Research topics and methodology

The Automation group is characterized by an innovative and exciting approach that combines theoretical research activities with  practical technology solutions in various fields, ranging from  biomedical devices to home-automation, from the management, monitoring and safety of large Critical Infrastructures to the modeling and simulation of complex systems and phenomena.

The group has an international character and is linked by constant collaboration to several of the major Italian industrial groups and to prestigious national institutions, among others: Finmeccanica, Vitrociset, Ferrovie dello Stato, Terna, ENEL, Poste and SNAM in industry, and Guardia di Finanza [Fiscal Police], Corpo Nazionale Vigili del Fuoco [National Fire Brigade], Arma dei Carabinieri [Military Police], Polizia di Stato [State Police], Capitaneria di Porto [Coast Guard] and Istituto Superiore di Sanità [National Institute of Health]) in government.

The group’s activities are condensed  in several national and international research projects, where the Automation group is recognized worldwide as a standard of excellence on subjects connected to complex systems, Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructures. A peculiar trait of the Automation group is the multidisciplinary approach to research, which is used as an instrument to manage the intrinsic complexity emerging from modern technologies. Systemic approaches are adopted to balance different aspects towards solutions that are efficient and effective but, also, safe and “acceptable” for the user, and sustainable for the environment.

More in detail, the group applies the tools of systems theory and automatic controls to understand, model and influence the behavior of complex systems, which are characterized by an high degree of interconnection of their elements, in order to develop innovative solutions able to improve their functionality and features.

Major areas of interest are the study of biological systems, non-invasive diagnostics, smart environment design, mobile robotics, sensor networks and national critical infrastructure.  

Collaborations with other Research Centers

  • University of Malaga, Network, Information and Computer Security Lab - Spain
  • University of Cyprus, Center of Intelligent Systems & Network (KIOS) - Cyprus
  • EU Commission, Joint Research Center  
  • University of Oklahoma, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering - USA
  • Old Dominion University - USA
  • Gjovik University College - Norway
  • University of London, Royal Holloway - UK
  • Universidad de Navarra, Departamento de Organización Industrial - Spain
  • ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development)
  • Università di Sannio, Group for Research on Automatic Control Engineering - Italy
  • Roma Tre Università, Engineering Department - Italy
  • Università di Palermo - Italy
  • Federico II Università di Napoli - Italy
  • Inter-University National Consortium for Transportation and Logistics (NITEL).

Laboratories

Within the Engineering Faculty, the COSERITY Lab (COmplex systems & SEcuRITY Lab – www.coseritylab.it ) carries out both theoretical and applied research in a broad range of areas, such as automation technologies, industrial automation, control and robotics, biomedical engineering, informatics and critical infrastructure. The COSERITY Lab is recognized as a leading Italian research centers in the field of Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure.

In the latter field, research activities are focused on the development of innovative and multidisciplinary methodologies, instruments and technologies that are able to support the study of large infrastructure in terms of behavior, threats, vulnerability and management. The Lab has recently been included in the European network of reference laboratories dealing with the protection of critical infrastructure (ERNCIP). Recently opened, the lab is composed of 16 high-performance computerized workstations.

As part of the European FACIES project, a water system emulator and related monitoring and control system with the integrated possibility of carrying out very significant hardware-in-the-loop simulations has been created. This system is used to carry out advanced didactic work as well as research in the field of water systems, industrial automation and large infrastructure safety.

The laboratory is provided with two terrestrial mobile robot platforms, equipped with various localization sensors, and a flying mobile platform (drone), which are employed for research activities in the field of emergency and safety contexts.  The technology equipment is complemented with localization systems (IMU – Inertial Measurement Unit) for the realization of RFID infrastructures and depth-vision systems.

The development and rapid prototyping of different solutions is aided by our state-of-the-art rapid-protyping systems and by the group’s competencies in various programming environments and languages (MATLAB, LabView, C++, C#, etc.).