Dário Pedro and Francisco Nogueira, respectively student and alumnus at the NOVA School of Science and Technology, are the winners of the Academy and Startup categories of the fifth edition of the Altice International Innovation Award, an innovation award that aims to reinforce Portugal's position in the development of innovation and recognize entrepreneurship and national talent.
Dário Pedro, student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD programme, stood out in the Academy category with his project 'Collision Avoidance on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles using Deep Neural Networks', which aims to identify an answer to avoid the collision of unmanned aerial vehicles through the use of Deep Neural Networks. Unmanned aerial vehicles can allow multiple applications, such as shipping goods, security, or, in the long term, transporting people. This solution helps to resolve the city's traffic problems, but since it requires a high level of safety and protection, Dário Pedro's work proposes a neural solution to prevent collision between static and moving objects, through use of artificial intelligence.
"It is a significant honor to receive such a prestigious award. This award recognizes not only my academic merit, but also the quality of teaching at the NOVA School of Science and Technology and the work developed at the company Beyond Vision. The future will have multiple applications with drones. That is inevitable. Developments like the one presented in my PhD thesis, will accelerate its implementation in society and increase the level of reliability and acceptance. Solutions like autonomous air transport will simplify the life of all citizens of big cities, optimizing hundreds of lost hours per individual", admits Dário Pedro.
In the Startup category, the Glooma project, designed by former student of the Biomedical Engineering course, Francisco Nogueira, also received the highest distinction from the Altice International Innovation Award. Glooma is developing a home medical screening device that complements breast self-examination. Through a glove – SenseGlove, which uses piezoelectric sensors, it is possible to detect abnormalities, benign or malignant, in the breast tissue, and control its size and texture.
“It is with great happiness that we see our students being distinguished in this recognized technology award. These are projects with enormous potential for society, in the two areas in which they operate, and we believe this distinction will help them reach the next stage of work development”, says Virgílio Cruz Machado, Director of the NOVA School of Science and Technology.
The Altice International Innovation Award, which had its first edition in 2016, aims to distinguish masters and doctoral students in Portugal, but also entrepreneurs and startups in the incubation phase and with a branch in Portugal or France.