Ingenuity Labs is currently focusing its efforts on three primary research themes.
Smart Environments and Infrastructure
By combining existing and new expertise at Queen’s in the areas of machine learning, big data analytics, the Internet of Things, as well as intelligent sensors and actuators, the Institute’s research activities include a focus on the development of smart environments and infrastructure. Consider a smart-home/office environment, equipped with sensors to obtain a large and rich research dataset about not only its occupants, but about the physical buildings and working environments with the aims of increasing safety and security, comfort, and quality of life. These research efforts also include the study of humans within their natural and engineered environments, to analyze what they are doing, their motives, and intentions. Traditional and state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms are the focus, to analyze multimodal signals and retrieve target information with accuracy and in real-time.
Human Sensing and Assistive Devices
Human-assistive technologies cleverly integrated with sensors have great potential for improving the lives of both healthy and disabled individuals. Wearable sensors—including inertial sensors, bio-acoustic sensors, tactile sensors, EMG, EKG, GSR, EEG, and other modalities—can provide measurements about both a user’s well-being and their intent. Assistive technologies, which may include passive or powered orthotics and prosthetics, can help some regain mobility, for instance, and others gain capabilities beyond natural abilities alone. Users may include not only individuals who have disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, a visual impairment, hearing impairment, complex disabilities, or possibly limb loss, but also athletes, the elderly, or industrial workers who must perform repetitive tasks, possibly in harsh or challenging environments. The Institute’s research efforts include a combination of expertise from human biomechanics, mechanical systems design, signal processing, control and robotics, together with advances in machine learning, towards the problem of decoding user intent and with the specific goal of supporting the development of practical wearable and other assistive technologies.
Intelligent Mobile Systems
Mobile robots and autonomous vehicles have recently grown from a few specialized devices, developed for select industrial or niche market applications, to household items. From robot vacuums and lawnmowers, to autonomous vehicles for public highways, mobile and autonomous systems are also finding real and practical applications in everyday workplaces, often where conditions are dark, dirty, dangerous, difficult, or simply boring for workers. By spanning the engineering disciplines, the Institute is partnering with industry to bring its expertise in robotics, mechatronics, and machine intelligence to bear on selected applications of distinctly Canadian relevance.