC/IST) and involves research teams of IDMEC/IST and Institute of Materials and Surfaces Science and Engineering (ICEMS).

The Laboratory provides a platform for research in a multidisciplinary field of smart structures and composites, allowing rapid integration of construction/testing/numerical and experimental evaluation of prototypes and it will foster the advanced research training through inter-university and industrial partners’ collaboration. Proposals are already in collaboration with the following research and educational institutions IDMEC/FEUP, INEGI, IPB, IPS, IPF, ISEL, ENIDH, and companies OGMA and Air Force Academy.

Base reaction force torque sensor to measure inertial and contact forcesWrist force, torque and acceleration measurements
Non-contact single point portable laser doppler
vibrometer with possibility of absolute vibration measurements
Power supply and current amplifier for PZT sensors and actuators
and fiber optics interrogator