[Elenco soci]


Mengoni Maura

Professore Associato


Università Politecnica delle Marche
m.mengoni@univpm.it

Sito istituzionale
SCOPUS ID: 22634930400



Pubblicazioni scientifiche

[1] Carulli M., Generosi A., Bordegoni M., Mengoni M., Design of XR Applications for Museums, Including Technology Maximising Visitors’ Experience, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 1460-1470, (2023). Abstract
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Abstract: eXtended Reality (XR) technology can enhance the visitors’ experience of museums. Due to the variety of XR technologies available that differ in performance, quality of the experience they provide, and cost, it is helpful to refer to the evaluation of the various technologies performed through user studies to select the most suitable ones. This paper presents a set of empirical studies on XR application for museums to select the appropriate technologies to meet visitors’ expectations and maximise the willingness of repeating and recommending the experience. They provide valuable insights for developing Virtual Museum applications increasing the level of presence and experience economy.

Keywords: Extended reality | Multisensory experience | Sense of smell | User experience | Virtual museum

[2] Generosi A., Ceccacci S., D’Angelo I., Del Bianco N., Cimini G., Mengoni M., Giaconi C., Emotion Analysis Platform to Investigate Student-Teacher Interaction, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 13309 LNCS, 35-48, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a system that enable the collection of relevant data related to the emotional behavior and attention of both student and professor during exams. It exploits facial coding techniques to enable the collection of a large amount of data from the automatic analysis of students and professors faces using video analysis, advanced techniques for gaze tracking based on deep Learning, and technologies and the principles related to the Affective Computing branch derived from the research of Paul Ekman. It provides tools that facilitates the interpretation of the collected data by means of a dashboard. A preliminary experiment has been carried out to investigate whether such a system may help in assessing the evaluation setting and support reflection on the evaluation processes in the light of the different situations, so as to improve the adoption of inclusive approaches. Results suggest that information provided by the proposed system can be helpful in assessing the setting and the evaluation process.

Keywords: Affective computing | Deep learning | E-leaning | Emotion recognition | Gaze tracking

[3] Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Mengoni M., A System to Support the Design and Management of Customer Experience Based on a Customer-Centered Approach, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 753-760, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: This article introduces at a conceptual level a system based on AI technologies, able to determine the customer profile, in order to support customer experience design and management accordingly to a customer-centered approach, by extracting information from video stream provided by the security cameras installed in a store. The system collects customer demographic and behavioral information (e.g., age, gender, time spent in determined areas of the store, time spent interacting with the salesperson, etc.) through Deep Learning algorithms, in a completely anonymous way, without saving bio-metric data. To predict the customer profile based on the collected data it exploits a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN). The paper describes the overall system architecture, details the method used to model the BBN and reports, through the description of a use case scenario, some examples of insights useful to guide the choice of possible actions to be taken to improve the customer experience strategy.

Keywords: Customer experience | Customer profiling | Machine learning | Predictive models | Video analysis

[4] Generosi A., Agostinelli T., Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., A novel platform to enable the future human-centered factory, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a web-platform system that performs semi-automatic compute of several risk indexes, based on the considered evaluation method (e.g., RULA—Rapid Upper Limb Assessment, REBA—Rapid Entire Body Assessment, OCRA—OCcupational Repetitive Action) to support ergonomics risk estimation, and provides augmented analytics to proactively improve ergonomic risk monitoring based on the characteristics of workers (e.g., age, gender), working tasks, and environment. It implements a body detection system, marker-less and low cost, based on the use of RGB cameras, which exploits the open-source deep learning model CMU (Carnegie Mellon University), from the tf-pose-estimation project, assuring worker privacy and data protection, which has been already successfully assessed in standard laboratory conditions. The paper provides a full description of the proposed platform and reports the results of validation in a real industrial case study regarding a washing machine assembly line composed by 5 workstations. A total of 15 workers have been involved. Results suggest how the proposed system is able to significantly speed up the ergonomic assessment and to predict angles and perform a RULA and OCRA analysis, with an accuracy comparable to that obtainable from a manual analysis, even under the unpredictable conditions that can be found in a real working environment.

Keywords: Ergonomics risk assessment | Extended reality | Human-centered manufacturing | Machine learning | Motion capture

[5] Generosi A., Ceccacci S., Tezçi B., Montanari R., Mengoni M., Nudges-Based Design Method for Adaptive HMI to Improve Driving Safety, Safety, 8(3), (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: This study introduces a new operational tool based on the AEIOU observational framework to support the design of adaptive human machine interfaces (HMIs) that aim to modify people’s behavior and support people’s choices, to improve safety using emotional regulation techniques, through the management of environmental characteristics (e.g., temperature and illumination), according to an approach based on the nudging concept within a design thinking process. The proposed approach focuses on research in the field of behavioral psychology that has studied the correlations between human emotions and driving behavior, pushing towards the elicitation of those emotions judged to be most suitable for safe driving. The main objective is to support the ideation of scenarios and/or design features for adaptive HMIs to implement a nudging strategy to increase driving safety. At the end, the results from a collaborative workshop, organized as a case study to collect concept ideas in the context of sports cars, will be shown and evaluated to highlight the validity of the proposed methodology, but also the limitations due to the requirement of prototypes to evaluate the actual effectiveness of the presented nudging strategies.

Keywords: adaptive HMI | affective computing | automotive | driving safety | emotion regulation | nudge

[6] Generosi A., Agostinelli T., Mengoni M., Smart retrofitting for human factors: a face recognition-based system proposal, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: Industry nowadays must deal with the so called “fourth industrial revolution”, i.e. Industry 4.0. This revolution is based on the introduction of new paradigms in the manufacturing industry such as flexibility, efficiency, safety, digitization, big data analysis and interconnection. However, human factors’ integration is usually not considered, although included as one of the paradigms. Some of these human factors’ most overlooked aspects are the customization of the worker’s user experience and on-board safety. Moreover, the issue of integrating state of the art technologies on legacy machines is also of utmost importance, as it can make a considerable difference on the economic and environmental aspects of their management, by extending the machine’s life cycle. In response to this issue, the Retrofitting paradigm, the addition of new technologies to legacy machines, has been considered. In this paper we propose a novel modular system architecture for secure authentication and worker’s log-in/log-out traceability based on face recognition and on state-of-the-art Deep Learning and Computer Vision techniques, as Convolutional Neural Networks. Starting from the proposed architecture, we developed and tested a device designed to retrofit legacy machines with such capabilities, keeping particular attention to the interface usability in the design phase, little considered in retrofitting applications along with other Human Factors, despite being one of the pillars of Industry 4.0. This research work’s results showed a dramatic improvement regarding machines on-board access safety.

Keywords: Face recognition | Industrial Internet of Things | Industry 4.0 | Safety | Smart retrofitting | Usability

[7] Agostinelli T., Generosi A., Ceccacci S., Khamaisi R.K., Peruzzini M., Mengoni M., Preliminary validation of a low-cost motion analysis system based on rgb cameras to support the evaluation of postural risk assessment, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 11(22), (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a low-cost and low computational marker-less motion capture system based on the acquisition of frame images through standard RGB cameras. It exploits the open-source deep learning model CMU, from the tf-pose-estimation project. Its numerical accuracy and its usefulness for ergonomic assessment are evaluated by a proper experiment, designed and per-formed to: (1) compare the data provided by it with those collected from a motion capture golden standard system; (2) compare the RULA scores obtained with data provided by it with those obtained with data provided by the Vicon Nexus system and those estimated through video analysis, by a team of three expert ergonomists. Tests have been conducted in standardized laboratory conditions and involved a total of six subjects. Results suggest that the proposed system can predict angles with good consistency and give evidence about the tool’s usefulness for ergonomist.

Keywords: Ergonomic risk assessment | Industrial ergonomics | Motion capture | Postural analysis | RULA

[8] Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Leopardi A., Mengoni M., Mandorli F., The Role of Haptic Feedback and Gamification in Virtual Museum Systems, Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, 14(3), (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: This article reports the results of a research aimed to evaluate the ability of a haptic interface to improve the user experience (UX) with virtual museum systems. In particular, two user studies have been carried out to (1) compare the experience aroused during the manipulation of a 3D printed replica of an artifact with a pen-like stylus with that aroused during the interaction (visual and tactile) with a 3D rendering application using a haptic interface and PC monitor, and (2) compare the users' perceived usability and UX among a traditional mouse-based desktop interface, haptic interface, and haptic gamified interface based on the SUS scale and the AttrakDiff2 questionnaire. A total of 65 people were involved. The considered haptic application is based on the haptic device Omega 6 produced by Force Dimension, and it is a permanent attraction of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche. Results suggest that the proposed haptic interface is suitable for people who commonly use mouse-based computer interaction, but without previous experience with haptic systems, and provide some insights useful to better understand the role of haptic feedback and gamification in enhancing UX with virtual museums, and to guide the development of other similar applications in the future.

Keywords: haptic interface | user experience | Virtual museum | virtual reality

[9] Mengoni M., Ceccacci S., Del Bianco N., D'Angelo I., Capellini S.A., Giaconi C., Evaluation strategies at University for students with Dyslexia: a pilot study supported by face emotion recognition, Proceedings - 2021 International Conference on Computational Science and Computational Intelligence, CSCI 2021, 855-860, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper describes the final assessment of a student with SLD who uses compensatory tools to verify the effectiveness of the strategies adopted to support the construction of an inclusive assessment environment. The proposed case study is part of long-term research conducted by the University of Macerata. New technologies for analyzing emotional feedback based on the analysis of facial expressions collected from both students and professors during the exam supported the observation. Results show how the application of the emotional recognition system allows researchers to reflect on the evaluation process, on the teacher's perception about compensatory tools and, more generally, on accommodation exams strategies for students with DSA.

Keywords: Emotional feedback | Evaluation strategies | Inclusive university teaching | University students Dyslexia

[10] Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., Generosi A., Giraldi L., Presta R., Carbonara G., Castellano A., Montanari R., Designing in-car emotion-aware automation, European Transport - Trasporti Europei, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Driver behaviour recognition is of paramount importance for in-car automation assistance. It is widely recognized that not only attentional states, but also emotional ones have an impact on the safety of the driving behaviour. This research work proposes an emotion-aware in-car architecture where it is possible to adapt driver’s emotions to the vehicle dynamics, investigating the correlations between negative emotional states and driving performances, and suggesting a system to regulate the driver’s engagement through a unique user experience (e.g. using music, LED lighting) in the car cabin. The relationship between altered emotional states induced through auditory stimuli and vehicle dynamics is investigated in a driving simulator. The results confirm the need for both types of information to improve the robustness of the driver state recognition function and open up the possibility that auditory stimuli can modify driving performance somehow.

Keywords: Driver monitoring system | Emotion recognition | Facial expression recognition

[11] Leopardi A., Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., A new paradigm for the enjoyment and exploitation of cultural heritage based on spatial augmented reality: The case of the Ducal Palace of Urbino, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: In the last years, museums have begun to apply new technological solutions to manage their exhibits in a more open, inclusive, and creative way, to improve the visitors' experience to respond to the need to expand the audience. The main goal is to face the increasing competition in an economy referred to as the “Experience Economy”. To this end, Augmented Reality technology seems to represent a good solution for museum guide systems, to improve visitors' learning and enjoyment. In this context, the present paper proposes a museum guide system based on Spatial Augmented Reality powered by dynamic projection. The paper describes the overall HW and SW system architecture and reports in detail the developed process adopted to design and implement a museum guide and entertainment application, in the context of the “Studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro” in the Ducal Palace of Urbino. A preliminary survey has been carried out, which involved a total of 79 subjects, aimed at investigating the quality of visitor's experience, aroused by the proposed application, in terms of the “Four Experience Realms” defined by Pine & Gilmore (1998). Results suggest that the proposed application can be used to stage experiences that satisfy the visitors and may help to enable museums into the Experience Economy.

Keywords: Cultural heritage | Dynamic projection | Experience economy | Museum guide | Spatial augmented reality

[12] Altieri A., Ceccacci S., Giraldi L., Leopardi A., Mengoni M., Talipu A., Affective Guide for Museum: A System to Suggest Museum Paths Based on Visitors’ Emotions, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 12768 LNCS, 521-532, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a new recommendation system for museums able to profile the visitors and propose them the most suitable exhibition path accordingly, to improve visitors’ satisfaction. It consists of an interactive touch screen totem, which implements a USB camera and exploits Convolutional Neural Network to perform facial coding to measure visitors’ emotions and estimate their age and gender. Based on the detected level of emotional valence, the system associates visitors with a profile and suggests them to visit a selection of five works of art, following a specific itinerary. An extensive experimentation lasting 2 months has been carried out at the Modern Art Museum “Palazzo Buonaccorsi” of Macerata. Results evidence that the proposed system can create an interactive and emotional link with the visitors, influencing their mood in the Pre-Experience phase and in the subsequent Post-Experience phase. In particular, they highlight that the proposed system, which aims at acting as emotional leverage, has been able to improve the positiveness of the emotions experienced by the visitors.

Keywords: Affective computing | Cultural heritage | Emotion recognition | Facial expression recognition

[13] Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Cimini G., Faggiano S., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., Facial coding as a mean to enable continuous monitoring of student’s behavior in e-Learning, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2817, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces an e-learning platform for the management of courses based on MOOCs, able to continuously monitoring student’s behavior through facial coding techniques, with a low computational effort client-side, and to provide useful insight for the instructor. The system exploits the most recent developments in Deep Learning and Computer Vision for Affective Computing, in compliance with the European GDPR. Taking as input the video capture by the webcam of the device used to attend the course, it: (1) performs continuous student’s authentication based on face recognition, (2) monitors the student’s level of attention through head orientation tracking and gaze detection analysis, (3) estimates student’s emotion during the course attendance. The paper describes the overall system design and reports the results of a preliminary survey, which involved a total of 14 subjects, aimed at investigating user acceptance, in terms of intention to continue using such a system.

Keywords: Affective Computing | Deep Learning | E-leaning | Facial Coding | Facial Recognition

[14] Leopardi A., Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., Naspetti S., Gambelli D., Ozturk E., Zanoli R., X-reality technologies for museums: a comparative evaluation based on presence and visitors experience through user studies, Journal of Cultural Heritage, 47, 188-198, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual museum systems, based on different X-reality technologies, has begun to spread, as they represent decisive tools to promote exhibitions and reaching out to audiences. Although budgetary considerations have so far limited the choice of technologies a wide range of possible technological options are available today at low cost. This paper provides the results of an empirical study, with the aim to determine the most appropriate technologies to satisfy the visitors’ expectation and maximise their likelihood to repeat and recommend the experience. The study focuses on the comparison of the performance of five VM systems for visualise digital reproduction of archaeological finds, based on different technologies (i.e., PC desktop, holographic display, 3D stereoscopic projection, head mounted display and mobile Augmented Reality). The results provide useful insight for the development of VM systems, in order to maximize the visitor experience in terms of presence and ability to activate an experience economy perspective.

Keywords: Augmented reality | Mixed reality | Presence | Virtual Museum | Virtual reality | Visitor experience | X-Reality technologies

[15] Calabrese M., Cimmino M., Fiume F., Manfrin M., Romeo L., Ceccacci S., Paolanti M., Toscano G., Ciandrini G., Carrotta A., Mengoni M., Frontoni E., Kapetis D., SOPHIA: An event-based IoT and machine learning architecture for predictive maintenance in industry 4.0, Information (Switzerland), 11(4), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Predictive Maintenance (PdM) is a prominent strategy comprising all the operational techniques and actions required to ensure machine availability and to prevent a machine-down failure. One of the main challenges of PdM is to design and develop an embedded smart system to monitor and predict the health status of the machine. In this work, we use a data-driven approach based on machine learning applied to woodworking industrial machines for a major woodworking Italian corporation. Predicted failures probabilities are calculated through tree-based classification models (Gradient Boosting, Random Forest and Extreme Gradient Boosting) and calculated as the temporal evolution of event data. This is achieved by applying temporal feature engineering techniques and training an ensemble of classification algorithms to predict Remaining Useful Lifetime (RUL) of woodworking machines. The effectiveness of the proposed method is showed by testing an independent sample of additional woodworking machines without presenting machine down. The Gradient Boosting model achieved accuracy, recall, and precision of 98.9%, 99.6%, and 99.1%. Our predictive maintenance approach deployed on a Big Data framework allows screening simultaneously multiple connected machines by learning from terabytes of log data. The target prediction provides salient information which can be adopted within the maintenance management practice.

Keywords: Big data platform | Feature engineering | Machine learning | Predictive maintenance | Remaining useful lifetime

[16] Davoli L., Martalò M., Cilfone A., Belli L., Ferrari G., Presta R., Montanari R., Mengoni M., Giraldi L., Amparore E.G., Botta M., Drago I., Carbonara G., Castellano A., Plomp J., On driver behavior recognition for increased safety: A roadmap, Safety, 6(4), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADASs) are used for increasing safety in the automotive domain, yet current ADASs notably operate without taking into account drivers’ states, e.g., whether she/he is emotionally apt to drive. In this paper, we first review the state-of-the-art of emotional and cognitive analysis for ADAS: We consider psychological models, the sensors needed for capturing physiological signals, and the typical algorithms used for human emotion classification. Our investigation highlights a lack of advanced Driver Monitoring Systems (DMSs) for ADASs, which could increase driving quality and security for both drivers and passengers. We then provide our view on a novel perception architecture for driver monitoring, built around the concept of Driver Complex State (DCS). DCS relies on multiple non-obtrusive sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for uncovering the driver state and uses it to implement innovative Human-Machine Interface (HMI) functionalities. This concept will be implemented and validated in the recently EU-funded NextPerception project, which is briefly introduced.

Keywords: Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) | Artificial Intelligence (AI) | Driver Complex State (DCS) | Driver safety and comfort | Emotion recognition

[17] Generosi A., Ceccacci S., Faggiano S., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., A toolkit for the automatic analysis of human behavior in HCI applications in the wild, Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems, 5(6), 185-192, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Nowadays, smartphones and laptops equipped with cameras have become an integral part of our daily lives. The pervasive use of cameras enables the collection of an enormous amount of data, which can be easily extracted through video images processing. This opens up the possibility of using technologies that until now had been restricted to laboratories, such as eye-tracking and emotion analysis systems, to analyze users' behavior in the wild, during the interaction with websites. In this context, this paper introduces a toolkit that takes advantage of deep learning algorithms to monitor user's behavior and emotions, through the acquisition of facial expression and eye gaze from the video captured by the webcam of the device used to navigate the web, in compliance with the EU General data protection regulation (GDPR). Collected data are potentially useful to support user experience assessment of web-based applications in the wild and to improve the effectiveness of e-commerce recommendation systems.

Keywords: Affective Computing | Convolutional Neural Networks | Deep Learning | Gaze detection | User Experience

[18] Altieri A., Ceccacci S., Talipu A., Mengoni M., A low cost motion analysis system based on RGB cameras to support ergonomic risk assessment in real workplaces, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 9, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a motion analysis system based on a network of common RGB cameras, which provides the measurement of various angles considered for postural assessment, in order to facilitate the evaluation of the ergonomic indices commonly used for the determination of risk of musculoskeletal disorders of operators in manufacturing workplaces. To enable the tracking of operator postures during the performed tasks, the system exploits the multi person keypoints detection library “OpenPose”. The proposed system has been validated with a real industrial case study regarding a washing machine assembly line. Results suggest how the proposed system supports ergonomists in risk assessment of musculoskeletal disorders through the OCRA index.

Keywords: Assembly line | Ergonomic assessment | Manufacturing | Motion capture | OCRA index | Posture analysis

[19] Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., Andrea G., Giraldi L., Carbonara G., Castellano A., Montanari R., A preliminary investigation towards the application of facial expression analysis to enable an emotion-aware car interface, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 12189 LNCS, 504-517, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper describes the conceptual model of an emotion-aware car interface able to: map both the driver’s cognitive and emotional states with the vehicle dynamics; adapt the level of automation or support the decision-making process if emotions negatively affecting the driving performance are detected; ensure emotion regulation and provide a unique user experience creating a more engaging atmosphere (e.g. music, LED lighting) in the car cabin. To enable emotion detection, it implements a low-cost emotion recognition able to recognize Ekman’s universal emotions by analyzing the driver’s facial expression from stream video. A preliminary test was conducted in order to determine the effectiveness of the proposed emotion recognition system in a driving context. Results evidenced that the proposed system is capable to correctly qualify the drivers’ emotion in a driving simulation context.

Keywords: Driver Monitoring System | Emotion recognition | Facial expression recognition

[20] Leopardi A., Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., Dynamic Projection for the Design of an Adaptive Museum Guide, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 85-94, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Very often historical buildings used as museums are characterized by rooms completely covered with decorations (e.g. frescoes, inlay, etc.) rich in details and symbolic contents. Providing adequate information to the visitors to allow them to fully appreciate the artworks is of paramount importance in this context. X-reality technologies have the potential to provide an effective response to the need to combine the educational mission of museums with the ability to involve visitors emotionally, allowing the public to learn new knowledge in a playful way. This study introduces a Museum Guide System, based on Dynamic Projection, to increase the involvement of visitors to the Studiolo by Federico da Montefeltro at Urbino, minimizing technology intrusiveness by ensuring a complete fusion of digital contents with the physical environment. The system is able to track the visitors, to detect their profile and to offer information and multimedia contents tailored to the characteristics of the audience (e.g., children, adults).

Keywords: Adaptive system | Digital Cultural Heritage | Dynamic projection | Museum Guide System | Spatial Augmented Reality

[21] Clini P., Quattrini R., Bonvini P., Nespeca R., Angeloni R., Mammoli R., Dragoni A.F., Morbidoni C., Sernani P., Mengoni M., Leopardi A., Silvestrini M., Gambelli D., Cori E., Gallegati M., Tamberi M., Fraticelli F., Acciarri M.C., Mandolesi S., Digit(al)isation in museums: Civitas Project - AR, VR, multisensorial and multiuser experiences at the urbino's ducal palace, Virtual and Augmented Reality in Education, Art, and Museums, 194-228, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Digit(al)isation of Cultural Heritage is a multidimensional process that helps in the rescue of European Cultural Identity, and the paradigm of Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH) is a valid instrument for social and cognitive inclusion of museum visitors. In light of disseminating and validating new paradigms for the enjoyment and exploitation of Cultural Heritage (CH) artifacts, this chapter shows main first results from CIVITAS (ChaIn for excellence of reflectiVe societies to exploit dIgital culTural heritAge and museumS). The project develops virtual/augmented environments, through the multisensorial interaction with virtual artworks, to satisfy needs and overcome limitations in a larger CH scenario, applying a bottom-up approach. The research presented show a robust and interdisciplinary approach applied to Ducal Pace at Urbino: key activities and faced challenges demonstrated to test cross-fertilization strategies, involving multilayered issues.

[22] Talipu A., Generosi A., Mengoni M., Giraldi L., Evaluation of Deep Convolutional Neural Network architectures for Emotion Recognition in the Wild, 2019 IEEE 23rd International Symposium on Consumer Technologies, ISCT 2019, 25-27, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a software based on an innovative Convolutional Neural Network model to recognize the six Ekman's universal emotions from the photos of human faces captured in the wild. The CNN was trained using three different datasets already labeled and merged after making them homogeneous. A comparison among different types of CNN architectures using the Keras framework for Python language is proposed and the evaluation results are presented.

Keywords: convolutional neural network | deep learning | emotion recognition

[23] Altieri A., Ceccacci S., Ciabattoni L., Generosi A., Talipu A., Turri G., Mengoni M., An Adaptive System to Manage Playlists and Lighting Scenarios Based on the User's Emotions, 2019 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics, ICCE 2019, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a new system capable of adaptively managing multimedia contents (e.g. music, video clips, etc.) and lighting scenarios based on the detected user's emotional state. The system captures the emotion from the user's face expression mapping it into a 2D valence-arousal space where the multimedia content is mapped and matches them with lighting color. Results of preliminary tests suggest that the proposed system is able to detect the user's emotional state and manage proper music and light colors in a symbiotic way.

[24] Generosi A., Altieri A., Ceccacci S., Foresi G., Talipu A., Turri G., Mengoni M., Giraldi L., MoBeTrack: A Toolkit to Analyze User Experience of Mobile Apps in the Wild, 2019 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics, ICCE 2019, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: MoBeTrack (Mobile Behaviour Tracking) is a toolkit for automated collection of data necessary to support User Experience (UX) assessment of mobile applications. In contrast to existing frameworks, it is able to collect user demographic information (i.e., age and gender), trace any user interaction and recognize user's emotions during the use of an application. An SDK for iOS allows to easily embedding the toolkit in every mobile application in a flexible and scalable way.

[25] Bevilacqua M., Ciarapica F.E., Germani M., Giacchetta G., Mandolini M., Mandorli F., Mengoni M., Paciarotti C., Smart, eco-sustainable and human-centered product development processes: 21st century manufacturing Industries, The First Outstanding 50 Years of “Università Politecnica delle Marche”: Research Achievements in Physical Sciences and Engineering, 161-175, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: The development of new and valuable products, from conceptual design to production, is to date supported by advanced methodologies based on ICT tools allowing many controls and checks before proceeding to heavy spending investment decisions. The increasing use ICT allow highlighting product design process and solutions able to improve people’s quality of life. Key product development principles based on human-centered approaches and eco-sustainability concepts prove to be themain factors affecting both the products’ users as well as the product manufacturing staff. This paper outlines product’s development approaches state of the art, foreseeing at the same time possible research trajectories to define manufacturing industry future scenario based on more sustainable economical, environmental and social design choices.

[26] Colasante A., Ceccacci S., Talipu A., Mengoni M., A fuzzy knowledge-based system for diagnosing unpredictable failures in CNC machine tools, Procedia Manufacturing, 38, 1634-1641, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: This article proposes the use of an expert knowledge-based system capable of identifying possible machine tool failures caused by accidental events (e.g., cable disconnection, incorrect parameterization of machining, impact event, etc.). The proposed approach aims to identify the unpredictable causes of failures, starting from the analysis of the process data provided by the PLC Data Logger, without requiring to sensorize the machine in order to collect ad hoc condition monitoring data. To this end, it uses the experts rules and Fuzzy Logic algorithms to activate data analysis based on known machine fault conditions. The proposed approach has been validated on real case studies. A prototype system was developed in Python to identify electrospindle failures that occur when the spindle of a CNC machining center for woodworking is subjected to a strong axial impact. The results show that the proposed system is capable of effectively detecting failures caused by impact events and reduces the time needed for the diagnosis by 80%.

Keywords: Expert systems | Fuzzy logic | Machine diagnostics

[27] Ceccacci S., Matteucci M., Peruzzini M., Mengoni M., A multipath methodology to promote ergonomics, safety and efficiency in agile factories, International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 12(4), 407-436, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: An important area of risk management practice for manufacturing companies relates to the prevention of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The greater benefits can be achieved where a preventive approach is used, based on ergonomic design of workplaces and attention to human requirements and limitations as well as human-machine interaction principles. The research aims at providing a pragmatic approach to support the application of ergonomic risk management in practice. It defines a multipath methodology to investigate human factors impacting on safety by considering the specific workspace, the adopted tools, the overall production environment and the workers’ activity. An industrial case study is described to illustrate the methodology and demonstrate the benefits for companies. Results suggest that the proposed multipath methodology allow to effectively assist analysts in the definition of crucial risk factors and selection of proper ergonomics assessment and measurement tools according to the specific context of application.

Keywords: Design methods | Digital manufacturing | Ergonomics | HCD | Human-centred design | Risk management

[28] Mengoni M., Leopardi A., An exploratory study on the application of reverse engineering in the field of small archaeological artefacts, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 16(6), 1209-1226, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: In Italy’s artistic heritage, there are numerous small artefacts that are rich in details usually invisible to the naked eye. In the last decade, the need to document and create digital archives of cultural heritage has triggered research on the application of well-known reverse engineering techniques. Despite the applications in the field of virtual heritage, the 3D digitalization and reconstruction of small archaeological artefacts remains an open issue due to their small dimensions and handling constraints. In this context, this paper presents a methodology to compare the performance of two different techniques for 3D digitalization, one using a triangulation laser scanner and one using Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry. The methodology is based on a QFD approach to identify and quantitatively evaluate the differences between the achieved 3D models. It has been applied to the famous limestone sculpture called “Venus of Frasassi”. The main advantages and limits of both techniques are discussed with a focus on their ability to allow the identification of hidden shape features.

Keywords: Archaeology | QFD | Reverse Engineering | Virtual Heritage

[29] Calabrese M., Cimmino M., Manfrin M., Fiume F., Kapetis D., Mengoni M., Ceccacci S., Frontoni E., Paolanti M., Carrotta A., Toscano G., An event based machine learning framework for predictive maintenance in industry 4.0, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 9, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Predictive Maintenance concerns the smart monitoring of machine to avoid possible future failures, since because it is better to intervene before the damage occurs, saving time and money. In this paper, a Predictive Maintenance methodology based on Machine learning approach is presented and it is applied to a real cutting machine, a woodworking machinery in a real industrial group, producing accurate estimations. This kind of strategy is important to deal with maintenance problems given the ever increasing need to reduce downtime and associated costs. The Predictive Maintenance methodology implemented allows dynamical decision rules that have to be considered for maintenance prediction using a combined approach on Azure Machine Learning Studio. The Three models (RF, GBM and XGBM) allowed the accurately predict machine down ever gripped bearing thanks to the pre-processing phases.

[30] Altieri A., Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., Emotion-aware ambient intelligence: Changing smart environment interaction paradigms through affective computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 11587 LNCS, 258-270, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper describes the conceptual model and the implementation of an emotion aware system able to manage multimedia contents (i.e., music tracks) and lightning scenarios, based on the user’s emotion, detected from facial expressions. The system captures the emotions from the user’s face expressions, mapping them into a 2D valence-arousal space where the multimedia content is mapped and matches them with lighting color. A preliminary experimentation involved a total of 26 subjects has been carried out with the purpose of assess the system emotion recognition effectiveness and its ability to manage the environment appropriately. Results evidenced several limits of emotion recognition through face expressions detection and opens to several research challenges.

Keywords: Affective computing | Ambient intelligence | Emotion detection | Emotion recognition | Emotion-aware system | Face expression recognition | Smart environment

[31] Generosi A., Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., A deep learning-based system to track and analyze customer behavior in retail store, IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics - Berlin, ICCE-Berlin, 2018-September, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: The present work introduces an emotional tracking system to monitor Shopping Experience at different touchpoints in a retail store, based on the elaboration of the information extracted from biometric data and facial expressions. A preliminary test has been carried out to determine the system effectiveness in a real context regarding to emotion detection and customers' sex, age and ethnicity discrimination. To this end, information provided by the system have been compare with the results of a traditional video analysis. Results suggest that the proposed system can be effectively used to support the analysis of customer experience in a retail context.

Keywords: customer experience | emotion analysis | emotion tracking | face recognition | facial expression | shopping experience

[32] Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., An emotion recognition system for monitoring shopping experience, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 102-103, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: The present work introduces an emotional tracking system to monitor Shopping Experience at different touchpoints in a store, based on the elaboration of the information extracted from biometric data and facial expressions. Preliminary tests suggest that the proposed system can be effectively used in a retail context.

Keywords: Customer experience | Emotion analysis | Emotion tracking | Shopping experience

[33] Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., Tool to make shopping experience responsive to customer emotions, International Journal of Automation Technology, 12(3), 319-326, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: This research aims to develop a system that examines and reacts to the changing behaviors and emotions of individuals in order to improve their shopping experience. The system is able to track emotions in real time at different touchpoints in a store and control a set of networked devices to configure the sensing space and all provided services responsive to the cus-tomers’ needs. This paper describes the general approach adopted to design the overall system and illustrates in detail the module prototyped to understand the users’ emotions through the analysis of facial expressions.

Keywords: Context-aware computing | Emotion recognition | Methods for CX | Shopping experience

[34] Mengoni M., Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Leopardi A., Spatial Augmented Reality: An application for human work in smart manufacturing environment, Procedia Manufacturing, 17, 476-483, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Spatial Augmented reality (SAR) represents a key technology for the development of smart manufacturing as it is barrier free, does not require the use of Head Mounted Displays or any other wearable devices and it fits most of the industrial constraints. The paper presents a novel SAR-based system to support the manual work in future smart factories. It conveys technical instructions during assembly, provides alerts in case of risks for humans' safety and finally identifies which postures can bring to muscoloscheletric problems if repeated. Experiments with 30 participants demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed SAR-based system as compared LED monitor-based system and the overall achieved usability. The results proved that SAR technology improves the operators' performance with respect to a LED monitor-based system and that users well accept it. We found that SAR is more effective for difficult tasks than for simple ones.

Keywords: Augmented Reality | Ergonomic assessmnt | In-Situ projection | Musculoskeletal Disorders evaluation | task guidance

[35] Ceccacci S., Generosi A., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., An user-centered approach to design smart systems for people with dementia, IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics - Berlin, ICCE-Berlin, 2017-September, 273-278, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This study describes an User-Centered approach to design an User Interface (UI) to support daily activities of people with dementia. Such interface is the main hub of a home automation system able to monitor the house and reminds to the users some information when they approach the door to leave the home. In order to involve end users in UI evaluation at the end of the first stage of the design process, a specific experimental protocol, based on task analysis, structural interview, and behavioral observation, is defined. It allows to evaluate user-machine interaction considering aspects related to both adequacy of product feature and user's subjective opinion and behavior. A disposable high fidelity prototype of the UI is realized by using a touch screen tablet. Two tests, respectively dedicated to verify the adequacy of the icons and the understandability of the interface, are performed. A total of 20 subjects with different MMSE score are involved. Results show that people with low and medium dementia are able to understand and use the touch interface and provide some suggestion about how the GUI can be improved. Finally, some approaches to support the future development activities and the next usability tests are discussed.

Keywords: Assistive Technology | Dementia | Human-Computer Interaction | Usability Evaluation

[36] Ceccacci S., Mengoni M., Designing smart home interfaces: Traditional vs virtual prototyping, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Part F128530, 67-74, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a structured User Centered Design (UCD) method to design and develop a highly usable smart home platform to manage the energy consumption of connected appliances. It exploits advanced Tangible Augmented Reality (TAR) technologies to virtually prototype the conceived design solutions and carry out usability testing with sample users. Usability tests are carried out both on traditional high fidelity prototypes and on an innovative Tangible Augmented Reality prototype. Experimental results prove the efficiency of the UCD approach supported by virtual prototypes, instead of traditional ones, the reliability of TAR prototypes to detect usability problems and assess user satisfaction, and its high interaction quality. Advantages obtainable by implementing the proposed structured UCD approach for web interface design, in the context of smart home, are discussed.

Keywords: Human Centered Computing | Human Computer Interaction | User Centered Design | User Interface Design | Virtual Prototyping | Virtual Reality

[37] Matteucci M., Raponi D., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Tangible augmented reality model to support manual assembly, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 9, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Manual work is a cornerstone of manufacturing, also for factories of Industry 4.0 era. Use cases of manual work regard the production of single item, customized assemblies, small batches. Several injuries can be caused or aggravated by manual handling activities at work. Moreover, the efficiency of the whole process can benefit from correct body posture, parts' visibility and accessibility. Finally, manual work is strongly human-centered and its performance is affected by the expertise, the level of knowledge, attitudes and belief of workers. In this complex context where multiple factors such as Efficiency, Work Performance, Ergonomics and Safety relate each other to achieve a satisfactory smart industry, the paper proposes an innovative Tangible Augmented Reality platform to train and assist workers during the manual handling and assembly tasks necessary to produce consumer goods with high aesthetic qualities. The proposed platform is the result of the application of a multipath methodology to link health and safety elements, typologies of injuries, ergonomics factors and relative qualitative and quantitative assessment methods and ergonomics analysis tools. The TAR platform allows the worker to consult the assembly instructions in a simple and user friendly way and to be informed by potential risk of injuries by a real-time alert. Based on video mapping techniques, the TAR system superimposes the necessary digital contents on the physical model of the product while the operator is building it.

[38] Mengoni M., Perna A., Bevilacqua M., Giraldi L., The Role of Business Relationships in New Product Development. The Case of Antrox-Nel Design, Procedia Manufacturing, 11, 1351-1357, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper focuses on the study of a new product development process in business-to-business setting. By adopting a case study research strategy, the main findings show how the evolution of a business relationship influences the whole product development process. The research also clearly shows how business relationships initiated from pre-existing social relationships tend evolve continuously, better adapting to the external environment and regenerating more easily compared to relationships established just for economic exchange. In addition, a novel product has been conceived that integrates lighting and architectural elements and exploiting a shared model of production. The result is an enrichment of design values and an increase of both turnovers.

Keywords: B2B | business relationship | case study | flexible manufacturing | product innovation

[39] Mengoni M., Matteucci M., Raponi D., A Multipath Methodology to Link Ergonomics, Safety and Efficiency in Factories, Procedia Manufacturing, 11, 1311-1318, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Risk Management has become a taken-for-granted form of practice for manufacturing companies and in most cases a strategic for their success. The research goal is to define a multipath methodology that drives the analysts to find the proper ergonomics factors impacting on specific safety elements, how they relate to the workspace, the adopted tools, the overall production environment and to the workers’ job, how to quantitatively and qualitatively measure these factors and which VP tools and experimental set-ups could be used to conduct simulations. A case study is used to illustrate the methodology.

Keywords: ergonomics on work efficiency and injuries’ recduction | human behavior simulation | Management of risks postures | Virtual Prototyping-based tools | VP tools | work efficiency

[40] Mengoni M., Frontoni E., Giraldi L., Ceccacci S., Pierdicca R., Paolanti M., Customer experience: A design approach and supporting platform, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 506, 287-298, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: The purpose of the research is to develop an intelligent system able to support the design and management of a Customer Experience (CX) strategy based on the emotions tracked in real time at the different touchpoints in a store. The system aim is to make the shopping experience responsive to the customers’ emotional state and behaviour and to suggest successful product/service design guidelines and customer experience (CX) management strategies whose implementation may affect current and future purchases. In this particular, the present paper focuses on the description of the integrate approach developed to design the overall CX and on the emotional recognition tools to elaborate the rich-data captured by a network of optical and audio sensors distributed within the shop.

Keywords: Big Data | Collaborative CX design approach | Customer experience | Emotional recognition

[41] Ceccacci S., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., A systematic approach to support conceptual design of inclusive products, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 10277 LNCS, 43-55, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Over the last years, several approaches have been defined to support Universal Design. However, a method that allows supporting universal design process in a systematic way is still lacking. Consequently, very often, products are merely designed according to design guidelines, without considering their effective context of use, while the success of products is often determined by the experience, intuition and sensitivity of designers, rather than by a real good design practice. In this context, the paper propose a systematic approach to support the conceptual design of modular and adaptive products, where for products we mean any device, tool, artefact, building, or service.

Keywords: Ability-oriented design | Adaptive systems | Human factors | Universal design | User-centered design

[42] Peruzzini M., Mengoni M., Raponi D., How to use virtual prototyping to design product-service systems, MESA 2016 - 12th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications - Conference Proceedings, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: Numerous companies all around the world are shifting from traditional products to product-service solutions, thanks to the increased 'intelligence' and ' connectivity' of modern products and the more deep integration among mechanics, electronics, Information and Commutation Technologies (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT). Such Product-Service Systems (PSSs) are usually designed and developed by considering product and service as separated entities with the consequent increase of design and validation difficulties. In addition, a final physical prototype has to be realized to validate the overall solution. In this context, Virtual Prototyping can support PSS design to reduce process iterations and time to market. However, actual virtual prototypes are usually conceived for product validation, and are not so effective for PSS. The paper defines a set of requirements for PSS simulation on digital models, and defines a set of tools for successful PSS prototyping.

Keywords: Model-in-the-loop | Product-Service System | Virtual Prototyping | Virtual Reality

[43] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Bordegoni M., Mecella M., Toward an integrated platform to support contract furniture industry, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(5), 662-674, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper presents an integrated technological framework, which aims to make a step forward in contract furniture design methods and supporting web-enabling applications. The implementing platform enables the extensible and temporary cluster of companies to manage the entire contract furniture process. The main contribution regards the integration of different software modules into an overall system that exploits E-marketing Intelligence applications, 3D web-based tools and Augmented Reality techniques. Different user interfaces are implemented to accomplish the involved stakeholders needs and furniture development goals.

Keywords: Collaborative Product Development | E-marketing | Web-enabled design

[44] Ceccacci S., Giraldi L., Mengoni M., Product usability: Is it a criterion to measure "Good UX" or a prerequisite?, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1A-2016, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: What is User Experience (UX) and how does it relate to Usability? The understanding of the mutual relationship between UX and product usability has a strong impact on product design methodologies and on the design outcomes' success. This paper aims to investigate such relationship thanks to a set of experiments around the design of interactive products without demanding completeness of findings.

[45] Cavalieri L., Mengoni M., Germani M., A gesture-based application for aspiring orchestra conductors, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1B-2016, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: A product is chosen by users not only for the features it offers but also for the perceived experience of use. This statement widely recognized in literature highlight that key issues for the success of interactive products are the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of interaction. In the last years, gesture-based interfaces have been introduced to make the experience of interaction more emotional, intuitive and natural. For this reason, the design and development of products integrated gesture-based interfaces represent a challenging issue. In this context, a User-Centered Design (UCD) method to implement novel interaction paradigms into traditional consumer products is proposed. Its application in a real case study addresses the development and prototyping of a system exploiting gesture-based interaction to train aspiring conductors of orchestra. If a young musician wants to play a guitar, it is usually no great problem to find one, but if a musician wants to learn the ins and outs of being a conductor, the problem shifts to search for an electronic device managed by hands as used by conductors. The developed system provides three main functionalities: tempo control, velocity control and instruments activation. It represents both a use case to validate the proposed UCD method and an innovative solution in the context of aspiring conductor's training.

[46] Giraldi L., Mengoni M., Bevilacqua M., How to enhance customer experience in retail: Investigations through a case study, Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering, 4, 381-390, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: In the last years Customer Experience (CX) has become a novel approach to obtain a competitive advantage for numerous companies. The complexity of interactions among the customer, the physical environment, the company's employees, the product and/or related services requires transdisciplinary methods and tools from marketing, engineering, human resources and culture, technology, organization, management and phycology. The present papers aims to provide an overview of what Customer Experience is, how it can be used to design the meaningful touchpoints between the customer and the company and propose a CX-oriented strategy to design them in stores. Some interesting insights are discussed thanks to experiments performed in a real test case.

Keywords: Customer experience | Journey Mapping | Retail channels | Touchpoints

[47] Mengoni M., Mandolini M., Matteucci M., Germani M., A Scalable "design for Costing" Platform: A Practical Case in Ball Valves Industry, Procedia CIRP, 50, 311-317, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: Market competitiveness forces companies to explore novel methods and tools to make the overall product development (PD) agile and flexible and to reduce time to market. Accurate and fast cost estimation during design represents one of the most promising strategic actions to achieve these goals. In this context, a knowledge-based system that analyses the 3D CAD model of the product and automatically determines the manufacturing operations is developed. It consists of a scalable platform implementing "Design for Costing" paradigm. It is actually able to recognize geometric and non-geometric features from the 3D model and its attributes and calculate the final cost as the sum of raw materials, production cycles and setting operations thanks to the application of a set of knowledge-based rules mapping manufacturing processes and modeling features. While previous research works deepened the main technological issues of system development, this paper presents a practical case in ball valves industry to illustrate a structured methodology based on systematic engineering approach to apply the platform at the different stages of the product lifecycle and to verify the reliability of the implemented rules and the efficiency of the achieved process. The obtained results are compared to the traditional PD process to calculate product costs in order to highlight the main benefits.

Keywords: Cost Estimation | Design for Costing | Knowedge-based Rules | Modularity

[48] Clini P., Frapiccini N., Mengoni M., Nespeca R., Ruggeri L., SFM technique and focus stacking for digital documentation of archaeological artifacts, International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives, 41, 229-236, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: Digital documentation and high-quality 3D representation are always more requested in many disciplines and areas due to the large amount of technologies and data available for fast, detailed and quick documentation. This work aims to investigate the area of medium and small sized artefacts and presents a fast and low cost acquisition system that guarantees the creation of 3D models with an high level of detail, making the digitalization of cultural heritage a simply and fast procedure. The 3D models of the artefacts are created with the photogrammetric technique Structure From Motion that makes it possible to obtain, in addition to three-dimensional models, high-definition images for a deepened study and understanding of the artefacts. For the survey of small objects (only few centimetres) it is used a macro lens and the focus stacking, a photographic technique that consists in capturing a stack of images at different focus planes for each camera pose so that is possible to obtain a final image with a higher depth of field. The acquisition with focus stacking technique has been finally validated with an acquisition with laser triangulation scanner Minolta that demonstrates the validity compatible with the allowable error in relation to the expected precision.

Keywords: Cultural heritage | Focus stacking | Photogrammetry | Small artefacts | Structure from motion

[49] Cavalieri L., Mengoni M., Ceccacci S., Germani M., A methodology to introduce gesture-based interaction into existing consumer product, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9732, 25-36, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The continuous progress of interaction technologies reveals that we are witnessing a revolution that is leading to a redefinition of the concept of “user interface” and to the development of new ways to interact with the electronic devices of all sizes and capabilities. Current trends in research related to the Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) show a considerable interest toward gesture, motion-based and full-body based interactions. In this context, a User-Centered Design (UCD) methodology to implement these novel interaction paradigms into consumer products is proposed with the aim to improve its usability, intuitiveness and experience. A case study is used to validate the methodology and measure the achieved improvements in user performance.

Keywords: Design methods | Gesture interaction | User interfaces | User-Centered design

[50] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., How to support the design of user-oriented product-related services, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9749, 103-110, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: A Product-Service System (PSS) is an innovation strategy, shifting the business focus from designing physical products only, to designing a system that combines tangible products, intangible services, supporting network and infrastructure, which are jointly capable of fulfilling specific customer needs. Due to the widespread of this paradigm, the present research provides a methodological framework and related tools to support the design of PSSs. The aim is to propose a user-centered approach to involve end-users during the different stages of PSS development.

Keywords: Hardware-in-the-Loop | Product-Service System | User-Centered Design | Virtual reality

[51] Germani M., Mandolini M., Marconi M., Mengarelli M., Mengoni M., Rossi M., An approach to foster eco-design in 'traditional' companies without eco-knowledge, International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 18(2-3), 150-167, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The adoption of an eco-design approach is a key challenge for the total quality environmental management (TQEM). Recently, several eco-design methodologies have been presented, but none can be easily integrated in the traditional design process of manufacturing companies. The research presented in this paper aims to define a methodology, called G.EN.ESI, to help designers (especially those ones without a specific know-how on eco-design), during the development of sustainable products. In order to aid designers in the assessment of the environmental and cost impacts of a product, also a set of software tools have been defined. Using such a platform, the designer is supported by a robust workbench to perform all the analyses required to evaluate the product eco-sustainability for each phase of the product lifecycle. This software platform is essential for companies which want to implement the G.EN.ESI methodology without upsetting their own consolidated modus operandi and the internal organisation.

Keywords: Eco-design | Eco-design methodology | Environmental assessment tools | Environmental strategy | Integrated platform | Supply chain management | Sustainable design | Total quality environmental management | TQEM

[52] Mengoni M., Raponi D., Raffaeli R., A web-enabled configuration system for interiordesign, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 12(6), 753-764, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Web-enabling technologies represent the next generation of design environments to design and manufacture complex systems, such as them characterizing contract furniture. In the context of web applications to facilitate and support teamwork in collaborative product development, the paper presents a CAD-based infrastructure for the 3D visualization of co-designed solutions, the on-line customization of furniture items and the creation of a shared relational database of products, architectural scenes and knowledge-based rules guiding configuration. A double-level geometry is presented to manage 3D web representation and product structure. A use case is adopted to show main platform functionalities and possible advantages for the extensible contract furniture cluster.

Keywords: CAD | Collaborative product development | Web-enabling technologies | WebGL

[53] Mengoni M., Bevilacqua R., Peruzzini M., Applying a combined user-centred design approach to assistive shopping trolley development in design education, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 11(DS 80-11), 351-365, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: In the field of Ambient Assisted Living, the present research proposes a combined User-Centred Design approach that exploits the strengths of systematic and participatory design methodologies with the final aim to design an assistive device to solve mobility problems of elderly people in crowded environments. The application of the approach allows research to investigate which information gathering technique is more effective for this context of use and to find out competitive AAL solutions for specific target users. The experimentation is carried out by students attending an industrial design course. An experimental protocol is arranged to compare the outcomes from the different stages of the approach application. The scientific contribution of the present work regards both the presented results, that confirm how much effective is ethnography in respect to role-playing and traditional desk research in case of products oriented to special target users, and the educational experiences in the field of AAL.

Keywords: Ambient assisted living | Design education | Evaluation | Requirement gathering | User centred design

[54] Mengoni M., Cavalieri L., Peruzzini M., Raponi D., An interactive virtual user interface for integrating blind persons in home environments, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1B-2015, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Accessibility to graphical user interfaces by visually impaired persons is generally enabled through systems, which reproduce the lexical structure of the user interface to a nonvisual form, mainly employing 3D audio output techniques. Two main critical issues have been identified: (i) most interfaces address the needs and abilities of sighted users and consequently the reproduction is only a translation from one language to another; (ii) blind users are generally not involved in the development stage due to the cost of prototyping. The present work proposes an interactive user interface to control a multi-sensory shower accessible by both sighted and blind users and able to adapt its control knob to reproduce Braille texts. Such function is realized by the integration of an electrotactile feedback device and adopts soft touch finishing to better stimulate touch sensations. Haptic technologies have been exploited to create a virtual high-fidelity prototype to assess individual end-users' response during the user interface design process. The paper illustrates the designed interface to assist blind users in home environments and the adopted virtual prototyping technique to address the above-mentioned issues.

[55] Mengoni M., Iualè M., Peruzzini M., Germani M., An adaptable AR user interface to face the challenge of ageing workers in manufacturing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9194, 311-323, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: In the last years introducing measures to face age discrimination and increasing work safety in production environments have become crucial goals. The present research proposes an innovative user interface exploiting Augmented Reality techniques to support frail people, mainly elderly, in everyday work on complex automated machines. It adapts its functionalities according to the user skill, tasks, age, and cognitive and physical abilities thanks to a set of knowledge-based configuration rules. A case study is described to illustrate the methodology to manage the complexity of configuration rules and the resulting developed platform.

Keywords: Accessibility | Adaptation | Augmented reality | Human-computer interaction | User-centred design

[56] Mengoni M., Cavalieri L., Raponi D., A haptic knob as an innovative user interface for visually-impaired, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9176, 127-138, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The present work describes an early research activity on a haptic user interface to assist visually impaired in using a multi-experience shower that saves energy and water and informs the user about current consumptions. The user interface aims to joint visual, tactile and kinesthetic feedbacks to improve digital contents accessibility. The knob is applied both to interact with the graphic interface by able-bodied persons and to emboss Braille text to drive the blind in navigating the menu items. The developed prototype is then illustrated.

Keywords: Assisted living | Haptic feedback | Inclusive design | Interaction design

[57] Cavalieri L., Mengoni M., Germani M., Study and implementation of a multimodal system to support virtual prototyping, MESA 2014 - 10th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, Conference Proceedings, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Multimodal sensory stimulation is one of the most important challenges in human-computer interaction. When we want to play a virtual system it is important that the reproduced signals to stimulate the different sensory channels are synchronized with each other. This paper presents the study and implementation of a multimodal stimulation system. The proposed system is a step forwards a previous developed tactile platform (called Ipertouch 1.0). Main novelties regard the introduction of audio and visual feedbacks and signals synchronization. For acoustic stimulation, an auralization algorithm is applied on records of rubbing finger on a given class of material. For visual stimulation, a 3D rendering software is developed. Tests are performed to evaluate the degree of synchronism among the three different sensory channels.

Keywords: acoustic and visual feedback | haptic | multimodal system | synchronism

[58] Mengoni M., Ceccacci S., Raponi D., An inclusive approach for home environment design, MESA 2014 - 10th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, Conference Proceedings, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Quality of life of various types of people can strongly benefit of a design process developed to take into account needs and requirements of end users. In this context the paper present a study on the cognitive and physical abilities of elderly persons, to design a friendly kitchen, that is considered one of the most complex home environment for the provided functionalities and involved human capabilities. A robust inclusive design approach is conceived to make simple and intuitive the interaction between humans and the systems installed in the kitchen environment. An investigation of virtual prototyping techniques is proposed to find the best Virtual Reality system to create a living lab to involve elderly in user-based assessment.

Keywords: home environment | mixed reality | user-centred-design | virtual prototyping

[59] Favi C., Germani M., Marconi M., Mengoni M., An integrated approach and it platform to optimise electric motor engineering and design, International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 13(2-3), 134-153, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Electric motors are one of the most common electrical components. The design phase is the most important stage in which 'green' customised solutions can be ideated, evaluated and optimised. Different aspects have to be concurrently addressed to achieve a high quality product in a short time to market. The present paper describes an innovative approach and software platform to configure and simulate customised electric motors. A key feature of the platform is a knowledge-based system that aims to standardise the design process. The platform integrates different software tools to support the development and verification of several design aspects, such as energy efficiency, manufacturing costs and environmental impacts. It also provides a collaborative area to support collaboration along the whole supply chain. Different case studies are presented to show the effectiveness of the platform application in supporting designers in the creation of innovative products. © 2014 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: Collaborative design | Cost estimation | Eco-design | Electric motors | Energy efficiency | Integrated approach | IT platform | Knowledge-based system | LCA | Life cycle assessment | Optimisation

[60] Cavalieri L., Germani M., Mengoni M., Multi-modal interaction system to tactile perception, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 8525 LNCS(PART 1), 25-34, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Haptic simulation of materials is one of the most important challenges in human-computer interaction. A fundamental step to achieve it regards the definition of how human beings can encode the information acquired by different sensorial channels' stimulation. In this context, this paper presents the study, implementation and evaluation of a multi-modal cutaneous feedback device (CFD) for the simulation of material textures. In addition to tactile stimulation, two further sensory components (e.g. eyesight and hearing) are integrated to support the user to better recognize and discriminate different classes of materials and then, overcome previous identified drawbacks. An experimental protocol is tuned to assess the relevance of each stimulated channel in material texture recognition. Tests are carried out with real and virtual materials. Result comparison is used to validate the proposed approach and verify the realism of simulation. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.

Keywords: Elettrocutaneous feedback | haptic | multi-modal stimulation

[61] Papetti A., Iualé M., Ceccacci S., Bevilacqua R., Germani M., Mengoni M., Smart objects: An evaluation of the present state based on user needs, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 8530 LNCS, 359-368, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: In the last years, some attempts have been made to explore the use of smart objects, with the purpose of monitoring well-being and supporting people's independent living. However an inventory of characteristics of smart products currently available on the market is still lacking. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of such products in order to: (1) understand if their features really match users' needs, answering to the definition of assistive technology and, consequently, (2) understand if an environment embedded with SOs can be considered as assistive too, taking into consideration the attributes given by the definition of the SOs, of being embedded in familiar objects and immerse in the users' surround. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Keywords: Home Environment | Inclusive Design | Internet of Things | Universal Design

[62] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Raffaeli R., Raponi D., A Web-based Platform to Support Contract Furniture Design, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 11(5), 533-543, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Contract furniture design is the process of creating finished commodities for hospitality, retail, store, office, restaurants, etc. According to the process stage, numerous stakeholders with different skills, abilities, background and interests are involved in the development of products and services. The management of these temporary networks is complex and requires proper computer-supported cooperative work platforms able to achieve coherent design solutions. The paper explores contract furniture design challenges and requirements to define a technological platform to support companies in market analysis and penetration, product configuration and team working. System architecture and its main software modules are described in detail and preliminary implementation results shown. © 2014 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: collaborative product development | virtual engineering | web enabled design

[63] Malatesta M., Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., Supporting the modification process of products through a change management tool, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 1 DS75-01, 21-30, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Updating products requires design activities, virtual and physical prototyping of new solutions, test and validation steps. If problems are detected at any of these stages, they cause iterations, waste of time and resources. A change propagation method is initially described as a way to facilitate the introduction of product changes. The approach relies on a multilevel product representation, the modelling of the component dependencies, algorithms to compute the propagation of some desired changes. Outputs are represented by the list of the affected components and indices indicating the impact on the product requirements. The method has been applied in the whole redesign process of a standard product like the fridge. Modifications must be usually released under time constraints. In this context, the outputs of the proposed method are an useful support to reduce iterations and resources waste. The experimentation has been based on case studies assigned to two groups of designers working with and without the tool. It has resulted that designers become more aware of the implications of the engineering changes, they are allowed of better decisions and the whole process becomes shorter.

Keywords: Change management | Design methods

[64] Rossi M., Germani M., Mandolini M., Marconi M., Mengoni M., Morbidoni A., Eco-design guidelines and eco-knowledge integration in product development process, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 5 DS75-05, 161-170, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: The product eco-sustainability is recognized as a key factor for competitive products and recently lots of international directives (guidelines) have been issued. This paper aims to define a new methodology integrated in the product development process that, through the application of the most common eco-design guidelines and design past experiences, supports designers in the development of eco-sustainable products. Eco-design guidelines retrieved from the literature are subdivided according to a well-organized structure in "high level of abstraction" and "high level of detail" ones. In addition, Eco-knowledge is defined as all the choices and their related environmental performances, designers made during the design process of a product. The implementation of the proposed methodology in the product development process of an Italian cooker hood producer, allows to analyze the benefits achievable in terms of product eco-sustainability improvement. This analysis highlights that the proposed approach supports the implementation of eco-design principles, also in those companies without a specific background in eco-design.

Keywords: CBR | Decision making | Eco design | Eco-design guidelines | Sustainability

[65] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Raffaeli R., Supporting teamwork in contract furniture design, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 7 DS75-07, 69-78, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Contract furniture design is oriented to develop customized products for the creation of a finished commodity for hospitality, offices, retails, restaurants, stores. It is assuming a growing importance all over the Europe and represents a preferred channel for promoting Made in Italy offer. Numerous competences with different skill, abilities and background are necessary to fulfill market requirements. Stakeholders are arranged into complex inter and intra temporary networks where sometimes-conflicting interests and purposes need to converge into a single and integrated design solution. Contract furniture combines product design with interior and architectural design requests to provide coherent furniture by assembling custom high-quality items from different firms. As a consequence, the design process is complex and collaboration is imperative to achieve the expected goals. This paper explores contract furniture design and defines a technological platform to support team working. The proposed methodology is applied to an industrial case study in the hospitality and retail sectors. Method application brings to define the system platform architecture and its main software modules. © 2013 The Design Society.

Keywords: Collaborative and participatory design | Design process modeling and management | Teamwork in design

[66] Germani M., Mandolini M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Platform to support dynamic collaborative design processes in virtual enterprises, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 26(11), 1003-1020, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Collaborative product design favours the identification of innovative solutions as well as enriching the experience of those who participate. Nevertheless, the design and supply chain integration in product development processes is not a trivial task. The main difficulties are related to the different levels of individual expertise amongst team members and to the different organisation of the companies involved. The complex scenario of the extended enterprise triggers research toward the development of efficient methods and tools to support the design teamwork. The present article illustrates an innovative co-design platform which implements an approach to support dynamic collaborative design processes. Starting from the definition of a new design process model integrating different collaborative dimensions, the proposed approach is based on the formalisation of the distributed knowledge in terms of interaction rules and representational models. In particular, the process variability is managed through a new dynamic workflow system able to handle unpredictable events occurring when multiple partners collaborate. Case Based Reasoning algorithms (CBR) are used to manage unexpected events. They support the identification of existing rules in order to reconfigure the workflow. Experimentation is carried out in order to identify the main advantages of the system and also critical issues. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords: collaborative processes | concurrent engineering | dynamic environments | virtual enterprises

[67] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Electro-tactile device for material texture simulation, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 68(9-12), 2185-2203, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper deals with the simulation of material texture by means of electro-tactile stimuli, which directly derive from real material properties. The research presents a novel tactile display by its hardware and software system architecture and the elaboration procedure to generate the stimulating signals, and validates the adopted simulation strategy by experimental testing. The tactile system elaborates data from scans of real material samples and generates electrical stimuli to reproduce roughness and texture coarseness sensations. It also adds a coherent sound feedback to improve the realism of the simulation. The research defines also an experimental protocol based on the theory of Psychophysics to carry out system calibration and tests with users. The scope is to validate the proposed tactile system as a new tool for material simulation, which can be adopted for material virtual prototyping in several fields (product design, textile and clothing, gaming and entertainment, virtual museum, rehabilitation, etc.). Experimentations have been carried out to measure the users' response to our different material classes (wood, paper, rubber and textile fabric). Experimental results concern how good the adopted simulation approach is and the analysis of the human tactile perception simulated by the system. Main findings relate to the system performance and the users' response in terms of signal recognition and material class discrimination. © 2013 Springer-Verlag London.

Keywords: Haptics | Material simulation | Material texture | Tactile system

[68] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., Mandorli F., Off-line view planning for the inspection of mechanical parts, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 7(1), 1-12, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: 3D optical scanning systems are used more and more for quality control purposes. The effective utilization of such systems needs an efficient virtual planning of the product acquisition viewpoints. Literature shows how 3D CAD product models can be used as reference in order to manage the verification process and as a basis for the computation of the optimal viewpoints. However, in the mechanical field, a variety of inspection tasks is experienced by engineers involved in the quality control process: GD&T verification, production phases control such as sheet metal cutting, evaluation of aesthetic appearance of parts, global shape deformation measurement and specific point deviations assessment. This leads to the necessity of flexible view planning approaches which adapt to the specificity of the required inspection task. The present work targets the development of a comprehensive view planning approach in which several algorithmic options are triggered by the product features to be inspected. Algorithms have been implemented in a prototypal software system which has been experimented as an off-line application to provide inputs to a multi-axis degree of freedom robot arm mounting an optical 3D scanner. Two test cases from die casting and automotive fields are presented. They show the computation of acquisition poses in a suitable sequence and efficiency in the obtained results. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords: 3D scanning | GD&T | Inspection | Quality control | View planning

[69] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., Improving the link between computer-assisted design and configuration tools for the design of mechanical products, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing: AIEDAM, 27(1), 51-64, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: The competitive market forces companies to offer tailored products to meet specific customer needs. To avoid wasting time, design efforts generally address the configuration of existing solutions, without producing substantial design modifications. Configuration tools are used to achieve customized products starting from a common platform. Many approaches have been successfully proposed in literature to configure products. However, in the mechanical field they need further investigation in order to be efficiently linked to computer-aided design technologies. Research is focused on tools and methods to automatically produce geometrical models and improve the flexibility of the continuous product updating process. In this context, this paper aims to combine product configuration approaches with design automation techniques in order to support design activities of products to fulfill specific requirements. The approach is based on entities called configurable virtual prototypes. Three different domains are managed and connected via configurable virtual prototypes: product specifications, geometrical data, and product knowledge. In particular, geometry recognition rules are used to identify the parameterization of parts and the assembly mating constraints. The approach is exemplified through an industrial case study where a tool has been developed on the basis of the described method. Advantages of the system are shown in terms of achieved product configuration efficiency. Copyright © 2013.Cambridge University Press.

Keywords: Geometrical Knowledge | Keywords Design Automation | Modularity | Product Configuration

[70] Germani M., Mandolini M., Marconi M., Mengarelli M., Mengoni M., Rossi M., Promoting eco-design: A software platform for sustainable product design, Proceedings of the Summer School Francesco Turco, 11-13-September-2013, 303-308, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose During past years several eco-design methodologies have been previously defined but none can be easily integrated in the traditional design process of manufacturing companies. This paper wants to overcome this lack and aims to define a methodology, called G.EN.ESI, to help also those designers without a specific know-how on eco-design, during the development of sustainable products. Design/methodology/approach The proposed methodology is composed by six main steps defined to link the eco-design activities with the traditional design activities, to the aim of defining a TO-BE design process. Also new tools have been defined in order to help designers in the assessment of the environmental and cost impacts of a product. These tools have been integrated in an univocal software package, called G.EN.ESI platform. The platform is composed by four tools for the definition of the life cycle model of the product (one for each product life cycle phase), two tools for the assessment of the environmental and cost impacts and a tool to guide the decision-making process. Furthermore, a web module to retrieve the necessary data from the supply chain subjects has been defined. Finally, the link with the CAD and PLM systems is proposed to increase the usability of the platform. Originality/value Using such a platform, the designer is supported by a robust workbench to perform all the analyses required to evaluate the product eco-sustainability for each phase of the product lifecycle. Hence, this software package is essential for companies to implement all the methodology steps without the need to heavily alter the consolidated modus operandi and the internal organization.

Keywords: Eco-design methodology | G.EN.ESI platform | Sustainable design

[71] Gentile M., Lualè M., Mengoni M., Germani M., Design of a system for upper-limb rehabilitation based on an electromechanical orthosis and semg wireless sensors, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 4, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Nowadays, upper-limb injury or impairment represent a widespread problem, related to sport accidents or traumas, surgery operations, stroke and so on. The typical approach to the rehabilitation is one or more physiotherapy sessions, to restore muscular mass and strength. Despite this, over the years, several works proposed innovative solutions, including electromechanical orthoses, which work in relation to the muscular activity, measured by techniques such as superficial electromyography (sEMG). Yet, these systems are still far from commercialization because of their cost, complexity and difficulties in using. A currently unmet need regards the ability of the therapist to control and manage data through a remote interface, by exploiting some of the latest technological resources on the market (smartphones, tablets). The present works aims at designing an upper-limb rehabilitation system, based on an orthosis, sEMG wireless sensors and a dedicated software architecture to overcome these limitations. This will lead to an important change of perspective in physiotherapy procedures since data collection and correlation will produce innovative medical protocols, addressed to people affected by several types of injury or impairment. Copyright © 2013 by ASME.

Keywords: Orthoses | SEMG sensors | Upper-limb rehabilitation

[72] Bernabéu J.A., Germani M., Mandolini M., Mengoni M., Nester C., Preece S., Raffaeli R., CAD tools for designing shoe lasts for people with diabetes, CAD Computer Aided Design, 45(6), 977-990, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: In the context of a research program aiming at defining a framework to acquire patient data and support the whole shoe design and manufacturing process, this paper presents new CAD tools to design and validate lasts for shoes designed specifically for people with diabetes. Shoe last customising systems have already been proposed in the literature. However, tools for designing shoes for people with diabetes do not currently have the capacity to modify the last in order to reduce the risk of foot ulceration, whilst at the same time preserving the style of the shoe. The main contributions of the work are given by a method to identify the required design features to guarantee the footwear preventive function, the determination of a systematic protocol for orienting and measuring the virtual models of the feet and the lasts, and the definition of geometrical operators to modify the last shape according to its original aesthetic and the required footwear parameters. Such variables are computed by a knowledge based system on the basis of the patient's pathology. The paper presents the implementation of two CAD tools and describes the procedures and the geometrical algorithms to handle the last geometry. Finally a case study is reported to show the advantages provided by the proposed approach in terms of achieved quality of the design process and expected footwear performance. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Diabetic foot | Foot-last fitting | Last design | Last measurement

[73] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., Context dependent automatic view planning: The inspection of mechanical components, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(1), 111-127, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Literature shows how 3D CAD product models can be used as reference in order to manage the verification process by 3D optical scanning systems and the computation of the optimal viewpoints. However, in the mechanical field, a variety of inspection tasks is experienced by engineers involved in the quality control process: GD&T verification, production phases control such as sheet metal cutting, evaluation of aesthetic appearance of parts, global shape deformation measurement and specific point deviations assessment. This leads to the necessity of flexible view planning approaches which adapt to the specificity of the required inspection task. The present work targets the development of a comprehensive view planning approach in which several algorithmic options are triggered by the product features to be inspected. Algorithms have been implemented in a prototypal software system which has been experimented as an off-line application to provide inputs to a multiaxis Degree of Freedom (DoF) robot arm mounting an optical 3D scanner. Two test cases from die casting and automotive fields are presented. They show the computation of acquisition poses in a suitable sequence and efficiency in the obtained results. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: 3D scanning | GD&T | Inspection | Quality control | View planning

[74] Favi C., Germani M., Mengoni M., Correlation law between functions and environmental impact for smart products, ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis, ESDA 2012, 3, 813-822, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Smart products are becoming more present in everyday life. They are prevalent in different markets such as electronic devices, cars and household appliances. One important dimension of product smartness is "multi- functionality". When choosing a product, the consumer takes into account subjective and objective purchase drivers. Price, brand, aesthetics, environmental impact and functionalities represent an important set of these. In this context the work are interested in correlating two drivers: functions and eco-sustainability. Generally, this last characteristic should be maximized taking into consideration a correct balance with product functionalities. The aim of this work is to investigate this correlation. It can be measured by a suitable correspondence in order to determine a quantitative law. This relationship can be useful to the designers to determine the product features during the product design phase, but it can be also used by consumers to compare similar products. This paper reports the problem domain, approach for correlation law definition and, finally, the experimental analysis of product functions vs. environmental sustainability. Two case studies in the household appliances sector will exemplify the proposed analysis. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

Keywords: Environmental impact | Functions | Product design | Product evaluation

[75] Germani M., Bernabeu J.A., Mandolini M., Mengoni M., Raffaeli R., A knowledge-based design process for diabetic shoe lasts, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, DS 70, 889-900, (2012).
[76] Ceccacci S., Germani M., Mengoni M., User centred approach for home environment designing, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Highly usable human-system interfaces can have a large benefit on the quality of life for the elderly and disabled. New emerging product design technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), give many opportunities to evaluate and improve system usability in the early design stages. In this way different design alternatives can be evaluated in terms of physical and cognitive performance. In this context the present paper describes a systematic approach for designing highly usable home environments and optimizing human-machine interaction. VR/AR technologies are adopted for user interface evaluation. The approach will be applied to the design of a new kitchen.

Keywords: Augmented Reality | Home environment usability | Inclusive design | User interfaces | Virtual Reality

[77] Favi C., Germani M., Marconi M., Mengoni M., Innovative software platform for eco-design of efficient electric motors, Journal of Cleaner Production, 37, 125-134, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Electric motors are one of the most common electrical components used both in industrial and household applications. In order to reduce world energy consumption and environmental impact, electric motors need to be improved in terms of efficiency and eco-sustainability. For this reason it is necessary to improve environmental consciousness, favouring the application of eco-design guidelines in the design phase, which is the most important stage where "green" solutions can be rapidly ideated, evaluated and optimized. Different aspects have to be concurrently considered in order to achieve a high quality product in a short time to market. In this context, the present paper describes an innovative web-based software platform to configure and simulate customized energy efficient electric motors. The core of the platform is a knowledge-based system which aims to standardize the design process according to the rules which represent the company know-how and best practices. The platform integrates different software tools to support the development from conceptual design to detailed design, and from the configuration of design solutions up to environmental impact assessment and manufacturing cost evaluation. It also provides a collaborative area in order to improve the collaboration among remote users involved in the design process, thanks to the sharing of important design data and models. The presented practical case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the platform application. The achieved results demonstrate the improvement of the configured solutions in comparison with the traditional adopted motors. The new motors exhibit both a considerable increase in energy efficiency and at the same time relevant improvement in product sustainability combined with acceptable production costs. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Collaborative design | Eco-design | Electric motors | Energy efficiency | Knowledge-based system

[78] Peruzzini M., Germani M., Mengoni M., Electro-tactile device for texture simulation, Proceedings of 2012 8th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, MESA 2012, 178-183, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: The research goal is material texture simulation by means of electro-tactile stimuli. This paper presents a novel tactile display, the procedure adopted to generate the stimulating signals, and the experimental testing. The tactile system elaborates data from scans of real material samples and generates electrical stimuli to reproduce roughness and texture coarseness sensations. It also adds a coherent sound feedback to improve the realism of the simulation. The research defines an experimental protocol to carry out system calibration and tests with users in order to validate the proposed tactile system as a new tool for material simulation. Experimentations have been carried out to measure the users' response to different material classes (wood, paper, rubber, textile fabric). Experimental results concern how good the adopted simulation approach is and the tactile stimuli simulated by the system are. Main findings relate to the system performance and the users' response in terms of signal recognition and material class discrimination. © 2012 IEEE.

Keywords: Advanced tactile display | Material simulation | Multimodal and multisensory interaction | Perception & Psychophysics

[79] Gentile M., Mengoni M., Babini M., Germani M., Design of a force feedback haptic device based on an anthropomorphic arm, Proceedings of 2012 8th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, MESA 2012, 172-177, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Nowadays, Virtual Reality technologies have spread in numerous industrial and research contexts for their ability to provide the perception of virtual spaces and objects by an appropriate combination of sensory channels stimuli. Haptic feedback enhances the user's perceptual immersion during the interaction with virtual prototypes. Commercial haptic force feedback devices are affected by some functional limitations, such as the size of workspace and the type of contact they can provide. The present work aims at developing an innovative device starting from the customization of an anthropomorphic arm. This allows to increase the workspace, to provide a surface contact and to improve the whole ergonomics of the system. The system multi-layer architecture is designed to have a lower level of robot control and a higher level of highly usable graphic user interface, which displays both the virtual prototype and the manipulating virtual probe. © 2012 IEEE.

Keywords: Anthropomorphic arm | FFD | Virtual Prototyping

[80] Mengoni M., Germani M., Colaiocco B., Morichetti P., A tactile display for texture perception in virtual environments, Innovative Developments in Virtual and Physical Prototyping - Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Advanced Research and Rapid Prototyping, 653-660, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper presents a novel tactile display to simulate material properties such as roughness and texturewhile exploringVirtual Prototypes surfaces inVirtual Reality environments.The final aim of the system is to immerse users into an involving and enhanced product experience stimulating emotional and affective reaction. The developed display adopts a selective stimulation technique to differently activate skin mechanoreceptors and hence to generate surface texture sensations. The stimulation is realized by both an electric component made of a pin matrix through which the current flows and by a mechanical one obtained by a shaker keeping the tactile pad vibrating. Main development stages are described and experimental results discussed. They show that almost 65% of users are able to discriminate different signals. When acoustic cues are added, this percentage increases. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

[81] Ceccacci S., Germani M., Mengoni M., How to use virtual and augmented reality techniques to design highly usable human-machine interfaces, Designing Inclusive Systems: Designing Inclusion for Real-World Applications, 65-74, (2012).
[82] Peruzzini M., Mengoni M., Germani M., Virtual tactile simulation: A novel display and the effects on users' texture perception, ASME/ISCIE 2012 International Symposium on Flexible Automation, ISFA 2012, 671-678, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a novel study on the simulation of material texture by means of electro-tactile stimuli and details the effects on the users' ability to recognize and discriminate different material classes. The research exploits a novel tactile display to simulate material texture and validates the adopted simulation strategy by experimental testing. The tactile system elaborates data from real material samples and combines electrical stimuli and mechanical vibration to reproduce both roughness and texture coarseness sensations. Then, an experimental protocol based on the theory of Psychophysics is defined to carry out system calibration and tests with users. The research aims at validating the proposed simulation strategy and checking the user response on virtual tactile stimuli. Experimentations were carried out to reproduce virtual material texture and measure the users' ability to distinguish different virtual materials and to recognize the material class. Experimental results provide interesting details about tactile perception mechanisms and validate the adopted approach for tactile signals' recognition and material class discrimination. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

[83] Germani M., Mandolini M., Mengoni M., Nester C., Raffaeli R., Tools for design and validation of shoe lasts for diabetic patients, Footwear Science, 4(3), 221-241, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Background: It is common practice to prescribe customised footwear to people with diabetes to reduce the risk of foot ulceration. Although shoe customising systems have been proposed, effective tools for designing shoe lasts for diabetic patients are lacking. The shape of the lasts must meet certain biomechanical objectives, while maintaining the style of the shoe.Method: The main contributions of this work are as follows: the creation of an artificial-neural-network-based framework to correlate foot measurements and medical data to required footwear features; the definition of repeatable geometrical procedures to measure foot and last scans; and the definition of geometrical operators to modify the last shape according to its original aesthetic and specific footwear parameters. These parameters are computed by a knowledge-based system on the basis of the patient's pathology and best practices of experienced technicians.Results: Dedicated software systems integrated in a common platform are implemented to support the last design process. Test case studies and a survey show the advantages provided by the proposed approach in terms of achieved quality and shoe developing time (72% time savings).Conclusions: A design framework with dedicated tools is proposed for the customisation of shoe lasts for diabetic patients. Further research should be focused on tools to design the insole, outsole and other shoe components. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords: diabetic foot | foot-last fitting | last design | last measurement

[84] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., An approach to assessing virtual environments for synchronous and remote collaborative design, Advanced Engineering Informatics, 26(4), 793-813, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper considers applying novel Virtual Environments (VEs) in collaborative product design, focusing on reviewing activities. Companies are usually anchored to commercial ICT tools, which are mature and reliable. However, two main problems emerge: the difficulty in selecting the most suitable tools for specific purposes and the complexity in evaluating the impact that using technology has on design collaboration. The present work aims to face both aspects by proposing a structured benchmarking method based on expert judgements and defining a set of benchmarking weights based on experimental tests. The method considers both human-human interaction and teamwork-related aspects. A subsequent evaluation protocol considering both process efficiency and human-human interaction allows a closed-loop verification process. Pilot projects evaluate different technologies, and the benchmarking weights are verified and adjusted for more reliable system assessment. This paper focuses on synchronous and remote design review activities: three different tools have been compared according to expert judgements. The two best performing tools have been implemented as pilot projects within real industrial chains. Design collaboration has been assessed by considering both process performance and human-human interaction quality, as well as benchmarking results validated by indicating some corrective actions. The final benchmarking weights can thus be further adopted for an agile system benchmark in synchronous and remote design. The main findings suggest defining both an innovative process to verify the expert benchmark reliability and a trusty benchmarking method to evaluate tools for synchronous and remote design without experimental testing. Furthermore, the proposed method has a general validity and can be properly set for different collaborative dimensions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Benchmarking method | Collaborative design | Design review | Metrics | Virtual environments

[85] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., A QFD-based method to support SMEs in benchmarking co-design tools, Computers in Industry, 63(1), 12-29, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Efficient collaborative product design is crucial for extended enterprises willing to develop complex products pursuing a short time to market. However, successful collaborative product design depends on the ability to effectively manage and share engineering knowledge and data throughout the entire product development process. Co-design software platforms aim to facilitate cooperation in distributed teams. In the context of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the advanced co-design software implementation to support the supply chain is not a trivial task. SMEs have peculiar characteristics such as flexibility, ICT skills and financial resources, which are difficult to be integrated within a structured design network. This paper presents a method to define and evaluate a co-design platform dedicated to SMEs in the mechanical product field. System architecture is defined by applying suitable metrics based on collaborative process characteristics in order to assess functionality performance of the available tools. Benchmarking is based on different levels of collaboration recognized in the typical product development process in SMEs. Correlation between process metrics, software functionalities and specific collaboration requirements is managed by adopting Quality Function Deployment (QFD) techniques. A practical case study allows the robustness of the proposed method to be verified and the main advantages and future developments to be discussed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Collaborative product design | Metrics | Quality Function Deployment | Small and Medium Enterprises

[86] Mengoni M., Morichetti P., Peruzzini M., Germani M., A tactile simulation approach to enhance virtual prototypes interaction, ASME 2011 World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality, WINVR 2011, 57-66, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Materials simulation in virtual prototyping is one of the most challenging issues as not completely fulfilled by current devices. It allows Virtual Reality-based interfaces to provide multisensory interaction and to enhance product experience by mainly stimulating user emotional response. In this context the paper presents a new tactile simulation approach based on material surface properties elaboration and processing to stimulate roughness and texture coarseness perception. The developed approach leads to the development of a tactile display and a software tool to manage the configuration of selective stimulating signals. The main problem the research aims at overcoming, regards with the nature of signals adopted by most electrotactile displays and the way to stimulate skin mechanoreceptors. The paper focuses on the description of the adopted approach and of the implemented software tool in order to control the tactile display. Copyright © 2011 by ASME.

Keywords: HumanComputer Interaction | Material simulation | Multisensory interaction | Selective stimulation | Tactile display

[87] Mengoni M., Morichetti P., Peruzzini M., Germani M., A method for roughness and texture simulation VIA tactile displays, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 3(PARTS A AND B), 535-544, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a tactile synthesis method to provide roughness and texture coarseness sensations using a selective stimulation approach implemented by a tactile display. Digitizing, elaborating and processing real material surfaces obtain signals. The selection of their frequency range is based on the reactive frequencies of SAI and FAI types receptors. An electro-tactile display provided with a mechanical vibration to stimulate FAII units located at the deeper skin layers has been developed. A SW tool allows to manage selective signals modulation and configuration according to the displayed material. The research aims at overcoming a crucial problem concerning the signals adopted by most electro-tactile displays to stimulate skin mechanoreceptors. The paper focuses on the description of the adopted method and of the implemented software tool to control the tactile display. Preliminary experimentations were carried out to measure the system's latency, accuracy and reliability. Experimental sessions show a promising system response: minimal latency (30ms), good reliability (>98%) and acceptable accuracy (>70%). © 2011 by ASME.

[88] Peruzzini M., Mengoni M., Germani M., AN exploratory study to fill the GAP between co-design tools and industrial applications, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2(PARTS A AND B), 1599-1608, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper deals with the application of remote collaborative environments in product design, in particular for design review activities. In this context, companies actually face some troubles: limited knowledge about available tools, difficulty in coming to know and using innovative systems, and complexity in evaluating the impact of the technology on design collaboration. The present research suggests a novel collaborative environment (the CoReD platform) that merges system simplicity, project-oriented approach and customizable functions. It defines a metric-based protocol considering both performances and cognitive aspects to assess collaboration quality and then monitors design review sessions within three industrial Consortia. Research contributions are to answer two main questions: how to arrange a low-cost co-design environment and how to effectively evaluate the human-system interaction and collaborative performance in industrial use. Experimental results highlight that the CoReD platform is able to efficiently improve collaborative processes by affecting both product-process performance and human-based collaboration, mainly thanks to: system architecture simplicity, low cost, high customizable functionalities and ease of use for remote design. However, results demonstrate also that significant advantages can be achieved only if industrial partners have a good level of technical expertise and high motivation to collaborate each other. © 2011 by ASME.

Keywords: Co-design | CVE (Collaborative Virtual Environment) | Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) | Industrial applications | Multidisciplinary teamwork

[89] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., An early-stage tool to evaluate the product redesign impact, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 5(PARTS A AND B), 183-195, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: In order to face the rapid changing market requirements, companies need methods and tools in order to implement flexibility over the whole product development process, from ideation to manufacturing. The proposed approach targets the development of a method to support decision making in product redesign activities. Design alternatives and product modifications can be rapidly evaluated in terms of feasibility, cost and time. The approach is based on a product structure multilevel representation, where functions, modules, assemblies and components are strictly interrelated. The representation allows criteria and rules in order to efficiently connect the elements within the same level and among levels. Such connections will contain the values to estimate the impact of analyzed product changes. In this way the structure will serve as evaluation tool in the early redesign phases. In order to manage and interact with the structure a software tool has been developed, called Modulor. This system allows modeling the product representation and rapidly evaluating the consequences in terms of change propagation. The tool was tested within the R&D department of a large sized company producing household appliances. Pilot studies have revealed shorter redesign cycles thanks to a broader understanding of implications while deciding among several implementation solutions. Copyright © 2011 by ASME.

Keywords: Change management | Decision making | Product redesign

[90] Favi C., Germani M., Marconi M., Mengoni M., Tirabassi A., EROD: New collaborative design platform for developing energy efficient electric motors, 2011 IEEE International Electric Machines and Drives Conference, IEMDC 2011, 59-64, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: In recent years International and Communitarian directives have focused their attention on the problem of energy consumption. In this context electric motors play a key role and designers must improve products considering this direction. This paper presents an innovative platform, called EROD (Energy Reduction Oriented Design), which consists of multiple software modules with different functionalities to support the whole design process of electric motors. The goal of EROD platform is to achieve energy efficient and sustainable electric motors and related devices. The platform facilitates knowledge and data sharing among design team members, it arranges the workflow activities and finally it promotes collaborative design sessions. All functionalities are implemented within the same web-based platform. This guarantees interoperability among different tools and leads up to significant reduction of development time due to the elimination of errors and iterations. The platform was tested to design five innovative electric motors for industrial and household applications. Results show that the new developed motors improve current solutions in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact during use. © 2011 IEEE.

Keywords: collaborative design | efficiency | electric motors | environmental impact | optimization

[91] Davia M., Germani M., Mandolini M., Maura M., Montiel E., Raffaeli R., Shoes customization design tools for the "diabetic foot", Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 8(5), 693-711, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Diabetes is one of the main causes that generate foot health related diseases. It impacts on a large percentage of world population and is expected to grow in next 20 years. Good footwear is fundamental for influencing foot health status in particular when foot can be subjected to many serious problems as in case of diabetic patients. This research work faces this problem by defining an approach and related computeraided echnologies in order to properly design customized shoes for people suffering from diabetes. Design rules have been fixed by formalizing knowledge that expert podiatrists use to prevent foot diseases. Studied and implemented technologiesinterest the whole footwear design process: foot scanning, foot dynamic pressure measurement, design of last, insole and outsole. This paper is focused on the description of design software system structure and related tools, and, then, it reports preliminary experimental results on 20 case studies. © 2011 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Cad modeling | Diabetes | Footwear customization

[92] Mengoni M., Germani M., Peruzzini M., Benchmarking of virtual reality performance in mechanics education, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 5(2), 103-117, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper explores the potentialities of virtual reality (VR) to improve the learning process of mechanical product design. It is focused on the definition of a proper experimental VR-based set-up whose performance matches mechanical design learning purposes, such as assemblability and tolerances prescription. The method consists of two main activities: VR technologies benchmarking based on sensory feedback and evaluation of how VR tools impact on learning curves. In order to quantify the performance of the technology, an experimental protocol is defined and an testing plan is set. Evaluation parameters are divided into performance and usability metrics to distinguish between the cognitive and technical aspects of the learning process. The experimental VR-based set up is tested on students in mechanical engineering through the application of the protocol. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords: Experimental protocol | Learning curve | Mechanical product design | Mechanics education | Virtual reality

[93] Mengoni M., Colaiocco B., Peruzzini M., Germani M., Design of a tactile display to support materials perception in virtual environments, Proceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality, 227-228, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Materials properties simulation by means of haptic devices is one of the most significant issues in the design of new humancomputer interfaces to support virtual prototypes interaction in numerous product design activities. Notwithstanding the several research attempts, a very natural perception of materials has not been achieved yet. We present a novel tactile display. It combines both mechanical and electrotactile approaches to simulate natural tactile sensations. In order to enhance experience acoustic and visual cues are integrated. A signal generation method allows correlating materials properties and simulating signals according to the characteristics of fingertip mechanoreceptors. The final scope is making users perceive the object's surface roughness, slickness and texture coarseness. Research results are the developed simulation method and the detailed design of the whole tactile display. The preliminary prototype is under construction. © 2011 IEEE.

Keywords: 3D interaction | Haptics | multimodal interaction

[94] Mengoni M., Graziosi S., Mandolini M., Peruzzini M., A knowledge-based workflow to dynamically manage human interaction in extended enterprise, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 5(1), 1-15, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Extended enterprises require novel modes of organizing companies and managing collaboration. Although the promise of Information Communication Technologies to connect people, processes and information, it is worth to notice that current implementations are strongly document-oriented and do not enable flexible workflow management overcoming well-known inter-enterprise integration difficulties. The long-term goal of the research is the study of a new methodology and the development of dedicated software tools to facilitate the dynamic collaboration among 21 companies participating to a research project, funded by the Italian Economic Ministry, called CO-ENV. The definition of dynamic workflow system architecture represents the step forwards the implementation of a collaborative platform. Preliminary benchmarking of available systems and techniques, the product development process analysis of the project participant companies and a possible structure of the system are well illustrated. Examples of expected and unexpected exceptions are reported and differences between static and dynamic workflow management systems are discussed. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords: Design process | Dynamic workflow | Extended enterprise | Product innovation | Product lifecycle management

[95] Davia M., Germani M., Mandolini M., Mengoni M., Montiel E., Raffaeli R., Shoes Customization Design Tools for the “Diabetic Foot”, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 8(5), 693-711, (2011). Abstract
X

Abstract: Diabetes is one of the main causes that generate foot health related diseases. It impacts on a large percentage of world population and is expected to grow in next 20 years. Good footwear is fundamental for influencing foot health status in particular when foot can be subjected to many serious problems as in case of diabetic patients. This research work faces this problem by defining an approach and related computer-aided technologies in order to properly design customized shoes for people suffering from diabetes. Design rules have been fixed by formalizing knowledge that expert podiatrists use to prevent foot diseases. Studied and implemented technologies interest the whole footwear design process: foot scanning, foot dynamic pressure measurement, design of last, insole and outsole. This paper is focused on the description of design software system structure and related tools, and, then, it reports preliminary experimental results on 20 case studies. © 2011 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: CAD modeling | Diabetes | Footwear customization

[96] Mengoni M., Germani M., Peruzzini M., Mandolini M., Supporting virtual teamwork in Collaborative Product Development, International Journal of Product Development, 15(1-3), 90-114, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: The increasing product complexity and the continuous need of improving product quality and services force companies to join into distributed and extended networks. Collaborative product development triggers research toward the development of new methods and tools to manage virtual teamwork to reduce time to market. In this context, the paper proposes a novel approach and a supporting co-design platform to manage interrelations across organisations. Experimentations into four product design chains show improvements in communication, information sharing, knowledge distribution, time saving and easiness of team management. They demonstrate that collaborative product development can be usefully enhanced only if tools and procedures are designed for the specific needs of the virtual network. Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: Co-design platform | Collaborative product development | CPD | Distributed knowledge management | Virtual teamwork

[97] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., How to address virtual teamwork in SMEs by an innovative Co-design platform, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 5(1), 54-72, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Collaborative product development is crucial for extended enterprises in order to promote innovation facing market competitiveness. Co-design software platforms aim at facilitating companies networking to achieve common design goals. A successful cooperation depends on tools' ability to effectively manage communication, data sharing in distributed teams and specific interaction requirements. In the context of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the integration of design and supply chains is not a trivial task. Their highly flexible organisation makes difficult to manage multidisciplinary teamwork and advanced co-design software implementation. This paper presents a structured method for defining an innovative co-design platform for SMEs. System architecture can be defined by applying suitable metrics based on collaborative process characteristics in order to assess functionalities performance of available tools. Benchmarking is based on different levels of collaboration recognised in typical SMEs product development process. Correlation between process metrics, software functionalities and specific collaboration needs is managed by adopting quality function deployment (QFD) techniques. Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: Co-design platform | Collaborative product development | Computer supported cooperative work | CSCW | Virtual teamwork

[98] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., A software system for "Design for X" impact evaluations in redesign processes, Strojniski Vestnik/Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 56(11), 707-717, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Market always asks for new products in short time. It requires an introduction of new tools and methods for managing continuous product changes while evaluating their impact in terms of design efforts, manufacturing costs, time to market, etc in real time. The present research work aims at developing a design platform to support the creation, visualization and navigation of a multilevel product representation where functions, modules, assemblies and components are strictly interrelated. The introduction of "Design for X" principles as rules to relate all aspects contributing to product design, allows evaluating the impact of changes at three levels. The approach and the proposed platform have been applied in the field of refrigerators in order to support both designers and engineers in rapidly configuring the optimal design solution in respect of the company's requirements formalized by the implemented "Design for X" rules. © 2010 Journal of Mechanical Engineering.

Keywords: Change management | Design for X | Functional analysis and modularity | Impact of design changes

[99] Mengoni M., Germani M., Peruzzini M., Products experience: How can virtual prototyping improve usability testing?, Innovative Developments in Design and Manufacturing - Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping, 505-514, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: During product development, usability tests allow the investigation of product performance in terms of effectiveness and user satisfaction. Virtual Reality (VR) systems provide new modes of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) that can support usability testing at the early design stages by adopting virtual prototypes to simulate product experience. The problem is that only posture and occlusion parameters can be easily measured while the emotional and affective dimension is difficult to be assessed. In this context, the present paper focuses on two objectives. Firstly, it aims at investigating which product attributes stimulate affective user response by defining a structured protocol to analyze how sample users experience product attributes determining affordance and synaesthesia qualities. Then, real and virtual environments are compared in order to address VR systems improvements. Consequently, the second goal is to define a new VR-based environment for usability testing by considering a proper set of existing technologies integrated with a proposed multi-sensorial system for materials texture and roughness perception. Protocol experimentations are carried out in household appliances. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group.

[100] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., A benchmarking method to investigate co-design virtual environments for enhancing industrial collaboration, ASME 2010 World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality, WINVR 2010, 87-99, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: One of the most significant challenge of Virtual Reality (VR) in industry is to support the interaction with product models while enhancing the collaborative product development (CPD) by improving team working in the extended enterprise. The process success highly depends on how information flows and which representational means and supporting environments are adopted. This paper explores the impact of VR applications on collaboration focusing on co-design requirements, participants behavior and exploited interaction modalities. A benchmarking method is defined to select the proper co-design virtual environment for specific forms of collaboration carried out in different time-space domains. It adopts protocol analysis techniques to objectify both practical and cognitive human factors and it applies Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) matrices to correlate collaboration requirements and tools functionalities. Experimental tests have been carried out on synchronous and remote co-design activities, where VR tools have been poorly exploited. Achieved results highlight main limitations and strengths of the analysed technologies, addressing future developments in collaborative virtual environments. © 2010 by ASME.

[101] Mengoni M., Colaiocco B., Germani M., Peruzzini M., Design of a novel human-computer interface to support HCD application, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 3(PARTS A AND B), 1401-1411, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: The importance of Human-Centered Design (HCD) drives research toward the development of new UIs (User Interfaces) in order to predict human interaction with products at the early design stages. Virtual Reality (VR) allows carrying out usability tests on virtual prototypes to investigate users' cognitive and affective response. Application problems regard with the reproduction of synaesthesia qualities in order to make the information processing similar to the one obtained by real sensory stimulation. While visualization technologies seem to be mature enough to overcome the above mentioned limitation, tactile devices are still far from properly simulating materials properties. In this context, the present work aims at structuring and applying a systematic approach to conceive, define and develop a novel VR-based technology, called IperTouch. The goal is to stimulate the skin mechanoreceptors to generate a meaningful tactile sensation about materials softness, friction and roughness. The system can be also integrated with imaging and sound technologies to create a multi-sensorial product experience. The preliminary architecture results from the analysis of human tactile perception and the benchmark of available simulation devices and techniques. This paper contributes to discuss current issues of existing VR-based technologies in supporting HCD applications and to address technical developments toward the creation of a reliable system for texture perception. Keywords: Human-Centered Design (HCD), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), virtual touch, material simulation, product experience. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.

[102] Raffaeli R., Cicconi P., Mengoni M., Germani M., Modular product configuration: An automatic tool for eliciting design knowledge from parametric cad models, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1(PARTS A AND B), 207-218, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: The offer of tailored products is a key factor to satisfy specific customer needs in the current competitive market. Modular products can easily support customization in a short time. Design process, in this case, can be regarded as a configuration task where solution is achieved through the combination of modules in overall product architecture. In this scenario efficient configuration design tools are evermore important. Although many tools have been already proposed in literature, they need further investigation to be applicable in real industrial practice, because of the high efforts required to implement system and the lack of flexibility in products updating. This work describes an approach to overcome drawbacks and to introduce a product independent configuration system which can be useful in designing recurrent product modules. To manage configuration from the designer perspective, the approach is based on Configurable Virtual Prototypes (CVP). In particular, the definition of geometrical models is analyzed providing a tool for eliciting and reusing knowledge introduced by parametric template CAD models. Semantic rules are used to recognize parts parameterization and assembly mating constraints. The approach is exemplified through a case study. © 2010 by ASME.

Keywords: Design automation | Modularity | Product configuration

[103] Mengoni M., Germani M., Peruzzini M., Mandolini M., A novel knowledge-based approach to support virtual teamwork in collaborative design, Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering, TMCE 2010, 1, 461-474, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Collaborative design can provide creative design solutions and improve product quality as well as enrich the participants' knowledge. Nevertheless, design and supply chains integration in traditional product development processes is not a trivial task. The complex scenario of the extended enterprise triggers research toward the development of new methods and tools for managing virtual teamwork. The present research illustrates a novel approach to support multidisciplinary workgroups. It is based is based on the formalization of the distributed knowledge in terms of interaction rules and representational models. The result of the approach implementation is the definition of an innovative co-design platform supporting virtual teamwork during collaborative design activities. © Organizing Committee of TMCE 2010 Symposium.

Keywords: Co-design platform | Distributed knowledge management | Interaction patterns | Virtual teamwork

[104] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., Change management, modularity and design for X: A design supporting tool based on an integrated approach, Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering, TMCE 2010, 1, 407-420, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Flexibility has become imperative to face the increasing market demands. Its implementation across the whole product development process is not a trivial task. It requires the introduction of new tools and methods for managing continuous product changes while evaluating in real time their impact in terms of design efforts, manufacturing costs, time to market, etc. The present research work aims at developing a design platform to support the creation, visualization and navigation of a multilevel product representation where functions, modules, assemblies and components are strictly interrelated. The introduction of "Design for X" principles as rules to relate all aspects contributing to product design, allows the evaluation of changes impact at the three levels. The approach and the proposed platform have been applied in the field of refrigerators in order to support both designers and engineers to rapidly configure the optimal design solution in respect with the company requirements formalized by the implemented Design for X rules. © Organizing Committee of TMCE 2010 Symposium.

Keywords: Assessing impact of design changes | Change management tool | Design for X | Supporting functional analysis and modularity

[105] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Germani M., Virtual vs physical: An experimental study to improve shape perception, Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009, 2(PART B), 1495-1506, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Product designers, in order to create value, need to enrich their understanding of users products experience and the whole set of activities involved in it. Human-Centered Design (HCD) regards with the development of design principles to support product features definition answering to physical, psychological, social and cultural needs of human beings. Usability tests generally allow the investigation of product performance in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and users satisfaction in order to reduce the gap between the perceived and the designed product quality. Main problems concern with the assessment of emotional usability, the identification of product features stimulating affective response and their translation into design requirements. Usability tests are generally carried out only at the end of the design cycle once a final physical prototype has been realized. As a consequence design modifications increase time to market. Instead of traditional CAD-based systems (Computer Aided Design), Virtual Reality (VR) represents new Human-Computer Interfaces that can support the multimodal interaction with virtual prototypes to perform usability tests at the early design stages. The present paper explores the potentialities of VR to support usability testing mainly focusing on emotional aspects. A protocol study is defined to analyze how sample users perceive product attributes determining affordances and synaesthesia qualities. The protocol adopts qualitative and quantitative metrics to objectify users emotional response while interacting with products. It allows correlating product attributes, in terms of materials, shape and aesthetic features combination, with user behavior and product performance. It has been applied in the field of household appliances. Two different experimental set-ups, physical and virtual, have been used to validate the protocol and highlight the main VR technologies drawbacks. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.

Keywords: Human computer interaction (HCI) | Tactile virtuality | Usability | User emotional response | Virtual prototyping (VP)

[106] Raffaeli R., Mengoni M., Germani M., Mandorli F., An approach to support the implementation of product configuration tools, Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009, 5(PART A), 559-570, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Companies applying mass customization paradigm regard the design process as a configuration task where the solution is achieved through the extraction of a new instance from a modular product structure. In this context product configuration management tools are evermore important. Although tools have been already proposed, they fail in real industrial contexts. Main causes are recognizable in high efforts in systems implementation and lack of flexibility in products updating. This research aims to develop an approach to overcome drawbacks and simplify the implementation and the use of product configuration systems also in redesign activities. The paper initially reviews existing systems in terms of design knowledge representation methods and product structure formalization techniques. Then, an approach based on Configuration Virtual Prototypes which store and manage different levels of knowledge, is presented. In particular, a framework is outlined in order to represent design data and its formalization in configuration tools. Three different domains are managed and connected via Configuration Virtual Prototypes: Product Specifications, Geometrical Data and Product Knowledge. Specifically, geometrical data aspects are analyzed in detail providing approaches for eliciting knowledge introduced by parametric template CAD models. The approach will be exemplified through a real application example where an original tool has been developed on the based of the described method. Benefits of the system will be shown and briefly discussed, in particular in terms of reachable flexibility in solutions. Copyright © by ASME.

Keywords: Design automation | Modularity | Product configuration

[107] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Method for evaluating VR-based tools for collaborative design, Advanced Concurrent Engineering, 405-417, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual Reality systems can impact on quality of collaboration design processes. In the present work is defined a structured method to classify, qualify and select VR-based tools for supporting co-design activities by adopting a set of benchmarking metrics. Attention is focused on collaboration scopes and requirements, participants' behavior and exploited interaction modalities. The method has been applied to synchronous and remote collaboration that actually represents the most critical communication in industry. Three different types of collaborative VR tools have been investigated and compared. Experimental results highlight how the proposed method is able to identify the main collaboration requirements by selecting the most proper supporting technology and show also the contribution to collaboration success. © 2010 Springer-Verlag London Limited.

Keywords: Benchmarking | Collaborative design | Virtual reality

[108] Mengoni M., Germani M., A methodology for sketch analysis to support maintaining the design intent in virtual prototyping, Journal of Design Research, 8(3), 189-213, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: In the context of aesthetic products, one of the most important research issues with regard to the definition of methods and tools is to preserve the initial design intent along the whole product development process. Starting from a novel definition of freeform aesthetic feature, the present research aims at outlining an innovative methodology for design intent recognition and formalisation in terms of styling curves and CAD modelling strategies. Their identification is based on the analysis of freehand sketches evolution during creative design. The final result consists in an innovative procedure for virtual prototyping that enables shape modifications coherently with the design intent. The main scientific contribution is the implementation of an approach to extract meaningful aesthetic and functional information from sketches and to translate them into an operational procedure for virtual prototyping by adopting semiotic-based rules and descriptive models of creative design. The achieved methodology has been applied to support both the reverse engineering of freeform shapes and the direct modelling of virtual mock-ups. © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: cognitive models of design | freehand sketches | reverse engineering | semiotics | virtual prototypes modelling

[109] Germani M., Mandolini M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Collaborative design system for supporting dynamic virtual enterprises, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 336 AICT, 577-584, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Collaborative design provides creative design solutions and improves product quality as well as enriches participants' knowledge. Nevertheless, design and supply chain integration in product development processes is not a trivial task. The complex scenario of the dynamic extended enterprise triggers research toward the development of an innovative co-design platform to support multidisciplinary workgroups. Starting from the definition of a new design process model, the proposed approach is based on the formalization of the distributed knowledge in terms of interaction rules and representational models. © 2010 IFIP.

Keywords: agile organizations | collaborative design | virtual teamwork

[110] Germani M., Mandorli F., Mengoni M., Raffaeli R., CAD-based environment to bridge the gap between product design and tolerance control, Precision Engineering, 34(1), 7-15, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Mechanical product quality is strongly influenced by the respect of Geometrical Tolerances (GT). On the other hand, competitiveness forces companies to improve their productivity making the tolerance verification process faster and faster and more flexible. Component control by 3D full field optical digitizing systems and specific CAD-based (Computer Aided Design) inspection software tools are important steps forward for the achievement of the above-mentioned goals. However, the adoption of these solutions in industry is minimal. This may be due both to technological factors, i.e. poor systems usability, and organizing factors, i.e. clear separation between design department and quality control department. In this context, our research aims at developing a new easy to use CAD-based tool for simulating, driving and optimizing the GT inspection process. Once a component has been digitized, the developed software system automatically realizes the tolerances virtual control. Hence, the designer can prescribe tolerances, pilot the measurement system and verify the component conformity. The implemented tool is based on Full of Information (FoI) CAD models, which contain tolerance data, linked to a knowledge database, where measurement strategies and verification rules are stored. A computation engine calculates the measurement paths and performs the tolerances verification. The prototypal system has been tested on different real cases. Experimental results showed high performances in terms of timesaving and robustness. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: 3D shape measurement | Augmented CAD models | Quality control automation | Reverse engineering

[111] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Germani M., The impact of virtual environments on human collaboration in product design, DS 58-9: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, 9, 57-68, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) has quickly evolved over the last years in terms of technological and applicative dimensions, Human-Computer Interaction is particularly meaningful in the design activities involving multidisciplinary teamwork, collaborating to achieve a common task. It influences users behaviors, representational and communication modalities. A successful Collaborative Virtual Environment has to naturally support cognitive design actions while reducing time and costs. In this context, our research goal is to evaluate performances of different human-scale virtual environments in design situations involving multiple specialists with different knowledge and expertise. We proposed a protocol to highlight the main interaction styles in collaborative environments in order to assess how VR systems affect multidisciplinary cooperation. Experimental test cases are used to compare performances of virtual and physical prototypes in design reviews activities.

Keywords: Collaborative design | CVE | Multimodal interaction | Virtual Reality

[112] Germani M., Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Metrics-based approach for VR technology evaluation in styling product design, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 5(PARTS A AND B), 1325-1339, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: In recent years, the interest of small and medium sized enterprises towards Virtual Reality (VR) systems is strongly increased thanks both to the improvement of VR tools effectiveness and to the cost reduction of technologies implementation. Due to the growing number of installed systems, many SMEs (Small Manufacturing Enterprises) companies require robust methods for evaluating technology performance. In this context, the present paper presents a metrics-based approach in order to analyze the VR system performance. It is specifically dedicated to the design review process during styling product design. The evaluation parameters are related to the effective communication and preservation of design intent. Metrics are classified in two main classes. The first one is related to the product, the process and the characteristics of VR technology. The second one is related to the design intent meanings preservation along the design process. Two experimental case studies are reported in order to test the approach in different operative fields. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.

Keywords: Design intent | Human computer interaction | Metrics | Virtual reality

[113] Germani M., Graziosi S., Mengoni M., Raffaeli R., Approach for managing lean product design, DS 58-1: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, 1, 73-84, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: Flexibility is the main keyword in order to face the rapid changing market requirements. Companies need methods and tools in order to implement flexibility over the whole product development process, from ideation to manufacturing. The proposed approach goes towards the concretization of the lean product design concept. It can be achieved if design alternatives and product modifications can be rapidly evaluated in terms of feasibility. resources. cost and time. The approach is based on a multilevel representation of the product structure. where functions. modules. assemblies and components are strictly interrelated. The complex representation requires suitable software tools in order to model and visualize the entire structure and support the easy user navigation. On the other hand it is necessary to define rules and operators to interact with the structure in order to make product changes and evaluate the possible impact. Finally. this system has to be integrated within the product development flow for exchanging data and information with CAD, PLM and ERP tools. In this paper the general approach is defined and the preliminary software solution is described.

Keywords: Change management | Change propagation | Lean design | Modularity

[114] Germani M., Mengoni M., Raffaeli R., Automation of 3D view acquisition for geometric tolerances verification, 2009 IEEE 12th International Conference on Computer Vision Workshops, ICCV Workshops 2009, 1710-1717, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: Geometrical tolerances control of mechanical components requires methods and tools in order to improve the efficiency of process in terms of time. Dedicated software systems in order to plan and simulate the control and hardware tools in order to rapidly acquire the needed 3D information can support the process improvement. In this context it is important to use the 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) model, as base to plan and pilot the whole process. The aim of present work is to describe an automatic geometrical tolerances measurement system usable during the design stage. It is based on three main tools: a CAD-based modular software tool, in order to plan, simulate, and pilot the whole verification process, a 3D optical digitizer, as shape acquisition system, and a multi-axis Degree of Freedom (DoF) robot arm in order to move the digitizer. This paper is focused on the developed algorithms to optimize the 3D views acquisition planning. Surface Normal Method and Visibility Map concepts have been reworked for range scanner positions determination and the optimal path is computed by a graph of alignable simulated scans. Experimental test cases are reported in order to show the system performance. ©2009 IEEE.

[115] Peruzzini M., Mengoni M., Germani M., Evaluating the impact of virtual reality on mechanical design education, Proceedings of the ASME/AFM World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality 2009, WINVR2009, 107-115, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: The promise of Virtual Reality in design environments is to facilitate the interaction with digital models and to enhance the results of design activity. Design education is one of the most recent and interesting applications. Thanks to technological advances in human-computer interfaces, Virtual Reality represents a new way to stimulate design students and to develop innovative teaching methods. The paper explores the impact of Virtual Reality technologies on design learning, with particular attention to mechanical product design. It is focused on the analysis of cognitive and technical aspects of learning processes and the definition of a proper evaluation protocol. The protocol is based on the classification of the most meaningful activities in mechanical engineering teaching and the identification of a set of metrics that enable to objectively evaluate the learning process. Assessing how VR supports design education, an experimental study is proposed. It is based on the comparison of three different approaches performed by two-dimensional drawings, by 3D CAD models and, finally, by virtual reality technologies. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.

[116] Mengoni M., Germani M., Reverse Engineering and restyling of aesthetic products based on sketches interpretation, Research in Engineering Design, 20(2), 79-96, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: In the conceptual design stage, outcomes of industrial designers work are generally represented by set of sketches where curves, notes, shadows, and colors implicitly represent creative ideas. Signs and annotations are used to synthesize and concretize the design intent that, finally, will be transformed into the styling product visual appearance. The loss of the original design intent may be due to the complexity of the design process, and the involvement of different actors. Our aim is to provide a method and relative tools in order to interpret signs on sketches for eliciting the design intent. The analysis result is a set of aesthetic features that can be used for driving CAD modeling, in the case both of Reverse Engineering applications and of product modeling for restyling purposes. Sketches analysis is based on a semiotic interpretation driven by the formalization of the cognitive models used in the conceptual design phase. The approach showed promising results on different styling products test cases. © 2008 Springer-Verlag London Limited.

Keywords: 2D sketches | Cognitive models | Reverse Engineering | Semiotic analysis | Styling products

[117] Mengoni M., Germani M., Mandorli F., A structured agile design approach to support customisation in wellness product development, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 22(1), 42-54, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: The global market is evermore volatile and turbulent; it requires rapid responses to the emerging customers needs, also to unpredictable ones. Companies are forced towards a continuous research and innovation in terms of flexible technologies and processes in order to provide a high level of market adaptability. In this context, agile approaches, intended as a set of strategies to face the market variability, have to be investigated. They have to interest all processes related to the product development phase. This paper is focused on how to implement an efficient agile strategy in product design. The proposed approach is based on product modularity and on the integration of computer-aided design (CAD)-based tools to support feasibility analysis on virtual prototypes. It allows the concurrent management of possible changes in both product and process platforms by adopting virtual prototypes for performing simulations. The implemented platforms and the connected virtual prototype are structured according to modularity principles. The virtual prototype is defined as a collection of geometrical, functional, structural, manufacturing, environmental information, contained in the modules of the product and process platforms. An industrial example, belonging to the wellness production field (such as bathtubs and shower stalls), is described to validate the agile approach. It has been applied to solve a particularly meaningful problem: how to improve the bathtubs production process by reducing manufacturing and assembly costs while improving product customisability, eco-sustainability and quality. Once analysed, the context and the design constraints, in terms of cost, of environmental performance and, mainly, of aesthetic product features customisation, a new manufacturing process has been introduced based on the injection moulding technology instead of traditional thermoforming sheets.

Keywords: Aesthetic product development | Agile design | Customisation | Injection moulding

[118] Mengoni M., Germani M., Mechanical design learning environments based on virtual reality technologies, DS 46: Proceedings of E and PDE 2008, the 10th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, (2008). Abstract
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Abstract: This study explores the potentialities of Virtual Reality for improving the learning process of mechanical design principles. It is focused on the definition of a proper experimental VR-based set-up whose performances match functional design, assembly design and geometrical tolerances prescription learning purposes. Benchmarking of VR technologies is based on the analysis of perception and on the usability and presence provided by the assessed systems. An experimental plan is defined and evaluation metrics are set.

Keywords: Experience-based learning environment | Mechanical design | Virtual reality

[119] Mengoni M., Peruzzini M., Mandorli F., Bordegoni M., Caruso G., Performing ergonomic analysis in virtual environments: A structured protocol to assess humans interaction, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 3(PARTS A AND B), 1461-1472, (2008). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) systems provide new modes of human computer interaction that can support several industrial design applications improving time savings, reducing prototyping costs, and supporting the identification of design errors before production. Enhancing the interaction between humans and virtual prototypes by involving multiple sensorial modalities, VR can be adopted to perform ergonomic analysis. The main problems deal with the evaluation both of functional and cognitive sample users behavior as VR interfaces influence the perception of the ergonomic human factors. We state that ergonomic analysis performed in virtual environment can be successful only if supported with a structured protocol for the study both of functional and cognitive aspects and with the proper VR technologies combination that answers to the specific analysis tasks. An ergonomic analysis protocol is presented. It allows the assessment of the consumers/ response in term of behavioral and cognitive human factors, comprehending both operational and emotional agents. The protocol is also used to identify the best combination of visualization and haptic interfaces to perform the analysis. An experimental example, belonging to house appliances field is adopted to investigate the application of the protocol in the virtual set up. Copyright © 2008 by ASME.

[120] Mengoni M., Germani M., Bordegoni M., Virtual reality systems: A method to evaluate the applicability based on the design context, 2007 Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, DETC2007, 6 PART B, 1377-1387, (2008). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) technologies provide novel modes of human computer interaction that can be used to support industrial design processes. The integration can be successful if supported by a method to qualify, select and design the VR technologies according to the company's requirements in order to improve collaboration in extended enterprises and timesaving. The aim of the present work is the definition of a method to translate the company's expectations into heuristic values that allow the benchmarking of VR systems. The method has been tested on a real test case. Copyright © 2007 by ASME.

Keywords: Benchmarking criteria | Design review | Virtual reality

[121] Mengoni M., Germani M., Interacting with virtual prototypes coherently with design intent, Design Computing and Cognition '08 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition, 677-696, (2008). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper argues that the design intent can be preserved along the product design cycle only if the whole process is supported by proper methods and advanced digital technologies to model virtual prototypes managing the styling product coherence. In this context, the most critical phase is the transformation from the design concept represented by sketches and physical prototypes and the engineered CAD models necessary for testing and manufacturing. We aim at facilitating the design intent preservation identifying the better digital technology usable to convert designers' conceptual models in digital ones. The proposed classification is based on the analysis of creative strategies adopted by the designer and on their correlation with the modeling features in the computational systems. This goal requires the definition of design intent transmitters that we define freeform aesthetic features, and the determination of a benchmarking method to map computational systems with the creative strategies. Experimental work through protocol studies has been performed to validate the mapping method. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2008.

[122] Mengoni M., Germani M., Aesthetic feature as a tool to preserve the design intent, Proceedings of ICED 2007, the 16th International Conference on Engineering Design, DS 42, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: In the consumer goods field, the market offers to the customer a wide variety of possible alternatives to satisfy a specific need. Customers, generally, compare products evaluating the functionality and the congruency between price and intrinsic value, but the visual appearance plays a fundamental role in the final decision. During the creative phase, the industrial designer conceives the object in order to represent his/her own viewpoint on the design problem considering the context and the constraints given by the company image. The result of the work of the industrial designer is a set of sketches where curves, notes, shadows, and colours implicitly represent the creative ideas. These signs condense and concretise the design intent that, finally, will be transformed into product visual appearance. During the product development process, various actors are involved and communication problems deriving from the different individual training and experience can emerge. The main consequence is the loss of the original design intent. This is particularly evident in two different design situations: when the designer realizes a physical prototype and Reverse Engineering (RE) is applied to obtain its digital representation for the following product development phases, and when a product is subjected to Re-Styling (RS) in order to satisfy new emerging requirements. Our research is focused on the definition of a well-structured methodology for free form surface reconstruction based on the recognition of the aesthetic features. Such features and their use in surface modelling can enable users to coherently and easily modify the model in the next design stages preserving the design intent. In this paper the CAD modelling operators are defined and their experimentation is applied on several industrial test cases related to reverse engineering and restyling.

Keywords: Aesthetic feature | Communication and collaboration | Design intent | Modelling strategy

[123] Mengoni M., Germani M., Mandorli F., Reverse engineering of aesthetic products: Use of hand-made sketches for the design intent formalization, Journal of Engineering Design, 18(5), 413-435, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: In the context of styling products development, it is well known that sketches are the most immediate and used means for the 'external representation' of the industrial designers' intentions; the designer, however, also needs physical full-scale models, in order to evaluate the aesthetic solution. Reverse engineering techniques support the transformation of the physical mock-ups in digital ones, in order to perform the engineering developments. The observation of the design phases highlights the need to study new methodologies and computer-based tools, in order to simplify the reverse engineering process and to improve the quality of the final result. The conversion from real to virtual can be time consuming and strongly critical, in terms of product aesthetic and functional contents preservation. The process can be affected by several misunderstandings in the communication of the design values from the designer to the product engineers. In this paper, we propose a method for the formalization and recognition of the aesthetic properties within the different modes of design representation. The proposed method is based on the examination of the design principles used by the designer during the creative process (aesthetic intentions) and on techniques for the representation of creative ideas. In particular, we analyse the free-hand sketches and drawings to retrieve both the implicit (lines/curves) and explicit information (textual notes). Such information is used to develop a set of rules to support the identification of the styling lines on the points cloud data. The method has been experimented using a commercial computer-aided design system to manage the heterogeneous data (points cloud data, sketches and notes). The preliminary validation process shows good results in terms of time-saving. This is mainly due to two factors: the remarkable simplification of the surface reconstruction phase and the continuous monitoring of the aesthetic coherence.

Keywords: Character lines | Cognitive perspective | Design intent | Hand-made sketches | Reverse engineering

[124] Germani M., Mengoni M., Raffaeli R., Multi-level representation for supporting the conceptual design phase of modular products, The Future of Product Development - Proceedings of the 17th CIRP Design Conference, 209-224, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: Designing a new product, in most cases, means a modification of an existing one. Both adopting known solutions in different products, that inserting new technological processes into a consolidated context, the most design effort must be dedicated to the early evaluation of the impact of needed engineering changes to achieve the final result, in terms of cost, quality and time. Such activity is particularly strategic in the modular product development. The aim of our research work is to develop a method and the related tools that enable designers to easily represent the product platform, to structure the relations between modules defined at different levels of detail and, hence, to simulate, analyze and evaluate the modifications impact during the new product variant definition phase. A multi-level product structure able to represent the product informative content at different levels of detail is presented.

Keywords: Change propagation | Conceptual design | Modularity

[125] Germani M., Mengoni M., Raffaeli R., Design structure matrix used as knowledge capture method for product configuration, 9th International Design Conference, DESIGN 2006, 253-262, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: The present work focuses on the study of a method to acquire and formalise the design knowledge in a way usable for implementing a knowledge-based software system to support the NPC. The approach is based on the representation of corporate knowledge within a structured framework where market requirements, product specifications and functional aspects are interrelated. A hierarchical multi-level DSM structure allows representing such knowledge in a rationale manner. This paper presents the methodology to formalize the product knowledge, the used structure to define the specifications for implementing the knowledge-based product configuration system and, finally, a practical example to illustrate our proposed framework.

Keywords: Change management | Decisional process automation | Design structure matrix (DSM) | Product configuration

[126] Mengoni M., Germani M., Onori R., Pavani F., A methodology for VR systems benchmarking in the industrial design process, 9th International Design Conference, DESIGN 2006, 291-300, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: The majority of Virtual Reality applications developed today are either specific product oriented, not flexible enough to be implemented in every industrial design process to achieve complex real world tasks. In this context the adoption of VR systems, designed and customized on the need of the specific company, can be accepted only if it is possible to quantify the achievable benefits in terms of time, quality and cost. Our research focuses on how these benefits can be objectively measured. A benchmarking program and related metrics to explore advantages and disadvantages connected with the new design technology have been studied. Our main goal is to measure the performance of the VR-based design review processes by meaningful test cases.

Keywords: Design review | Industrial design | Virtual reality

[127] Germani M., Mandorli F., Mengoni M., Multi-level product model to support the LCA use in the early design phase, Proceedings ICED 05, the 15th International Conference on Engineering Design, DS 35, (2005).