SKILLS is an Integrated Project in the framework of european IST FP6 strategic objective named “Multimodal Interfaces” and deals with the acquisition, interpretation, storing and transfer of human skill by means of multimodal interfaces, Robotics, Virtual Environments (VE) technologies and Interaction Design methodologies.
A particular skill is difficult to be described as the modeling of a specific “act of doing” still represents a challenge in fields of research such as cognitive science, psychology, robotics, biomechanics and other behaviour-related studies.
Research on training of human skill represents a state-of-the-art issue in the field of laparoscopic and computer assisted surgery (systems based on VE and haptic technologies) as well as in the maintenance activities in the industrial field where, at present, Augmented Reality technologies are used to assist the human operator in complex manipulative operations.
However current systems do not include capturing systems that describe the special skills of high qualified persons while executing their challenging manipulations (e.g. to describe what makes a good surgeon).
SKILLS intends to introduce a novel approach to skill capturing, transfer and assessment based on enactive paradigms of interaction between the human operator and the interface system devoted to mimic task conditions.
Skill analysis adopts cognitive sciences and interaction design methodologies in order to obtain a digital representation of skill and to develop techniques for its capturing and rendering.
The acquired capability to handle specific skills with digital technologies can generate new ways of interaction with the computer and communicate knowledge through it, making future software applications more accessible to non-specialist users and allowing to generate digital archives of performed acts of doing which are now usually lost when the craftsman or the skilled worker loses his/her capabilities due to illness or declining of years.
SKILLS takes three different application domains into consideration for demonstrators: sport and entertainment, surgery and rehabilitation, manufacturing and industry. Interaction design methodologies are implemented in these contexts in order to address the design of novel interfaces focused on skill transfer and being able to improve task performances or generate innovative processes.
The SKILLS consortium comprehends Universities and Research Centres with expertise in Cognitive Science, Psychology, Interaction Design, Virtual Environments, Augmented Realities and Robotics together with Industries representative of the above specified application domains.
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