Radical learning, anti-disciplinarity, and collective intelligence are three concepts at the heart of the Devinci Innovation Center approach. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab, the “DVIC” provides engineering students from ESILV with the ultimate playground to test the latest technologies and learning methods. If you prefer a guided tour, you can watch our video below.
Curious about the emerging technologies of the future that will end up changing human society ? Follow Clements Duhart’s guided tour of Devinci Innovation Center. Clement is the founder and the manager of the “DVIC”, the trans-disciplinary innovation hub of the Pole Leonard de Vinci.
Incursion to the Devinci Innovation Center
Welcome to the DVIC, the Devinci Innovation Center, an inter-institutional structure for the three establishments, the ESILV engineering school, the EMLV business school, and the IIM, the digital school!
The DVIC is usually called the pirate ship because we are developing many technologies to think about the world of tomorrow. So I propose taking you on a journey through various universes; we will ask ourselves questions and see what tomorrow’s future will look like.
Augmented reality in practice: the magic mirror
Today we will start our visit with the so-called magic mirror, magic because it uses artificial intelligence to create an augmented reality mirror.
What does it mean? An integrated camera is capable of recognising a body and projecting information onto its various parts. Here, for example, what is currently projected is my skeleton.
What can it be used for? You can imagine, for instance, that this mirror is your fitness coach: you do a sport in front of the mirror, and it can detect and advise you to put your knee more to the right or left.
We develop at the DVIC, particularly within ESILV with engineering students, because this type of technology could be transformed into finished products through start-ups and provide subjects for research and studies.
Playful learning: the math teaching billiards table
We also like testing fun activities after learning a whole bunch of technologies. The system can identify the balls and calculate the trajectories.
An arrow is projected; it represents the acceleration, which is called a vector in mathematics. The game aims to learn mathematics through play, learn cosines, Cartesian landmarks, equations, Newton’s laws, all the physics involved in a billiard table, which can sometimes be very difficult to grasp for students and adults.
The aim here is to learn how to play billiards while at the same time learning about maths and physics so that you can improve both your billiards and maths skills.
Here you currently see a lecture from the Innovation, Research and Manufacturing students who study electronics. We work here with practical application at all times; to understand the practical application, you must experiment. The students have tested this morning, and this afternoon they are learning about theory with their teacher, a PhD student, so they are doing research.
The Food Tech Lab: teaching the brain to perceive food differently
Another universe, Guillaume Douceron, created the Food Tech Lab, a very new subject. So you can have fun turning olive oil into a mousse, which is still olive oil: what’s interesting is that people who taste this mousse and are not told it’s olive oil are unable to realise that it’s olive oil.
It’s incredible to realise how much our brain is conditioned by what it knows!
So you can have fun turning olive oil into a mousse, which is still olive oil: what’s interesting is that people who taste this mousse and are not told it’s olive oil are unable to realise that it’s olive oil.
It’s astonishing to realise just how much our brain is conditioned by what it knows! If you give olive oil that is not liquid, everyone goes wow once you have the answer.
The soft and active materials lab
A new universe, new world, we are entering what we call the lab of soft and active materials, here we will be interested in creating new materials. Because until now, we had electronics on one side, computers on the other, and coatings on the other.
Often when systems are manufactured, the intersection between these different fields makes the systems fragile. At DVIC, we are inspired by the living.
Living things don’t work like that: the skin is placed on the dermis, which itself is placed on a skeleton, the nerves are inserted into the skin, and that’s what we’re trying to do here: create materials where everything is integrated.
Here we have the example of the reconstruction of a skin, which will become “intelligent”: it will feel the touch and detect different things.
There are many applications for this innovation: for instance, for people who lose a limb, who need prostheses, which are often too rigid, too robotic, and therefore rarely used. At DVIC, we are interested in making a prosthesis more human and making it intelligent so that one day it will be possible to reconstruct the sensation of touch of a lost limb.
Connected clothing: embedded electronics
The question here is to create connected clothes, really connected, sometimes fashionable. Let’s go on in this environment with Madalina and Paul, who make these “smart” clothes: it’s not a question of making a garment in which we’re going to add electronics, but of making the garment electronic.
Threads are stitched on electronic sensors to detect if the garment is folded, grabbed or if the arm moves. All of which can be visualised through LEDs.
Various applications are possible, in sport, for example, to do what is called ‘performance capture’: we give an athlete this garment, and we can measure the different forces that are exerted on his or her muscles or skeleton, the position of his or her body to analyse and improve performance eventually, to make recommendations for top athletes but also to develop educational tools.
Simply by recording a sportsman’s movements, we will design more educational tools to teach everyone about sports. We are working in particular with the judo and karate federations.
This kimono is equipped with these famous sensors to detect when the kimono is gripped, but we also work on critical design clothing.
Here you can see a dress exhibited in a fashion competition that we won. The idea was to bring natural ecosystems closer to human beings: by embedding plants in clothing.
4D Space: training in virtual and augmented reality
Let’s go into the new universe called 4D Space. The 4D Space is an environment for working with virtual and augmented reality. A person is equipped with a virtual reality helmet on this machine and can navigate a remote setting.
Here we are looking at a unique concept called telepresence. How does your consciousness know where to go if your five senses are disturbed?
This is what is happening here on this Tidmarsh project, a physical site located in Boston in the United States, a former industrial cranberry production site restored into an ecological park.
Thanks to this 4D Space machine, you can navigate Tidmarsh as if you were physically there and discover this ecologically restored environment.
There are many applications around telepresence. Today everyone dreams of teleporting: after all, do we need to move our bodies to take our consciousness there?
Devinci FabLab: the Pole Leonard de Vinci’s “hive”
We change levels and go to what we call the “hive”, which is our fablab. It’s a manufacturing space where we can do 3D printing, make electronic components, work with wood and metal to make everyday objects, whether mechanical or electronic.
This Space offers different tools: 3D printing. You can conceive various things such as simple figurines or more valuable objects that can be mechanical joints for more ambitious projects.
There are also multiple types of 3D printing; this is what we call PLA, it is a type of plastic that is not expensive, that prints very quickly, but we also have slightly more sophisticated tools that allow us to make much more robust 3D prints, to make moulds or spare parts. Here you can make just about anything and everything; you can cut different materials, saw, make electronic cards.
Motion capture for health and biotech applications
I’m sharing with you another universe, the one called motion capture. Motion capture is a technology that allows us to detect a person’s position in the environment and all of their movements.
For instance, Salma is a student at the engineering school in her 4th year in the Health Biotech major and is trying to study the biodynamics of the body, how biomechanics works.
She is equipped with tiny sensors that allow us to reconstruct a character that moves in a virtual environment. It is possible to follow the different movements of its hands strictly, which makes it possible, for example, to study the way a cyclist pedals, what is the most efficient way of pedalling. Still, we can also use it from a therapeutic point of view to understand the defect in walking a person who has suffered a stroke and give him the best advice.
That’s it for this guided tour of the DVIC! Its universes continue to develop daily, and all serve our main goal: the desire to learn.