[Elenco soci]


Rizzi Caterina

Professore Ordinario


Università degli Studi di Bergamo
caterina.rizzi@unibg.it

Sito istituzionale
SCOPUS ID: 7005032423
Orcid: 0000-0002-1779-5183



Pubblicazioni scientifiche

[1] Savoldelli A., Regazzoni D., Ludi S., Rizzi C., An Engineering Method to Evaluate Care Processes and Introduce Televisits, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 181-191, (2023). Abstract
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Abstract: During past years, the pandemic has revealed the importance of having a solid care system prepared to face emergencies. In this context, digital solutions demonstrated a high potential in dealing with critical conditions and ensuring the delivery of care. However, telemedicine has not yet succeeded in becoming a stable part of ordinary care. The integration of innovative telemedicine technologies with a set of well-organized activities plays a crucial role in the release of high-quality services. Processes modeling before the introduction of telemedicine services is a leverage to prepare the base for an effective and efficient shift to digital care. Hence, the present research customizes a modeling technique in four steps for a preliminary analysis of processes where to introduce televisits. A special attention is given to the collection of consistent knowledge about care processes, often lack and incomplete in public hospitals scenarios. The approach has been applied to the AS-IS process of the heart failure clinic of a large Italian hospital before the introduction of televisits. Integrated Definition for Function Modeling (IDEF) diagrams have allowed the hierarchical decomposition of complex phases in simpler tasks, the acquisition of consciousness and the updating of information. Diagrams have been created and used as a source of a common language to discuss about weaknesses of the current process and its possible improvements. Obstacles to the upcoming televisits services have been objectively highlighted, such as the need to reduce employed applications, the removal of printed material and the streamlining of unnecessary operations.

Keywords: Healthcare processes | IDEF0 | Process modeling | Televisits

[2] Lanzoni D., Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Design of Customized Virtual Reality Serious Games for the Cognitive Rehabilitation of Retrograde Amnesia After Brain Stroke, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 22(3), (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: This article presents a software platform to design serious games for the rehabilitation of severe memory loss by means of virtual reality (VR). In particular, the focus is on retrograde amnesia, a condition affecting patient’s quality of life usually after brain stroke. Currently, the standard rehabilitation process includes showing pictures of familiar environments to help memory recover, while the proposed rehabilitation solution aims at developing patient-specific serious games for memory loss starting from 3D scanning of familiar environments. The Occipital Structure sensor and the Skanect application have been used for the virtualization of the real objects and the environment. Instead of following the traditional approach to design a video game during which the game logic is specifically developed for a virtual scene and the software code is not meant to be recombined, a modular procedure has been designed using Unity to interface the virtual objects of each acquired environment without modifying the game logic. In addition, the developed solution makes available a set of software modules for patient’s monitoring and data management to automatically generate medical reports, which can be easily connected to each new serious game. A test has been performed to assess the main features of the VR platform and its usability recruiting ten testers. Medical personnel evaluated positively the platform, and they highlighted the importance of objective data to improve the ecological validity of the cognitive rehabilitation for retrograde amnesia.

Keywords: Neurological disorders | Serious game | Virtual reality

[3] Ghidotti A., Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., An investigation of innovative 3D modelling procedures for patient-specific total knee arthroplasty, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 19(2), 306-319, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) is a widely performed surgical procedure, which is advised to treat knee osteoarthritis. However, the literature reported that 25% of the patients are unsatisfied by the functional outcomes after the intervention. The main causes seem to be the prosthesis malalignment and the anatomical mismatch between the prosthetic components and the different people anatomy. Even if there exist several commercial solutions, whose aim has always been to provide a reliable prosthesis with high survivorship, the most recent scientific literature is focusing its aim to improving the patients’ clinical outcome, kinematics and satisfaction. For this reason, three approaches have been experimented and then discussed with an orthopedic surgeon. Open-source software applications for 3D modelling have been exploited, such as 3D Slicer and Meshmixer. Starting from medical images, through the segmentation process, the 3D model of the knee has been reconstructed. For the first approach, standard off-the-shelf prosthesis have been used for the virtual planning of the intervention. To overcome the limits of this method, two more customized approaches have been experimented. The first one is based on the patient-specific resurfacing prosthesis that fits the patient’s anatomy, preserving the femur and maintaining the natural joint line. The third approach allows to create a customized prosthesis, that is a compromise between the two previous methods. Among the three previous procedures, the most suitable one can be chosen according to the patient’s anatomy, knee size and articular cartilage damage.

Keywords: 3D modelling | Customized knee prosthesis | Total knee arthroplasty planning

[4] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., ICT technologies for motor skills rehabilitation after stroke, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 15(1), 47-50, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: The rehabilitation process after stroke may exhibit some limits regarding physical therapy adherence and there could be a lack of patients’ motivation and trust impacting on the quality of the rehabilitation procedure. This research work aims at introducing a specific interactive design method to develop rehabilitation tools based on the medical knowledge and VR devices to recover motor skills of patients’ hands after stroke and to increase the patients’ adherence. The method we propose consists of three main steps: medical requirement analysis, identification of ICT tools, and medical data management. A case study related to hand rehabilitation is also presented.

Keywords: Hand-tracking devices | Leap motion device | Stroke rehabilitation | Virtual reality

[5] Lanzoni D., Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., A method to develop virtual reality platforms for the medical rehabilitation of severe memory loss after brain stroke, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper presents a method to develop Virtual Reality (VR) platforms based on serious games for the rehabilitation of severe memory loss. In particular, it is related to retrograde amnesia, a condition affecting patient's quality of life usually caused by brain stroke. Nowadays, the standard rehabilitation process consists in showing pictures of patient's familiar environments in order to recover the memory. Past research works have investigated the use of 3D scanners for the virtualization of real environment and virtual reality for the generation of more immersive interaction to design serious games for neurocognitive rehabilitation. Reached results highlighted a time-consuming development process to interface each new environment with the game logic specifically developed for the serious games. Furthermore, a complete VR platform must also consider the medical monitoring and the data management oriented to a more objective medical assessment. The proposed method allows the design of VR platforms based on patient-specific serious games for memory loss starting from the 3D scanning acquisition of familiar environments. The 3D acquisition is performed using the Occipital Structure Sensor and the Skanect application. A modular procedure has been designed to interface the virtual objects of each acquired environment with the modules of the game-logic developed with Unity. The immersive Virtual Reality is based on the use of the HTC Vive Pro head mounted display. Furthermore, the method permits to associate the patient-specific serious game to a set of software modules for the medical monitoring and the data management for the generation of reports useful for the evaluation. The solution has been evaluated by measuring the time needed to develop a whole VR platform for two different familiar environments. Less than 5 hours are required to complete the design process.

Keywords: 3D scanner | Brain stroke | Memory loss | Rehabilitation | Serious games | Virtual reality

[6] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Spajani A., VR serious games for neuro-cognitive rehabilitation of patients with severe memory loss, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 18(6), 1233-1246, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Retrograde amnesia is a severe memory loss dramatically affecting patient’s quality of life. Traumatic brain injuries, strokes, degenerative processes or metabolic disorders are the main causes. At present, rehabilitation tries to recover patients’ memory by means of neuro-cognitive exercises guided by a physiotherapist. Unfortunately, the adherence to these rehabilitation exercises drops when patients are discharged from hospital. Furthermore, conventional rehabilitation is usually performed using standard exercises, which are not customized to each patient. The reproducibility of real environments and situations is a crucial feature to guarantee the efficacy of neuro-rehabilitation and it is defined as ecological validity. Ecological validity is important for making the exercises useful to re-learn specific information and for performing daily activities with the lowest effort. Nowadays, the traditional rehabilitation for retrograde amnesia is based on a set of pictures shown to the patient to remember or learn familiar environments, such as his/her home. This approach is very limiting because the patient can see few points of view of the home without learning and memorizing how to move and get into a specific room. Therefore, the traditional approach has a low ecological validity. The advent of innovative technology, like 3D scanners and virtual reality, permit the design of innovative solutions that virtually replicate patient’s home. This research work presents a novel procedure to design serious games for neuro-cognitive rehabilitation for patient with retrograde amnesia. The proposed procedure exploits low-cost and free technologies; in particular, the Occipital Structure sensor has been chosen as 3D scanner to acquire the 3D indoor environments, which are used inside Unity to develop the game logic of the serious games. The HTC Vive Pro head mounted display has been used to interact with the serious games in an immersive way. The designed procedure makes available a set of Unity scripts to develop the serious game for new patients by changing only the 3D environment (i.e., patient’s house). The procedure has been tested by creating three different serious games and the total time to create them can be approximated to a working day. The obtained results have been shown to medical personnel who have evaluated the proposed approach with a high ecological validity and decided to plan future medical tests by involving patients.

Keywords: Blender | Ecological validity | Occipital Structure sensor | Rehabilitation | Retrograde amnesia | Unity | Virtual reality

[7] Vitali A., Togni G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Molinero G., A virtual environment to evaluate the arm volume for lymphedema affected patients, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 198, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Background and Objective: The paper presents a novel procedure based on 3D scanning and 3D modelling to automatically assess linear and volumetric measurements of an arm and to be further applied to patients affected by post breast cancer lymphedema. The aim is the creation of a virtual platform easily usable by medical personnel to get more objective evaluations during the lymphedema treatment. Methods: The procedure is based on the 3D scanning of the arm using the Occipital Structure Sensor and an ad-hoc developed application, named Lym 3DLab. Lym 3DLab emulates the traditional measurement methods, which consist in taking manual circumference measurements or using the water displacement method. These measurements are also used to design the compression stockings, the typical orthopaedic device used for lymphedema treatment. A validation test has been performed to compare the measurements computed by Lym 3DLab with both water displacement and manual circumference measurements. Eight volunteers have been involved who are not affected by lymphedema. Furthermore, a specific usability test has been performed to evaluate the 3D scanning procedure by involving four physiotherapists. Results: The comparison between the volumes has highlighted how all the 3D acquired models have their volumes inside a range of acceptability. This range has been defined by considering the sensitivity error of the tape measure used to measure the water displacement. The comparison between the perimeters of cross sections computed with Lym 3DLab and the circumference measurements has shown results that are very accurate with an average difference of 2 mm. The measure errors have been considered negligible by the medical personnel who have evaluated the proposed procedure more accurate than the traditional ones. The test with physiotherapists has shown a high level of usability of the whole virtual environment, but the 3D scanning procedure requires an appropriate training of the personnel to make the 3D acquisition as fast and efficient as possible. Conclusions: The achieved results and the physiotherapists’ feedback allow planning a future test with patients affected by lymphedema in collaboration with the hospital. A further test has been planned to use the computed measurements to design orthopaedic compression stockings.

Keywords: 3D scanning | Arm Volume | Circumference Measurement | Lym 3DLab | Lymphedema | Occipital Structure Sensor

[8] Zefinetti F.C., Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Molinero G., Tracking and characterization of spinal cord-injured patients by means of rgb-d sensors, Sensors (Switzerland), 20(21), 1-20, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: In physical rehabilitation, motion capture solutions are well-known but not as widespread as they could be. The main limit to their diffusion is not related to cost or usability but to the fact that the data generated when tracking a person must be elaborated according to the specific context and aim. This paper proposes a solution including customized motion capture and data elaboration with the aim of supporting medical personnel in the assessment of spinal cord-injured (SCI) patients using a wheelchair. The configuration of the full-body motion capturing system is based on an asymmetric 3 Microsoft Kinect v2 sensor layout that provides a path of up to 6 m, which is required to properly track the wheelchair. Data elaboration is focused on the automatic recognition of the pushing cycles and on plotting any kinematic parameter that may be interesting in the assessment. Five movements have been considered to evaluate the wheelchair propulsion: the humeral elevation, the horizontal abduction of the humerus, the humeral rotation, the elbow flexion and the trunk extension along the sagittal plane. More than 60 volunteers with a spinal cord injury were enrolled for testing the solution. To evaluate the reliability of the data computed with SCI APPlication (APP) for the pushing cycle analysis, the patients were subdivided in four groups according to the level of the spinal cord injury (i.e., high paraplegia, low paraplegia, C7 tetraplegia and C6 tetraplegia). For each group, the average value and the standard deviation were computed and a comparison with similar acquisitions performed with a high-end solution is shown. The measurements computed by the SCI-APP show a good reliability for analyzing the movements of SCI patients’ propulsion wheelchair.

Keywords: Automatic pushing analysis | Markerless motion capture | RGB-D sensors | SCI patients

[9] Rizzi C., Wang Y., Guest Editorial, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 20(5), (2020).
[10] Vitali A., Maffioletti F., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Quantitative assessment of shoulder rehabilitation using digital motion acquisition and convolutional neural network, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 20(5), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Motion capture (Mocap) is applied to motor rehabilitation of patients recovering from a trauma, a surgery, or other impairing conditions. Some rehabilitation exercises are easily tracked with low-cost technologies and a simple Mocap setup, while some others are extremely hard to track because they imply small movements and require high accuracy. In these last cases, the obvious solution is to use high performing motion tracking systems, but these devices are generally too expensive in the rehabilitation context. The aim of this paper is to provide a Mocap solution suitable for any kind of exercise but still based on low-cost sensors. This result can be reached embedding some artificial intelligence (AI), in particular a convolutional neural network (CNN), to gather a better outcome from the optical acquisition. The paper provides a methodology including the way to perform patient's tracking and to elaborate the data from infra-red sensors and from the red, green, blue (RGB) cameras in order to create a user-friendly application for physiotherapists. The approach has been tested with a known complex case concerning the rehabilitation of shoulders. The proposed solution succeeded in detecting small movements and incorrect patient behavior, as for instance, a compensatory elevation of the scapula during the lateral abduction of the arm. The approach evaluated by medical personnel provided good results and encouraged its application in different kinds of rehabilitation practices as well as in different fields where low-cost Mocap could be introduced.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence | Engineering informatics | Human computer interfaces/Interactions

[11] Mani M., Rizzi C., Wang Y., Special issue: Highlights of 2019 CIE conference, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 20(5), (2020).
[12] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Virtualization of the human in the digital factory, Systems Engineering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Big Data, Novel Technologies, and Modern Systems Engineering, 161-189, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: This chapter presents an overview of the virtual humans/digital human models (DHMs) that can be considered along the design and manufacturing processes. It first introduces a brief historical description, as well as the main problems to be faced and the potential of such models. Then, the chapter presents a taxonomy that subdivides DHMs into five main categories, highlighting the different levels of human model details and their applications. The integration of DHMs with virtual/augmented reality technology and motion capture systems is also considered respectively to improve the level of interaction and realism within the virtual environment and to drive the virtual human and facilitate the evaluation of comfort and prediction of injuries that could rise when executing a task. The chapter also describes applicative examples of each type of DHM for both design and manufacturing.

Keywords: Augmented reality technology | Digital human models | Manufacturing processes | Motion capture systems | System design | Virtual human models | Virtual reality technology

[13] Rizzi C., Letter to the authors, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, vii-viii, (2020).
[14] Ermidoro M., Vitali A., Previdi F., Rizzi C., Text writing using air gestures for people with limited hand motor skills, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 6, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Mobile devices and laptops are the main ICT tools to exchange information among people in the world. All the applications are designed by following a specific interaction style based either touchscreen or mouse and keyboard, which can be performed only with detailed movements of hands and fingers. Traditional interaction becomes difficult for elderly who have diseases limiting the hand motor skills, such as arthritis and brain stroke. The use of simple air gestures can be adopted as alternative interaction style to interact with smartphones, tablets and laptops. The aim of this research work is the development of an application that allows text writing using air gestures for people with limited hand motor skills. The application embeds several computer vision algorithms and convolutional neural networks software modules to detect and drawn alphanumeric characters and recognizing them using both mobile devices and laptops. The preliminary results obtained show that the approach is robust, and it can easily detect the alphanumeric characters written with the movement of the wrist..

Keywords: Elderly | Hand Motor Skills | OpenPose | TesserAct-OCR.

[15] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Lupi G., Low cost markerless motion capture systems: A comparison between rgb cameras and rgb-d sensors, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 6, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: In the last years, the advent of low-cost markerless motion capture systems fostered their use in several research fields, such as healthcare and sport. Any system presents benefits and drawbacks that have to be considered to design a Mocap solution providing a proper motion acquisition for a specific context. In order to evaluate low-cost technology, this research work focuses on the evaluation of the accuracy of two categories of devices: The RGB active cameras and the RGB-D, or depth sensors devices. In particular, GoPro Hero 6 active cameras and Microsoft Kinect v2 devices have been selected as representative of the two categories. In particular, this work evaluates and compares the performances of the two systems used to track the position of human articulations. The two devices have been chosen among those available on the market after a state of the art has been completed. Before starting with the campaign of acquisition, the number of sensors and their layout have been designed to optimize the acquisition with both mark-less Mocap systems. Their comparison is based on a list of specific movements of upper and lower limbs. Each movement has been acquired simultaneously, to guarantee the same test conditions. The results have been organized, compared and discussed by evaluating performances and limitations of both solutions related to specific context of use. Conclusions highlight the best candidate technology..

Keywords: Accuracy | active cameras | GoPro | Markerless Mocap systems | Microsoft Kinect

[16] Lanzoni D., Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Medical assessment test of extrapersonal neglect using virtual reality: A preliminary study, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 9, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The research work presents a preliminary study to create a virtual reality platform for the medical assessment of spatial extrapersonal neglect, a syndrome affecting human awareness of a hemi-space that may be caused by cerebral lesions. Nowadays, the extrapersonal neglect is assessed by using real objects positioned in the space around the patient, with a poor capability of repetition and data gathering. Therefore, the aim of this research work is the introduction of a virtual reality solution based on consumer technology for the assessment of the extrapersonal neglect. By starting from the needs of the involved medical personnel, an online serious-game platform has been developed, which permits to perform a test and a real-time evaluation by means of objective data tracked by exploited technologies, i.e. an HTC Vive Pro head mounted display and ad-hoc IT solutions. The test is based on a virtual environment composed by a table on which twenty objects have been placed, ten on the right side and ten on the left side. The whole 3D virtual environment has been developed using low-cost and free development tools, such as Unity and Blender. The interaction with the virtual environment is based on voice recognition technology, therefore the patient interact with the application by pronouncing the name of each object aloud. The VR application has been developed according to an online gaming software architecture, which permits to share the 3D scene by exploiting a Wi-Fi hotspot network. Furthermore, the on-line gaming software architecture allows sending and receiving data between the doctor's laptop and the VR system used by the patient on another laptop. The therapist can see through his/her personal computer a real time faithful replica of the test performed by the patient in order to have a fast feedback on patient’s field of view orientation during the evaluation of 3D objects. A preliminary test has been carried out to evaluate the ease of use for medical personnel of the developed VR platform. The big amount of recorded data and the possibility to manage the selection of objects when the voice commands are not correctly interpreted has been greatly appreciated. The review of the performed test represents for doctors the possibility of objectively reconstructing the improvements of patients during the whole period of the rehabilitation process. Medical feedback highlighted how the developed prototype can already be tested involving patients and thus, a procedure for enrolling a group of patients has been planned. Finally, future tests have been planned to compare the developed solution with the Caterine Bergero Scale to define a future standardization.

Keywords: Extrapersonal neglect | Head mounted display | Neglect assessment | Virtual reality

[17] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Molinero G., 3D Scanning Procedure for the Evaluation of Lymphedema of Upper Limbs Using Low-Cost Technolgy: A Preliminary Study, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 177-188, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: This research work presents a preliminary study for the assessment of lymphedema using low-cost 3D scanning and modelling technology. The aim is to develop a methodology to measure the anatomical key features of the upper limbs lymphedema using a 3D scanning technology and an ad-hoc developed application, named Lym 3DLab. The application is able to automatically measure both perimeters of cross sections and volumes of arm segments for medical evaluation and design of compression stockings using the upper limb polygonal mesh. The scanning procedure is based on a Microsoft Kinect v1 as scanner and the low-cost Skanect tool, which creates the polygonal mesh of the 3D acquisition. Lym 3DLab has been developed using open-source Software Development Kits, such as Qt and Visualization Toolkit. The acquired volumes have been compared with the water displacement method, which is considered the gold standard for measuring volumes of limbs affected by lymphedema. A preliminary test has been performed to compare volumes measured using the developed procedure with the gold standard. Five volunteers have been involved who are not affected by lymphedema. The arm volume measured with water displacement have been compared with the volume computed using 3D model of arm in Lym 3DLab. The range of differences is between −6,75 cm3 and 9,40 cm3. Reached results are the base for planning further test with a large number of patients affected by lymphedema in collaboration with a hospital.

Keywords: 3D scanning | Automatic measurement of arm volume | Breast cancer | Lymphedema | Microsoft Kinect | Upper limb modeling

[18] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Maffioletti F., Falconi L., Quantitative assessment of upper limb rehabilitation through digital motion acquisition, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 17(6), 1266-1277, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Motion capture (Mocap) systems are considered more and more interesting for the assessment of rehabilitation processes. In fact, medical personnel are increasingly demanding for technologies (possibly low-cost) to quantitatively measure and assess patients’ improvements during rehabilitation exercises. In this paper, we focus the attention on the assessment of rehabilitation process for injured shoulders. This is particularly challenging because the recognition and the measurement of compensatory movements are very difficult during visual assessment and the movements of a shoulder are complex and arduous to be captured. The proposed solution integrates a low-cost Mocap system with video processing techniques to allow a quantitative evaluation of abduction, which is one of the first post-surgery exercises required for shoulder rehabilitation. The procedure is based on a set of open-source software tools to measure abduction and evaluate the correctness of the movement by detecting and measuring compensatory movements according to the parameters commonly considered by the physicians. Finally, a preliminary results and future works are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Embedded Knowledge | Medical assessment | Microsoft Kinect v2 | Motion Capture | Post-surgery shoulder

[19] Vitali A., Colombo G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Virtual prototyping and physical experimentation of lower limb prosthesis, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 111-117, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Among rising technology in medical field, methods and solutions of reverse engineering have a high impact as a new possibility for improving the traditional processes to design prosthesis and orthoses. Furthermore, reverse engineering solutions allows managing a big amount of patient's data, which can be also exploited for making the medical assessment during rehabilitation activities more objective and measurable. In particular, innovative technologies permit to manage big amount of data coming from several IT devices in order to better understand the correlation between technical aspects and human factors. These IT devices can be exploited through customized software applications, which are able to combine many data types (e.g. 3D scanners, motion capture systems and pressure sensors). In this research work, the attention is focused on the design of lower limb prosthesis around the digital human model of the patient. We present a virtual platform composed by an ad-hoc developed application for customizing the prosthesis according to patients' life style and medical knowledge as well as for visualizing pressure on patient's limb while evaluating his/her gait in a unique virtual knowledge-guided environment. Such applications are conceived to be usable by non IT experts, and all information are directly visualized on the digital human model of the amputee. The first part of the paper introduces the whole platform to design lower limb prosthesis using low-cost technologies. Then, the virtual gait analysis tool is described. Finally, tests and conclusion are discussed.

Keywords: 3D modelling | Health informatics | Marker-less motion capture system | Pressure data | User centered design

[20] Regazzoni D., Vitali A., Rizzi C., Colombo G., A virtual platform for lower limb prosthesis design and assessment, DHM and Posturography, 733-746, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: This scientific work aims at developing an innovative virtual platform to design lower limb prosthesis centered on the virtual model of the patient and based on a computer-aided and knowledge-guided approach. The main idea is to develop a digital human model of the amputee to be used by the prosthetist in a full virtual environment in which a platform provides a set of interactive tools to design, configure, and test the prosthesis. This virtual platform permits to design and configure the whole prosthesis, in particular, the 3D model of the assembled prosthesis, crucial to define the prosthesis setup and patient’s walking performance. An ad-hoc computer-aided design system has been developed in house to design the 3D model of the socket according to traditional operations made by technicians during traditional manufacturing process. Moreover, a finite element model has been defined to study the contact between residual limb and socket. The resulting 3D model of the socket can be realized by exploiting multimaterial additive manufacturing technology. Finally, the developed platform also permits to handle contact pressures and patient’s gait data in a unique application through the use of a low-cost motion capture (MOCAP) system. The whole platform has been tested with the help of an Italian orthopedic laboratory. The developed platform is a promising solution to develop the check socket, and the application may be used also for training purpose for junior orthopedic technicians.

Keywords: Low-cost MOCAP system | Lower limb prosthesis | Pressure analysis | Socket design and 3D modeling

[21] Regazzoni D., Vitali A., Zefinetti F.C., Rizzi C., Gait analysis in the assessment of patients undergoing a total hip replacement, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 14, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Nowadays, healthcare centers are not familiar with quantitative approaches for patients’ gait evaluation. There is a clear need for methods to obtain objective figures characterizing patients’ performance. Actually, there are no diffused methods for comparing the pre- and post-operative conditions of the same patient, integrating clinical information and representing a measure of the efficiency of functional recovery, especially in the short-term distance of the surgical intervention. To this aim, human motion tracking for medical analysis is creating new frontiers for potential clinical and home applications. Motion Capture (Mocap) systems are used to allow detecting and tracking human body movements, such as gait or any other gesture or posture in a specific context. In particular, low-cost portable systems can be adopted for the tracking of patients’ movements. The pipeline going from tracking the scene to the creation of performance scores and indicators has its main challenge in the data elaboration, which depends on the specific context and to the detailed performance to be evaluated. The main objective of this research is to investigate whether the evaluation of the patient's gait through markerless optical motion capture technology can be added to clinical evaluations scores and if it is able to provide a quantitative measure of recovery in the short postoperative period. A system has been conceived, including commercial sensors and a way to elaborate data captured according to caregivers’ requirements. This allows transforming the real gait of a patient right before and/or after the surgical procedure into a set of scores of medical relevance for his/her evaluation. The technical solution developed in this research will be the base for a large acquisition and data elaboration campaign performed in collaboration with an orthopedic team of surgeons specialized in hip arthroplasty. This will also allow assessing and comparing the short run results obtained by adopting different state-of-the-art surgical approach for the hip replacement.

[22] Regazzoni D., Vitali A., Rizzi C., Towards a broad use of gamification based on hand tracking in post stroke patients, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: In the last years, the advent of innovative technologies for tracking human motions is increasing the interest of physicians and physiotherapist, who would like to introduce new instruments for a more objective assessment of the rehabilitation processes. At present, many motion tracking systems have been developed and their ease of use and low-cost may represent the key aspects for which these systems could be really adopted both in rehabilitation centers and in rehabilitation programs at home. Several research studies confirmed the importance of continuing rehabilitation programs at home with the aim to maintain patients’ health condition at a suitable level for daily life activities. Physicians and physiotherapists need methods and tools, which can be simply adaptable for each type of patients’ category and type of rehabilitation according to the assessed pathology. For achieving this need, the technology has to be suitable for both the patient side and medical personnel side. The most suitable technology for the patients are motion tracking devices which can be used through traditional IT, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Also for medical personnel the ease of use is very important, physicians would like to check the patient’s rehab exercises according to their medical knowledge by exploiting daily life technology. This research work investigates on which are the best user-friendly programming tools and low-cost technology for 3D hand and finger tracking for the development of a serious game for rehabilitation exercises. The tasks are designed according to physiotherapists’ recommendations, in order to be customizable for any single user. The following sections will describe the method, the tools adopted, and the application developed.

Keywords: Hand tracking | Leap motion device | Low-cost technology | Post-stroke rehabilitation | Unity

[23] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Maffioletti F., A new approach for medical assessment of patient’s injured shoulder, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Low cost marker-less motion capture (Mocap) systems can be considered an interesting technology for the objective assessment of rehabilitation processes. In particular, this paper presents a feasibility study to introduce a Mocap system as a tool to assess shoulder rehabilitation. The movements of a shoulder are complex and challenging to be captured with a marker-less system because the skeleton avatar usually oversimplifies shoulder articulation with a single virtual joint. The designed solution integrates a low-cost Mocap system with image processing techniques and convolutional neural networks to automatically detect and measure potential compensatory movements executed during an abduction, which is one of the first post-surgery exercises for shoulder rehabilitation. First, we introduce the main steps of a reference roadmap that guided the development of the Mocap solution for rehab assessment of injured shoulder. Then, the acquisition of medical knowledge is presented as well as the new Mocap solution based on the integration of convolutional neural networks and 2D motion tracking techniques. Finally, the application which automatically evaluates abductions and makes available the measurements of the scapular elevations is described. Preliminary study and future works are also presented and discussed.

Keywords: Blender | Marker-less Motion capture system | Open source SDK | OpenPose | Shoulder rehabilitation

[24] Caputi A., Cohen M.W., Russo D., Rizzi C., Topology optimization using explicit stress tensor analysis, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 16(4), 766-777, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: In this work, a framework for an inedited method for mechanical structures optimization is proposed. It is performed by re-arranging the Topology Optimization mesh obtained by BESO according to mechanical parameters. The principal stresses and the slope of the principal reference system are calculated, mesh elements are rotated, and a process of joining and size-modifying elements is performed. In a further step, a fine gradient based shape optimization may be applied. The main advantage of the method is that the final layout is created by modifying the orientation of the resulting elements, and an enhanced distribution of material is achieved. The goal is to overcome the sensitivity problems of other methodologies, and to reduce undesired checkerboard pattern. Finally, the preliminary results of a first implementation of the methodology are presented.

Keywords: FEM | Stress tensor analysis | Topology optimization

[25] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Digital motion acquisition to assess spinal cord injured (SCI) patients, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 16(5), 962-971, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: The rehabilitation process of patients after spinal cord injury (SCI) is usually based on subjective visual assessment by medical staff of rehabilitation centers. During the process, the medical personnel train patients to manage wheelchair and they learn how to use their sensible body parts in order to have a satisfactory life-style. Furthermore, physiotherapists and physicians have to control patients to prevent wrong postures that could cause further disorders. This paper describes how a low-cost marker-less motion capture system can be exploited to create an objective assessment procedure. Three Microsoft Kinect v2 sensors have been used to track patients using their wheelchairs along a straight path. The three sensors are arranged to optimize the acquisition. Thanks to the collaboration with the medical staff, we identified the set of parameters necessary to monitor patients’ performance. An ad hoc application has been developed to provide the physicians with the right set of data easy readable to assess the patients along the rehabilitation process. The application has been tested involving twenty volunteers. Finally, results reached so far and further developments are summarized and discussed.

Keywords: Assessment of rehabilitation processes | Low-cost marker-less motion capture system | Microsoft Kinect v2 | Spinal cord injury

[26] Vitali A., Rizzi C., Acquisition of customer’s tailor measurements for 3D clothing design using virtual reality devices, Virtual and Physical Prototyping, 13(3), 131-145, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Over recent years, various virtual prototyping technologies have been developed to innovate apparel industry. For each step of the garment design process one can find dedicated tools (from body acquisition to garment modelling and simulation) with the aim of making the process easier and faster. However, most of them are based on expensive solutions both for hardware and software systems. In this paper, we focus the attention on the first step of the made-to-measure garment design, i.e. customer’s measures acquisition. We present a plug-in, named Tailor Tracking, which permits to get the measurements by interacting with the customer’s avatar using hands as in the traditional way. Tailor Tracking has been developed using low cost devices, such as Microsoft Kinect sensor, Leap motion device and Oculus Rift, and open source libraries, such as Visualisation Toolkit (VTK) and Qt. The proposed approach is based on the use of multiple Kinect v2 to simultaneously acquire both customer’s body and motion. This permits to emulate the customer’s postures required to take the correct measurements. In addition, a virtual measuring tape is made available to replicate the one commonly used by the tailor. A men shirt has been considered as case study and a tailor and 14 people with no skills in garment design and different levels of experience in virtual reality technology have been involved to preliminary test Tailor tracking. Finally, tests as well as results reached so far are presented and discussed. Results have been considered quite good; however, some critical measures have been identified as well as future developments. Anyway, Tailor Tracking can represent an alternative solution to the existing approaches that automatically extract anthropometric measures from the customer’s avatar.

Keywords: Clothing design | garment measurements | hand-tracking device | head mounted display | Kinect sensors | motion capture | virtual reality

[27] Colombo G., Rizzi C., Regazzoni D., Vitali A., 3D interactive environment for the design of medical devices, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 12(2), 699-715, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: The effectiveness of custom-made prostheses or orthoses heavily depends on the experience and skills of the personnel involved in their production. For complex devices, such as lower limb prosthesis, a conventional manual approach affects the process at the point that the result is frequently not acceptable at the first trial. The paper presents a computer-aided environment, named socket modelling assistant2 (i.e., SMA 2) , to interactively design the socket of lower limb prosthesis by implementing a set of design rules extrapolated from the traditional development process. The new computer-aided environment has been implemented embracing a low-cost philosophy and using open source libraries to provide a solution affordable also by small orthopaedic laboratories. The system permits to modify and interact with the 3D model of residual limb to create the socket geometric model ready to be manufactured by means of additive manufacturing. SMA 2 embeds medical knowledge related to the device functioning, the conventional process and the way orthopaedic technicians work so that it can be much more reliable and repeatable compared to the conventional process, but still enough similar to it to be accepted by the involved personnel. In the paper, the new 3D design procedure is described in detail, from the acquisition of patient’s data to preliminary and customized modelling, and new geometric tools to perform context–related operations are shown. A case study is used to clarify the way the system works and to provide an example of the outcome.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing | Custom medical devices | Geometric modelling | Interactive design

[28] Caputi A., Russo D., Rizzi C., Multilevel topology optimization, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 15(2), 193-202, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper proposes an extension of the Function-Behaviour-Structure (FBS) framework to multi-level design representation. The ontology based on function, behaviour and structure has been enriched with a new design entity, the topology, with the aim of connecting more levels of representation. According to this new paradigm, design activity is not focused exclusively on working principle, shape and material at macro level, but goes beyond, to greater levels of detail, designing for example how to dispose material in the inner structure of the product parts at microscopic level. Structural optimizers are excellent tools to design the topology of a structure according to its function and behaviour, but they have been conceived for working only at mono-level. This paper proposes a multi-step optimization process for improving the versatility of structural optimization tools allowing them working also in both macro and microscopic dimensional scales.

Keywords: FBS | multilevel | Structural optimization | topology

[29] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Colombo G., Extending VTK library to dynamically modify polygonal meshes in medical applications, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 15(2), 203-210, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Rising reverse engineering applications require the use of 3D models based on polygonal meshes and a set of modeling operations to shape the final product. Usually, 3D modeling tools do not exploit existing software development kits for developing custom virtual applications. This approach can be very useful for reverse engineering process in the medical field. The paper describes the software development of local mesh modeling algorithms as an extension of the open source library VTK with the aim of shaping 3D triangulated meshes. Then, a case study has been considered to create virtual modeling tools supporting the design process of custom-fit products and, in particular, of lower limb prosthetic socket for amputees. The application has been tested to design a socket for a patient with an above knee amputation. Results reached so far provide a positive feedback on the quality of the designed process and outcome, mainly thanks to the use of the virtual tools based on the developed software modules for 3D mesh modeling.

Keywords: medical devices | Polygonal 3D modeling | prosthesis design | VTK

[30] Regazzoni D., Vitali A., Rizzi C., Zefinetti F.C., Motion capture and data elaboration to analyse wheelchair set-up and users' performance, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 13, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Using a wheelchair can be a challenging task for people with reduced force and control of muscles of abdomen or lower back. Spinal cord injured (SCI) people are the majority of those who are spending most of the day on a wheelchair and a proper training and chair setup is mandatory to reach a good level of functionality and to avoid harms and side effects. In order to assess the complex motion of a person self-pushing a wheelchair, a motion capture (Mocap) system has been arranged and a group of SCI patients has been acquired in a hospital gym. The Mocap system uses three Microsoft Kinect RGB-D sensors and iPisoft to perform the recording of the 3D motion. The main goal of the research is to provide therapists with a quantitative method to define a preliminary configuration in an objective way once is given the user's medical conditions and his/her way of using the wheelchair. Working side by side with physiotherapists, the main parameters to be evaluated (e.g. pushing angles) have been identified and algorithms have been identified to automatically extract them from the 3D digital avatar model data coming from the Mocap system. The performance of the patients is then analyzed taking into account the wheelchair setup (e.g. position and inclination of the seat and of the back). The influence of geometric parameters on patients' motion is analyzed so that design guidelines for configuration can be found. The overall outcome is to maximize performance and minimize side effects and fatigue, providing users with a better experience on the wheelchair.

[31] Caputi A., Cohen M.W., Rizzi C., Russo D., Truss design and optimization using stress analysis and NURBS curves, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 13, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a novel design methodology, which combines topology and shape optimization to define material distribution in the structural design of a truss. Firstly, in order to identify the best layout, the topology optimization process in the design domain is carried out by applying the BESO (Bidirectional Evolutionary Structural Optimization) method. In this approach, the low energy elements are eliminated from an initial mesh, and a new geometry is constructed. This new geometry consists of a set of elements with a higher elastic energy. This results in a new division of material providing different zones, some subjected to higher stress and others containing less elastic energy. Moreover, the elements of the final mesh are re-arranged and modified, considering the distribution of tension. This new arrangement is constructed by aligning and rotating the original mesh elements coherently to the principal directions. In the Shape Optimization stage, the resulting TO (Topology Optimization) geometry is refined. A process of replacing the tabular mesh is performed by rearranging the remaining elements. The vertices of the mesh are set as control polygon vertices and used as reference to define the NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) curves. This provides a parametric representation of the boundaries, outlining the high elastic energy zones. The final stage is the optimization of the continuous and analytically defined NURBS curve outlining the solid material domain. The Shape Optimization is carried out applying a gradient-based optimization method.

[32] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Virtual reality applications: Guidelines to design natural user interface, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1B-2018, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: The Natural User Interface (NUI), which permits a simple and consistent user’s interaction, represents a meaningful challenge for developing virtual/augmented reality applications. This paper presents a set of guidelines to design optimal NUI as well as a software framework, named FrameworkVR, which encapsulates the rules of presented guidelines. FrameworkVR allows developing NUI for VR/AR reality applications based on Oculus Rift, Leap Motions device and on the VTK open source library. An example of VR application for prosthesis design developed using FrameworkVR, is also described. Tests have been carried to validate the approach and the designed NUI and results reached so far are presented and discussed.

[33] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Colombo G., A method to analyse generic human motion with low-cost mocap technologies, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1B-2018, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: A number of pathologies impact on the way a patient can either move or control the movements of the body. Traumas, articulation arthritis or generic orthopedic disease affect the way a person can walk or perform everyday movements; brain or spine issues can lead to a complete or partial impairment, affecting both muscular response and sensitivity. Each of these disorder shares the need of assessing patient’s condition while doing specific tests and exercises or accomplishing everyday life tasks. Moreover, also high-level sport activity may be worth using digital tools to acquire physical performances to be improved. The assessment can be done for several purpose, such as creating a custom physical rehabilitation plan, monitoring improvements or worsening over time, correcting wrong postures or bad habits and, in the sportive domain to optimize effectiveness of gestures or related energy consumption. The paper shows the use of low-cost motion capture techniques to acquire human motion, the transfer of motion data to a digital human model and the extraction of desired information according to each specific medical or sportive purpose. We adopted the well-known and widespread Mocap technology implemented by Microsoft Kinect devices and we used iPisoft tools to perform acquisition and the preliminary data elaboration on the virtual skeleton of the patient. The focus of the paper is on the working method that can be generalized to be adopted in any medical, rehabilitative or sportive condition in which the analysis of the motion is crucial. The acquisition scene can be optimized in terms of size and shape of the working volume and in the number and positioning of sensors. However, the most important and decisive phase consist in the knowledge acquisition and management. For each application and even for each single exercise or tasks a set of evaluation rules and thresholds must be extracted from literature or, more often, directly form experienced personnel. This operation is generally time consuming and require further iterations to be refined, but it is the core to generate an effective metric and to correctly assess patients and athletes performances. Once rules are defined, proper algorithms are defined and implemented to automatically extract only the relevant data in specific time frames to calculate performance indexes. At last, a report is generated according to final user requests and skills.

[34] Comotti C., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Additive manufacturing to advance functional design: An application in the medical field, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, 17(3), (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: The improvement and the massive diffusion of additive manufacturing (AM) techniques have fostered the research of design methods to exploit at best the feature introduced by these solutions. The whole design paradigm needs to be changed taking into account new manufacturing capabilities. AM is not only an innovative method of fabrication, but it requires a new way to design products. Traditional practices of mechanical design are changing to exploit all potential of AM, new parameters and geometries could be realized avoiding technologies constrains of molding or machine tooling. The concept of "manufacturing for design" increasingly acquires greater importance and this means we have the chance to focus almost entirely on product functionality. The possibility to confer inhomogeneous properties to objects provides an important design key. We will study behavior and structure according to desired functions for each object identifying three main aspects to vary: infill type, external topology and shape, and material composition. In this research work, we focus on fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology of three dimensional (3D) printing that easily allows to explore all previous conditions. We present a new way to conceive design process in order to confer variable properties to AM objects and some guidelines to control properties of deformation and elasticity using classic infills. The ultimate aim is to apply new design rules provided by AM in the prosthetic field of lower limb amputees. The socket of the prosthesis represents a deformable interface between the residual limb and the artificial leg that must be optimized according to geometry and loads distribution of patient. An application for a transfemoral patient will be discussed.

[35] Spreafico C., Russo D., Rizzi C., A state-of-the-art review of FMEA/FMECA including patents, Computer Science Review, 25, 19-28, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a critical review of Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA). Although the method is almost 70 years old, in literature there are still many researchers, both from academy and industry, devoted to improve it and overcoming unsolved and still open problems. The aim of this work consists in analysing a representative pool of scientific papers (220) and patents (109), in order to have an overview of the evolution of the method and try to understand if the efforts spent to improve it effectively answer to the several criticisms found in literature. All documents have been classified according to authors, source, and four technical classes dealing with the applicability of the method, representation of the cause and effect chain, risk analysis and integration with the problem-solving phase. A detailed analysis of the results allowed us to identify the most current problems, the improvement paths, and which other methods and tool are proposed to be integrated with FMEA.

Keywords: FMEA | FMECA | Patents | Risk analysis

[36] Vitali A., Rizzi C., A virtual environment to emulate tailor’s work, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 14(5), 671-679, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: In fashion industry, 2D and 3D CAD systems to design garments already exist; however, some tasks of the process are neglected. We refer to made-to-measure garments and focus the attention on the first step of garment design, i.e. acquisition of customer’s measurement. In this paper we present an application based on mixed reality, named Tailor LABoratory (TLAB), which permits to take measures for clothing design as traditionally done by the tailor. TLAB has been developed using open source libraries (e.g., VTK and Blender) and low cost devices, such as Microsoft Kinect v2 to scan the human body, Oculus Rift v2 to create the 3D virtual reality and Leap Motion device to track hands motion. In particular, a virtual tape measure is made available to take measures interacting with the human avatar. To replicate the customer’s posture with her/his digital model, Blender has been adopted. It permits to manage body animations and automatic association of an animation to the 3D human avatar. Finally, preliminary tests are illustrated as well as results reached so far and future development.

Keywords: Leap Motion | mixed reality | Oculus Rift | tailor’s work | virtual garments design

[37] Comotti C., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Pressure data and multi-material approach to design prosthesis, Communications in Computer and Information Science, 665, 35-45, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper concerns the design and manufacture of medical devices, such as lower limb prosthesis, integrating low cost industrial technologies. In particular, it focuses the attention on the custom-fit component of a lower limb prosthesis, i.e., the socket, that is the interface with the residual limb. The considered process starts from the 3D reconstruction of patients’ limb and ends with the manufacture of the socket with a 3D printer using a multi-material approach. The process counts three steps: 3D modeling, testing (both experimental and numer-ical) and manufacturing. For each step adopted solutions and tools are described. Finally, conclusions are drawn mainly concerning the challenge of multi-material 3D printing of the socket.

Keywords: 3D printing | Lower limb prosthesis | Socket Modelling Assistant

[38] Vitali A., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Colombo G., Design and additive manufacturing of lower limb prosthetic socket, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 11, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Additive Manufacturing (AM) is not only an innovative approach of fabrication but it fosters a new paradigm to design products. The possibility to confer inhomogeneous properties to the product provides an important design key. This paper concerns the design and manufacture of medical devices that require a high level of customization. We focus the attention on lower limb prosthesis and in particular on the prosthetic socket. The proposed method is centered on the virtual modeling of patient's residual limb and the virtual process is highly integrated and the data flow is as fluid as possible. Three main phases can be identified: design, validation and manufacture of the socket. Firstly, the technician uses the Socket Modeling Assistant (SMA) tool to design the socket shape. Then, a numerical simulation is run to check pressure distribution and validate the socket shape. Finally, a multi-material 3D printer is used to build the socket. Preliminary results are presented and conclusions are drawn concerning the challenge of multimaterial 3D printing of the socket.

[39] Regazzoni D., Vitali A., Rizzi C., Analysis of patients with spinal cord injury using motion capture, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: The way a person moves, either in a plain walk or performing a specific task, tells a huge quantity of information about his/her physical and, eventually, neurologic condition. A large part of a physiotherapist work of assessment is based on the qualitative evaluation, mainly visual, of a person's movements, in terms of balance, speed, control, force and other parameters. This research work aims at providing personnel involved in the rehab process with a quantitative method to assess the way movements are performed. A numerical measure of the performance, actually, allows easier and more precise assessment, eliminating bias due to subjectivity. To accomplish this goal two steps are required: 3D acquisition of the movement using a Motion Capture (Mocap) system, and analysis of collected data to extract or elaborate the final outcome in the form requested by the medical staff. The paper shows the way Mocap acquisition are performed and data are analyzed in the application with people having a complete spinal cord injury and using a wheelchair. The method has been tested with eight volunteers in the rehabilitation department of the Hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy.

[40] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., An overview of open source software systems for smart development of virtual environments, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 10286 LNCS, 358-368, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents an overview of main open source software, low-cost devices and related SDKs (Software Development Kits) that can be used to develop custom applications based on virtual and augmented reality. At present, the high modularity of the open source software for computer graphics allows developing custom applications with high quality for several research and industrial fields. To this end, we introduce a general-purpose software framework, which permits to manage the synchronization among the SDKs of different low-cost devices. Mentioned devices and software modules have been exploited to develop three applications in different fields.

Keywords: Low-cost devices | Open-source software | Virtual reality

[41] Russo D., Rizzi C., Fayemi P.E., An industrial application of a TRIZ based eco-design approach, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 68, 909-918, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: ITree, a step by step procedure for supporting eco-assessment and eco-design is presented. The assessment phase is carried out combining life cycle assessment, for calculating the environmental impacts, with an innovative technique, called “IFR index”, for selecting the main LCA criticalities. IFR index is inspired by Ideal Final Result tool from TRIZ, the Theory of inventive problem solving. Also part of the design phase is based on the use of TRIZ: a set of Eco-guidelines, have been conceived introducing TRIZ fundamentals onto green design. An industrial case study dealing with the production of a chemical product for the agricultural market illustrates how the method has been applied.

Keywords: Eco-assessment | Eco-design | Eco-improvement | Guidelines | TRIZ

[42] Russo D., Rizzi C., Spreafico C., How to build guidelines for eco-improvement, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 68, 879-887, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Over the last 30 years the number of methods for Eco-design increased dramatically. LCA in Eco-assessment has established itself as a reference methodology and with it some tools that reached an international resonance. On the contrary, in the Eco-improvement world, the growth of methods has not been accompanied by a method or a tool better than other ones. One of the main reasons is the different type of users; there are people skilled in problem solving and those who have no experience. In addition, in order to be universal, the methods based on guidelines often do not go into too much detail, thus limiting their effectiveness. The balance between completeness and simplicity is the key issue around which the authors have attempted in recent years. In such a context, this paper aims at solving this contradiction and proposes an ontological framework to build guidelines for eco-improvements. Their content has been structured into five parts, according to well-known conceptual design frameworks, such as Function-Behaviour-Structure (FBS) methods and similar. The result is a set of over than two hundreds suggestions that can be comfortably used through a web portal following a recommended step-by-step methodological path.

Keywords: Eco-design | FBS | Guidelines | Ontology | Web portal

[43] Carulli M., Vitali A., Caruso G., Bordegoni M., Rizzi C., Cugini U., ICT technology for innovating the garment design process in fashion industry, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 65, 525-535, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: The Italian fashion industry is nowadays subject to radical transformation; therefore, it needs to remain competitive and, at the same time, innovate itself, in order to strengthen its position in the global market. An important opportunity of innovation can be the introduction of ICT technologies in the garment design process, which today is based on traditional methods and tools. Moreover, this innovation could be particularly important for online sales, in order to reduce the customers’ doubts during purchasing. The research presented in this paper describes a framework for designing clothes as realistic 3D digital models and for allowing customers to evaluate the designed clothes by using realistic virtual mannequins of their bodies instead of the standard ones. A case study will be presented in the paper. The obtained results show that the framework can innovate the traditional garment design process and it could have a huge impact on fashion industry and customers behaviours.

Keywords: Body scanning | Cloth simulation | Design process | Motion capture | Virtual prototype

[44] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Patients’ evaluation based on digital motion acquisition, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(6), 808-815, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper explores the possibility of using low-cost motion capture technologies to automatically evaluate patient’s condition concerning his/her walking condition. Two different technologies, optical markerless and inertial, are used to track the gait to be adopted in a doctor’s office or at patient’s home. The data acquired are elaborated using commercial and in-house developed tools with the aim of creating, in a near future, a simple environment for medical staff and people non highly skilled in IC technology. The paper shows the feasibility of an automatic detection of a set of gait abnormalities affecting people having a lower limb prosthesis. This constitutes a robust support for orthopedic technicians work and foresees the use of such technology for larger surveys and early detection of gait deviations.

Keywords: Gait Analysis | Inertial sensors | Motion Capture | RGB-D sensors

[45] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Mixed reality to design lower limb prosthesis, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(6), 799-807, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a Mixed Reality environment, named Virtual Orthopedic LABoratory (VOLAB), which permits to emulate an orthopedic lab and design lower limb prosthesis, in particular, the socket component. The proposed solution is based on low cost devices (e.g., Microsoft Kinect) and open source libraries (e.g., OpenCL and VTK). In detail, the hardware architecture consists of three Microsoft Kinect v2, Oculus Rift for 3D environment visualization and Leap Motion device for hand/fingers tracking. The software development has been based on the modular structure of the prosthetic CAD system, named Socket Modelling Assistant (SMA) and modules have been developed to guarantee the communication among the devices and the performance. Finally, preliminary tests are illustrated as well as results reached so far and future development.

Keywords: Augmented Interaction | Human body devices | Low Cost Hand-Tracking devices | Mixed Reality | Prosthesis design | Socket Modelling Assistant

[46] Russo D., Serafini M., Rizzi C., TRIZ based computer aided LCA for Ecodesign, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(6), 816-826, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: With the growing environmental conscience, the focus of sustainability has shifted from environmental assessment to improvement. An increasing number of improvement tools are being developed, but they all lack integration with the assessment phase, or provide very simplified and unreliable assessment tools. We propose an integrated approach to environmental assessment and improvement, with a focus on green product development and problem solving. The main novelty of this work lies in the adoption of TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) fundamentals, which allow us to transform traditional LCA criticalities, i.e. the most impacting flows of a product, into eco improvement criticalities, i.e. the potential of improvement of each flow. For this, we developed a graphical ontology that guides the designer in mapping the product life cycle, identifying and highlighting criticalities, and tracking the improvement effort. A new approach is proposed, focused toward problem solving rather than environmental certification. Indeed, available systems fail to highlight the contradictions that normally occur during problem solving, in which any improvement is met with a trade-off that is never fully understood until a new assessment is performed. In the proposed methodology, the mapping scheme is designed to help problem solving, by graphically highlighting the critical product components that need to be improved, suggesting customized guidelines that target specific flows and life cycle phases, and foreseeing possible trade-offs that may arise.

Keywords: decision making | eco-improvement | green design | infographics | LCA | TRIZ

[47] Regazzoni D., Vitali A., Colombo G., Rizzi C., Virtual gait analysis tool to test lower limb prosthesis, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 57-60, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: Digital Human Modelling (DHM) is becoming a simple way to study the ergonomic behaviour of devices interacting with the human body. In particular, innovative technologies per- mit to manage big amount of data coming from several IT devices in order to better understand the correlation be- tween technical aspects and human factors. In the medical field DHM can be exploited to combine in a unique applica- tion many data types coming from several inputs (e.g. 3D scan, motion capture). In this research work, the attention is focused on the design of lower limb prosthesis around the digital human model of the patient. We present an appli- cation, which allows visualizing pressure on patient's limb while evaluating his/her gait in a unique virtual knowledge- guided environment. Such application is conceived to be usable by non IT experts, and all information are directly visualized on the digital human model of the amputee. The first part of the paper describes the platform to design lower limb prosthesis with particular attention on the use of low- cost technologies. Then, the virtual gait analysis tool is described. Finally, tests and conclusion are discussed.

Keywords: Digital human modelling | Gait analysis | Lower limb prosthesis | Pressure mapping

[48] Serafini M., Furini F., Colombo G., Rizzi C., Optimized development: defining design rules through product optimization techniques, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(5), 600-609, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: In recent years, parametric optimization has become an important part of product development, allowing the designer to explore an unprecedented number of product configurations. However, optimization is often thought of as the last step of the design process; the product has already been defined and the designer aim is toward the optimization of its performance. At this stage, the main performance trade-offs have been set and cannot be solved by the optimization. We propose an early application of optimization techniques during the product embodiment phase; aimed not at finding the optimal configuration of an existing product, but at highlighting trade-offs and the effect of design variables on the product performance. The output of the proposed procedure is a set of design guidelines that describe the design challenges at an early stage, when there is still time to address trade-offs, and, possibly, resolve them before the final, and more classical, product optimization. The procedure has been tested on two exemplary case studies pertaining to food product refrigeration: a refrigerated display unit and a cabinet shelf.

Keywords: design guidelines | Embodiment design | Optimization

[49] Colombo G., Comotti C., Redaelli D.F., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., A method to improve prosthesis leg design based on pressure analysis at the socket-residual limb interface, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1A-2016, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a methodology and tools to improve the design of lower limb prosthesis through the measurement of pressure analysis at the interface residual limb-socket. The steps of the methodology and the design tools are presented using a case study focused on a transfemoral (amputation above knee) male amputee. The experimental setup based on F-Socket Tekscan pressure system is described as well the results of some static loading tests. Pressure data are visualized with a colour pressure map over the 3D model of the residual limb acquired using an optical low cost scanner, based on MS Kinect. Previous methodology is useful to evaluate a physical prototype; in order to improve also conceptual design, the Finite Element (FE) Analysis has been carried and results reached so far have been compared with experimental tests. Pressure distributions are comparable, even if some discrepancies have been highlighted due to sensors placements and implemented FE model. Future developments have been identified in order to improve the accuracy of the numerical simulations.

[50] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Automatic below-knee prosthesis socket design: A preliminary approach, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9745, 75-81, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: In this work we present a preliminary study on a system able to design automatically sockets for lower-limb prosthesis. The socket is the most important part of the whole prosthesis and requires a custom design specific for the patient’s characteristics and her/his residuum morphology. The system takes in input the weight and the lifestyle of the patient, the tonicity level and the geometry file of the residuum, and creates a new model applying the correct geometric deformations needed to create a functional socket. In fact, in order to provide the right fit and prevent pain, we need to create on the socket load and off-load zones in correspondence of the critical anatomical areas. To identify the position of such critical areas, several neural networks have been trained using a dataset generated from real residuum models.

Keywords: CAD | Lower limb prosthesis | Neural network | Prosthetic socket

[51] Colombo G., Comotti C., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Visual representation of dynamic pressure map on the digital human model of patient with a lower limb prosthesis, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9745, 140-149, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The socket for lower limb prosthesis is the central element of artificial leg that needs to be optimize with the aim to increase comfort and reduce pain. Nowadays, the modeling of this part is completely manual and based on prosthetist skills. The key parameter determining if the socket is properly designed is the pressure distribution in the interface between the skin of residual limb and the internal surface of the socket. In this paper, we expose a method to measure this pressure thought resistive pressure sensors and we illustrate a case study of a transfemoral amputee patient. A visualization tool has been developed to dynamically show pressure data on the 3D model of the residual limb during topic moments of the gait by a color scale. Achieved results and future work will be discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Gait | Lower limb prosthesis | Pressure mapping

[52] Vitali A., D'Amico L., Rizzi C., Virtual tailor for garment design, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9740, 653-661, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents an application, named TLAB (i.e., Tailor’s LABoratory) to support virtual clothing design. In particular, it focuses the attention to the first step of garment design process, i.e., customers’ measure acquisition. TLAB is based on low-cost innovative technology (e.g., Oculus Rift SDK 2, Leap Motion device and Microsoft Kinect v2) to permit the interaction by hand and emulate the work traditionally done by tailors to manufacture a garment. In this paper, firstly we present the technology used for creating TLAB by describing hardware and software solutions adopted. Then, the design of a Natural User Interface (NUI) is depicted. The NUI design allows simplifying the interaction with hands through the use of the Leap Motion device as hand-tracking device. Finally, preliminary tests are discussed and conclusion presented.

Keywords: Augmented interaction | Garment design | Mixed reality

[53] Russo D., Serafini M., Rizzi C., Is TRIZ an ecodesign method?, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 52, 525-535, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: Several Ecodesign methods can be found in literature, though none has ever really established itself industrially. On the other hand there is a plethora of methods for problem solving which do not necessarily produce greener solutions. Among these, the most promising is the TRIZ methodology for inventive problem solving. TRIZ is not meant for Ecodesign, but recently more and more eco-applications can be found in the literature. This paper aims at providing a new interpretive key of the TRIZ methodology from an environmental point of view, to distinguish which tools and principles are readily applicable to Ecodesign from those that need to be customized. A detailed analysis of the best-known tools of the methodology applied to Ecodesign is presented, as well as how they have been integrated into a single operational tool called i-Tree.

Keywords: Ecodesign | Environmental assessment | Environmental improvement | LCA | TRIZ

[54] Colombo G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., A methodology for virtual assessment of product ergonomics, International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology, 8(1-2), 125-143, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a method, which integrates digital human models (DHM) and virtual prototyping techniques to analyse ergonomic issues of devices to be used by workers. It is based on the comparison between the analysis of AS-IS and TO-BE scenarios with the aim of assessing design concepts, highlighting improvements or worsening and residual deficiencies to be faced. In particular, this paper refers to the case study of display units for groceries or supermarkets. Actually, workers who are in charge of filling the shelves perform highly repeated tasks, potentially dangerous for their health. The AS-IS and TO-BE analysis compares the actual practices with a new scenario in which workers are provided with lifting platforms to load the shelves. The method allows assessing several ergonomics parameters; in this study posture and fatigue are the most relevant. The results achieved with the simulations permitted to propose alternative solutions. Future works in this field concern the standardisation of domain dependant actions virtual human are asked to perform.

Keywords: Design validation | DHM | Digital human models | Display unit | Ergonomics analysis | Fatigue | Lifting AIDS | NIOSH | OWAS | Posture

[55] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Simplynurbs: A software library to model nurbs for medical applications, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 12(6), 794-802, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Custom-fit products, such as artificial prostheses, often require the development of hoc modeling tools and procedures. In such a context, this paper describes an open source library, named Simply NURBS, developed for NURBS modeling in medical and health-care domains. This new suite makes available a development kit that integrates the key features of existing open source libraries and new ones to fulfill the requirements of the considered domain. First, the paper introduces the library requirements with particular attention to the prosthetic field as well as pros and cons of current NURBS modeling libraries (both commercial and open sources). Then, the software architecture of Simply NURBS and the basic libraries (e.g., OPENCASCADE and NURBS++) used for its implementation are illustrated enhancing differences and improvements. Finally, a socket modeling tool, named Virtual Socket Laboratory (VSL) developed using SimplyNURBS is described as well as results of tests carried out to evaluate the new system performances.

Keywords: Nurbs | Open source libraries | Prosthetic socket

[56] Comotti C., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Multi-material design and 3D printing method of lower limb prosthetic sockets, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 01-02-October-2015, 42-45, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper shows a research activity aimed at integrating low cost industrial technologies in the design, test and man- ufacture of medical devices. This work focuses on lower limb prosthesis and in particular on the custom-fit compo- nent interacting with the residual limb, i.e. the socket. The process going from the 3D reconstruction of patients' limb to the manufacture of the socket by means of a 3D printer has been designed. Moreover, this must be as automatic as possible and should not require the presence of a design and simulation expert. This implied a deep involvement of physicians and orthopaedic technicians in order to embed rules and procedures in the system. The process is divided in three steps: design, test and manufacture. For each step some details are shown and at last some conclusions are drawn mainly concerning the challenge of multi-material 3D printing of the socket.

Keywords: 3D printing | Lower Limb Pros-thesis | Socket Modelling Assistant

[57] Serafini M., Russo D., Rizzi C., Multi Criteria Material Selection for Eco-design, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 12(5), 526-536, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: ABSTRACT: In recent years, structural optimization has changed the way we think of product development. Optimizers allow to explore every possible product shape with the aim of maximizing performance, minimizing cost and accounting for environmental factors from the early phases of the design process. Material selection plays a big role, as one of the first and most binding choices of the product development. Current material selection schemes are too generic and bound to a less shape-driven design, which doesn't take full advantage of the optimization potential. They were developed for constant or self-similar shape products and allow for a substantial degree of subjectivity, when defining weight values for non-constant shape models. This paper proposes a computer-aided material selection scheme for structurally optimized products. It aims at integrating a multi-criteria decision making approach with the product awareness of a structural optimization, in order to systematically define the ranking weight values. The procedure comprises four main steps: a) initial material screening, to obtain a list of product and process compatible materials, b) statistical analysis of the design space through a factorial DoE (Design of Experiment), to rank the effect of each material property on the environmental impact, c) Multi Criteria Decision Making, to rank materials according to each material property importance, d) structural optimization, to identify the best possible shape for the chosen material. The methodology has been tested on a simple case study concerning the design of an environmentally friendly I-beam. The results confirm the feasibility of the proposed approach in improving material selection when a relevant number of decision criteria is involved.

Keywords: eco-design | material selection | multi criteria decision making | structural optimization

[58] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Depth sensors along the design and validation of lower limb prosthesis, Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science, 19(1), (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The diffusion of depth sensors to sense people and objects constitutes an outstanding opportunity in those fields in which the benefits of optical marker-less solutions for scanning or tracking are requested. This paper shows how two different applications based on MS Kinect device can be accomplished in the domain of lower limb prosthesis design and test. The first one refers to the use of a depth camera as a three-dimensional scanner to acquire the geometry of residual limbs or of custom-fit components. The second application is related to the motion capture of patients' gait with the prosthesis. In both cases, the technology resulted to be better than many traditional ones mainly for its limited invasivity, interesting performance, portability and low cost.

Keywords: 3D scanner | Digital human modelling | Lower limb prosthesis | Motion capture | RGB-D cameras

[59] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Depth sensors along the design and validation of lower limb prosthesis, Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science, 19(1), 71-80, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The diffusion of depth sensors to sense people and objects constitutes an outstanding opportunity in those fields in which the benefits of optical marker-less solutions for scanning or tracking are requested. This paper shows how two different applications based on MS Kinect device can be accomplished in the domain of lower limb prosthesis design and test. The first one refers to the use of a depth camera as a three-dimensional scanner to acquire the geometry of residual limbs or of custom-fit components. The second application is related to the motion capture of patients' gait with the prosthesis. In both cases, the technology resulted to be better than many traditional ones mainly for its limited invasivity, interesting performance, portability and low cost.

Keywords: 3D scanner | Digital human modelling | Lower limb prosthesis | Motion capture | RGB-D cameras

[60] Russo D., Serafini M., Rizzi C., Duci S., Comparison and classification of eco improvement methods, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 1(DS 80-01), 77-88, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The number and breadth of eco-improvement methods has been steadily rising over the past decades to include design for X methods and more problem-solving oriented software, based on the Russian TRIZ methodology, and the integration of CAE software and optimization techniques. With such heterogeneous approaches, there is a need of a quantitative classification scheme to help the designer in choosing the best method for each environmental scenario. In the present paper, we propose a comparison and classification, based on the number of eco-guidelines and their distribution on standard impact categories, of 17 of the most known Eco-improvement methods. Furthermore, we propose an interactive selection software that gives the user the ability to exclude or give priority to some life cycle phases and impact categories; empowering him to select the most fitting eco-improvement method or to create a list of the relevant eco-guidelines across all the analysed methods.

Keywords: Classification | Ecodesign | LCA

[61] Colombo G., Rizzi C., Facoetti G., Vitali A., Automatic generation of software interfaces for hand-tracking devices, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1B-2015, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a software module, named tracking plug-in, developed to automatically generate the source code of software interfaces for managing the interaction with low cost hand-tracking devices (e.g., Leap Motion and Intel Gesture Camera) and replicate/emulate manual operations usually performed to design custom-fit products, such medical devices and garments. The proposed solution is based on the Eclipse platform, a free integrated development environment (IDE), that allow us to manage the automatic code generation in a simple way after having defined the target application using a meta-model language, in our case the UML class diagram. First, we describe the background as well as the main problem, then, the software solution and adopted tools (i.e., Eclipse and Acceleo). Finally, the preliminary tests carried out for two applicative contexts (prosthetic and textile/clothing) are presented.

[62] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Comotti C., Massa F., Towards automatic gait assessment by means of RGB-D mocap, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1A-2015, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The present paper describes the research done to empirically validate the use of RGB-D cameras for orthopedic rehabilitation purposes. In order to assess the outcome of optical sensors a set of new generation inertial sensors have been adopted as well. Both kind of sensors have been used to track the same scene simultaneously in order to have comparable results. The aim of the work is provide evidence of performances of the newly introduced sensors (optical and inertial) and to automate acquisition and data elaboration in the medical field. The extraction of the only meaningful data from a gait, for instance, gives the change to perform an automatic preliminary analysis on normal people as well as on patients with known pathologies or disorders. In particular, this could allow determining without human intervention any standard disorders, according to literature classifications, eventually affecting the gait. The automatic procedure from acquisition to diagnosis constitutes a challenging topic of research and a success in terms of reliability, usability and physiological acceptance by technicians would radically impact medical practices in orthopedic rehabilitation centers.

[63] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Low cost hand-tracking devices to design customized medical devices, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9179, 351-360, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper concerns the development of a Natural User Interface (NUI) for lower limb prosthesis design. The proposed solution exploits the Leap Motion device to emulate traditional design tasks manually performed by the prosthetist. We first illustrate why hand-tracking devices can be adopted to design socket of lower limb prosthesis using virtual prototyping tools. Then, we introduce the developed NUI and its features mainly with regards to ergonomics and ease of use. Finally, preliminary tests are illustrated as well as results reached so far.

Keywords: Augmented interaction | Hand-tracking devices | SMA

[64] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Automatic identification of below-knee residuum anatomical zones, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9185, 327-335, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The research work presented in this paper is part of an innovative framework that deals with the design process of lower limb prostheses. The quality of the whole prosthesis depends on the comfort of the socket, which realizes the interface between the patient body and the mechanical parts. We developed a CAD system, named Socket Modelling Assistant that guides the user during the design of the socket, exploiting domain knowledge and design rules. In this work we present a preliminary study that describes the implementation of a software module able to automatically identify the critical areas of the residuum to adequately modify the socket model and reach the optimal shape. Once the critical areas have been identified, the Socket Modelling Assistant can apply proper geometry modifications, in order to create the load and off-load zones for a good pressure distribution over the residual limb.

Keywords: CAD | Lower limb prosthesis | Neural network | Prostheses socket

[65] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Colombo G., The role of virtual ergonomic simulation to develop innovative human centered products, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9185, 74-83, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper concerns the use of integrated methodologies and tools to perform innovative human centered development of products. Digital simulation of ergonomics by means of DHM is shown together with advanced tools for design, taking into account Knowledge-based systems, Design Automation and design of highly customized goods. Two different applications of the proposed approach are described, the first refers to an industrial product, the second to the medical domain. Both applications, even if belonging to completely different fields benefit from putting the human at the center of the developing paradigm from the very first step of product development. Some results and discussion highlight benefits and limitation of the approach and of the adopted tools.

Keywords: Design Automation | Digital human modelling | Ergonomics | Human centered design | Knowledge-based systems | Lower limb prosthesis

[66] Colombo G., Morotti R., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., An approach to integrate numerical simulation within KBE applications, International Journal of Product Development, 20(2), 107-125, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents an approach to automate and integrate numerical simulations within knowledge-based engineering applications to improve the use of simulation tools, especially in small and medium enterprises. Main discussed issues concern: (a) the importance of the CAD model as an input of the process, (b) data migration from CAD to CAE tools, (c) model characterisation, (d) effects of parameters variations, (e) simulation steps, and (f) results evaluation. In addition, formalisation and representation of rules and procedures to automate the design process, in particular the simulation tasks, are presented. Two case studies are described to explain and verify the approach. The first case concerns the design process of centrifugal industrial fans, during which simulation tools are used to verify the correct sizing of impeller blades. The second one is related to a non-industrial process; actually, it regards a medical device, and more precisely lower limb prosthesis. Finally, main results are discussed.

Keywords: Embedded simulations | Industrial fan | KBE | Knowledge-based engineering | Simulation rules | Socket design

[67] Regazzoni D., De Vecchi G., Rizzi C., RGB cams vs RGB-D sensors: Low cost motion capture technologies performances and limitations, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 33(4), 719-728, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Motion capture of the human body has being performed for decades with a growing number of technologies, aims and application fields; but only recent optical markerless technologies based on silhouette recognition and depth sensors which have been developed for videogames control interface have brought motion capture to a broad diffusion. Actually, nowadays there are low cost hardware and software suitable for a wide range of applications that may vary from entertainment domain (e.g., videogames, virtual characters in movies) to the biomechanical and biomedical domain (e.g., gait analysis or orthopedic rehabilitation) and to a huge number of industrial sectors. In this quick evolving scenario it is hard to tell which technology is the most suitable for any desired goal. The aim of the paper is to answer to this issue by presenting a benchmark analysis that compares RGB and RGB-D technologies used to track performing people in a variety of conditions. In order to contrast the solutions, several different tasks have been selected, simultaneously captured and post-processed exactly in the same way. The test campaign has been designed to evaluate pros and cons according to the most important feature of a motion capture technology, such as volume of acquisition, accuracy of joint position and tracking of fast movements. Actors were asked to perform a number of tasks, among which free movements of arms, legs and full body, gait, and tasks performed interacting with a machine. The number of sensors around the scene and their disposition have been considered as well. We used Sony PS Eye cameras and Microsoft Kinect sensors as hardware solutions and iPisoft for data elaboration. The gathered results are organized, compared and discussed stressing performances and limitations of any combination and, at last, we proposed the best candidate technology for some key applications.

Keywords: Benchmark | Depth cameras | Digital Human Models | Motion capture | RGB | RGB-D

[68] Russo D., Rizzi C., Montelisciani G., Inventive guidelines for a TRIZ-based eco-design matrix, Journal of Cleaner Production, 76, 95-105, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Most common eco-design methods for SMEs often provide guidelines and suggestions too general, if not contradictories, to be considered as a real design practice. This paper presents a method, named "iTree", based on a set of eco-design guidelines specifically conceived to support designers in developing new greener products in accordance with the output of a product Life Cycle Assessment-LCA. The "iTree" guidelines are particularly suitable for SME - Small and Medium Enterprises, because they do not specifically require eco-design or problem solving experts. They have been conceived to provide clear and detailed suggestions on where and how to intervene and are based on problem solving methods, such as TRIZ, design for disassembly, and other computer aided tools, adapted for eco-design purposes and simplified for non-expert users. "iTree" method provides the user with an easy and graphical way to visualize the life cycle inventory and critical areas of intervention. For each area, it suggests only the pertinent set of guidelines, customized to the specific situation. In this way, there is a direct link between the visual outcomes of the Eco-assessment phase and the Eco-improvement phase. The experimentation of the proposed method and guidelines is described with an explanatory example. Furthermore, the method has been tested within the European project, named Remake, which aimed at testing new methods of eco-improvement for SMEs in Europe. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Eco-design | Eco-improvement | Guidelines | TRIZ

[69] Facoetti G., Vitali A., Colombo G., Rizzi C., A low cost haptic mouse for prosthetic socket modeling, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 8529 LNCS, 508-515, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper refers to the design of prosthetic socket adopting a computer-aided approach. The main goal is to make available a modeling tool, named SMA-Socket Modeling Assistant, which permits to replicate/emulate manual operations usually performed by the prosthetist. Typically, s/he also relies on the sense of touch; therefore the underlying idea has been to develop and experiment haptic devices. The paper presents a haptic mouse at low-cost to make it affordable also by small orthopedic labs. It is essentially a traditional mouse device enhanced with a servomotor and a pressure sensor pad integrated with Arduino board and SMA. The application within SMA is described as well as the haptic interaction with physically-based model of the residual limb. Finally preliminary tests are illustrated. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Keywords: Arduino | haptic devices | low cost haptic mouse | prosthesis socket modelling

[70] Morotti R., Rizzi C., Regazzoni D., Colombo G., Numerical simulations and experimental data to evaluate residual limb-socket interaction, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 3, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents an automatic simulation procedure to study the stump-socket interaction that has been embedded within a software platform specifically developed to design lower limb prosthesis. In particular, it investigates and compares the results obtained by means of FE tools with the experimental data acquired with pressure transducers. A transfemoral (amputation above knee) male amputee has been considered as case study. Numerical simulations have been carried out considering different techniques to acquire the residuum geometry and different socket models. In details, two residuum geometric models were reconstructed starting from MRI images and from 3D scanning to investigate how acquisition techniques influence the final results. Two socket geometric models were taken into account. The first was the patient's real socket, acquired by 3D scanning; the second one has been modeled using a dedicated CAD system, named Socket Modeling Assistant. The patient's real socket has been also used to perform the experimental pressure measurements. The experimental data have been acquired by means of the Tekscan F-socket system. Results reached so far allowed identifying main criticalities and future developments to improve the accuracy of the numerical results and make available a full-automated simulation procedure.

[71] Colombo G., Rizzi C., Facoetti G., Vitali A., A preliminary study of new interaction devices to enhance virtual socket design, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1B, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a research work on the augmented interaction applied to an innovative platform to design lower limb prosthesis, in particular the prosthetic socket. The underlining idea is to experiment low-cost hand-tracking devices, to manipulate the 3D virtual model of the socket using hands as traditional done by the prosthetist. The goal is to make available a modeling tool, named Socket Modeling Assistant-SMA that permits to replicate/emulate manual operations usually performed by the prosthetist during the traditional development process. Two devices have been considered and compared: the Leap Motion device and the Intel Gestures Camera. To this end a set of gestures has been identified to make more natural the interaction with SMA. Preliminary tests and results reached so are described and discussed.

[72] Morotti R., Rizzi C., Regazzoni D., Colombo G., Digital human modelling to analyse virtual amputee's interaction with the prosthesis, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 1A, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper refers to the integration of simulations tools to assess the design of prosthetic devices. We address issues arising when the prosthesis needs to be virtually tested, i.e., the gait of the virtual patient wearing the prosthesis. Therefore, we integrate two different simulation tools: the first one to study the interaction between socket and residual limb during the gait and the second one to analyze the patient's gait deviations. Combining these numerical analyses, it is possible to investigate the causes of gait deviations and suggest remedies, both related to the prosthesis setup and the socket modeling. To prove the validity of the approach, we implemented a Finite Element Analysis model to analysis the stump-socket contact and we assembled a low cost Motion Capture system to acquire and elaborate patient gait. Preliminary results and remarks conclude the paper.

[73] Russo D., Rizzi C., A function oriented method for competitive technological intelligence and technology forecasting, 2014 International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation: Engineering Responsible Innovation in Products and Services, ICE 2014, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: Many forms of analyzing future technology and its consequences coexist. Some examples are technology intelligence, forecasting, road mapping, and foresight. All of these techniques fit into a field that we call Technology Futures Analysis (TFA). Unfortunately, both competitive and forecasting analyses are not well utilized in company decision-making, especially those based on analytical patent analysis. Three factors could enhance managerial utilization: capability to exploit huge volumes of available information, ways to do it very quickly, and informative representations that help to discover emerging technologies. This paper reports an effort to address these three goals via a brand new method of analysis conceived to quickly and graphically generate helpful knowledge from patents. The first novelty is to adopt a function-oriented process to identify the most important features of a product or technology. Then, we exemplify a method to manage patent search that integrates functional basis with physical and chemical effects library. The outcome is a concise and graphical state of art, which helps to define players and patterns in the development of a target technology. This takes the form of a infographic map, and is finally used to discover emerging technologies, white space opportunities or new market potentials. All the Text mining process is supported by Kompat, a semantic search engine explicitly conceived for forecasting patent search. © 2014 IEEE.

Keywords: Competitive Technological Intelligence | Patent Search | Technology Forecasting | Technology State of Art | Text Mining | White space Opportunities

[74] Russo D., Rizzi C., An ECO-DESIGN Approach Based on Structural Optimization in a CAD Framework, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 11(5), 579-588, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper proposes a design approach to support the designer during the environmentally sustainable redesign of any product that can be modeled in CAD environment. It is a systematic computer-aided design procedure based on the integration of (1) virtual prototyping tools (e.g., 3D CAD, FEA, structural optimization), (2) function modeling techniques, and (3) Life Cycle Assessment-LCA tools. The core of the approach is the configuration of structural optimization strategies specifically conceived to obtain lighter and more compact products, and therefore, more eco-sustainable. The objective of the proposed methodology is to support the designer in choosing the best triad shape-material-production in order to determine the minimum environmental impact and ensure the structural and functional requirements of the product. A case study is described to show the potential of the proposed methodology as well as a discussion of the results. © 2014 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: CAD | eco design | LCA | structural optimization

[75] Russo D., Rizzi C., Structural optimization strategies to design green products, Computers in Industry, 65(3), 470-479, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper addresses the need for a structured approach to environmental assessment and improvement. We propose a computer-aided methodology, named Eco-OptiCAD, based on the integration of Structural Optimization and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools. Eco-OptiCAD supports the designer during product development, highlighting when and where the core of the environmental impact lies. Furthermore, it provides effective tools to address such impacts, improving the original product, while ensuring structural and functional requirements. It foresees the synergic use of (1) virtual prototyping tools, such as 3D CAD, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Structural optimization, (2) function modeling methodology and (3) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools. The kernel of the methodology is constituted by a set of optimization strategies and a module, named Life Cycle Mapping (LCM). In particular, we have conceived ten optimization strategies converting environmental objectives and constraints into structural and geometrical parameters. They enable the designer to generate alternative green scenarios according to the triad shape-material-production. The LCM tool has been specifically developed to easily trace the growth of environmental impacts throughout the product's life cycle and allow the user to focus his effort on the most relevant aspects. Thanks to the integration of the structural optimizer with an LCA map, the designer becomes aware of the consequences that each change in the geometry, the material or the manufacturing process will produce on the environmental impact of the product throughout its life cycle. With a complete view of the product life cycle, the designer can improve a single phase, while retaining a global perspective; thus avoiding the possibility of gaining a local green improvement at the cost of a global increase in environmental impacts. An exemplary case study is presented to detail each step of the design methodology and shows its potential. Eco-OptiCAD represents a first step toward a fully integrated system for eco-design assessment and improvement, with the potential of working side by side with common design tools, in providing a constant environmental feedback. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: CAE | Eco-design | LCA | Structural optimization

[76] Colombo G., Morotti R., Rizzi C., FE Analysis of Contact between Residual Limb and Socket during Simulation of Amputee Motion, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 11(4), 381-388, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: The contact pressure at the socket-residual limb interface is the most important parameter to evaluate comfort of leg prosthesis. Experimental works analyzed this parameter for typical postures and during walking of an amputee; but experimental tests require a real prototype of the socket equipped with transducers. To optimize socket design, this work presents a virtual approach based on a digital avatar of the patient wearing lower limb prosthesis. Our approach considers the integration of two different types of simulation: the first one concerns the multi-body gait analysis, the second one the pressure evaluation at the socket-residual limb interface with FE analyses. The paper describes the model used, the simulation tools adopted and their integration. Finally the case study related to patient walking on flat floor is described. © 2014 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: gait simulation | human modeling | prosthesis design | socket-residual limb contact

[77] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Zanello A., Automatic 3D reconstruction of transfemoral residual limb from MRI images, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 8026 LNCS(PART 2), 324-332, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This work is part a new design platform for lower limb prosthesis centered on the patient's digital model and based on the integrated use of virtual prototyping tools. In particular, 3D detailed model of residual limb, that includes not only the external skin but also bones and soft tissues, is needed for socket design and finite element analysis to study the socket-residual limb interaction. In this paper, we present a procedure for 3D automatic reconstruction of the residual starting from MRI images. The output is a 3D geometric model, in a neutral format (IGES), which permits CAD information exchange among the modules composing the design platform. The reconstruction procedure consists of three different phases: image pre-processing, voxel segmentation, 3D models generation. Results have been considered promising and future activities to enhance the algorithm performance have been planned. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords: 3D automatic reconstruction | Lower limb prosthesis design | MRI | segmentation

[78] Colombo G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Markerless motion capture integrated with human modeling for virtual ergonomics, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 8026 LNCS(PART 2), 314-323, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper refers to the context of virtual ergonomics and specifically addresses a case study of the commercial refrigeration industry. The aim is to develop a computer-aided platform to analyse end-users' postures and movements and ergonomically validate the design of device a man or woman may deal with. This paper describes the integrated use of human modeling and motion capture (Mocap) systems to perform ergonomic analysis relying exactly on real movements. Two optical Mocap systems, both low cost and markerless, have been considered: one based on six Sony Eye webcams and another one on two Microsoft Kinect sensors. Analogously, two human modeling tools have been adopted: Jack, specifically targeted for ergonomics and integrated with Microsoft Kinect, and LifeMod, a biomechanical simulation package. The proposed virtual ergonomics solutions have been experimented considering the case study of vertical refrigerator display units. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords: commercial refrigeration | Digital human modeling | Mocap | Virtual ergonomics

[79] Colombo G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Ergonomic design through virtual Humans, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(5), 745-755, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a methodological approach to analyze ergonomic issues of equipment specifically designed to load refrigerated display units. The methodology is based on the integrated use of virtual humans and prototyping techniques and on the comparison between the analysis of AS-IS product and TO-BE design concepts to highlight improvements or worsening of the new design and eventual residual deficiencies. In particular, Digital Human Models have been adopted to evaluate different technical solutions for pick and place operations of food items on the display unit shelves according to the specific needs of supermarket operators and to ensure health and hygienic conditions. We first present the state of the art of digital human models and the referring standards for workplace regulations in terms of postures and fatigue. The adopted methodology is described including chosen virtual humans, refrigerated units and handled products. Then, the application of the methodology is described as well as the ergonomics tests and results obtained for the AS-IS and TO-BE solutions. Finally, discussion of results and conclusions are reported. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Ergonomic design | Refrigerated display unit | Virtual humans

[80] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., A digital patient for computer-aided prosthesis design, Interface Focus, 3(2), (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This article concerns the design of lower limb prosthesis, both belowand above knee. It describes a newcomputer-based design framework and a digital model of the patient around which the prosthesis is designed and tested in a completely virtual environment. The virtual model of the patient is the backbone of the whole system, and it is based on a biomechanical generalpurpose model customized with the patient's characteristics (e.g. anthropometric measures). The software platform adopts computer-aided and knowledge-guided approaches with the goal of replacing the current development process, mainly hand made, with a virtual one. It provides the prosthetics with a set of tools to design, configure and test the prosthesis and comprehends two main environments: the prosthesis modelling laboratory and the virtual testing laboratory. The first permits the three-dimensional model of the prosthesis to be configured and generated, while the second allows the prosthetics to virtually set up the artificial leg and simulate the patient's postures and movements, validating its functionality and configuration. General architecture and modelling/simulation tools for the platform are described as well as main aspects and results of the experimentation. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Digital patient | Human modelling | Lower limb prosthesis | Virtual prototyping

[81] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Virtual testing laboratory for lower limb prosthesis, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(4), 671-683, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents an environment, named Virtual Testing Lab-VTL, where the orthopedic technicians can test the prosthesis replicating the traditional procedures. It is part of an innovative design framework centered on digital models of the whole patient or of his/her anatomical districts, which constitute the backbone of the whole prosthesis design process. The virtual lab permits to realize a complete amputee's digital model, an avatar, by which it is possible to execute prosthesis set up and evaluate its functionality simulating postures and movements. First, we describe the state of art of techniques used, i.e., virtual humans and motion capture systems. Then, the application of virtual humans for the prosthesis design and simulation is presented as well as preliminary results. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Prosthesis design | Virtual human | Virtual testing

[82] Birolini V., Rizzi C., Russo D., Teaching students to structure engineering problems with CAI tools, International Journal of Engineering Education, 29(2), 334-345, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: The importance of methodologies and computer-aided tools for problem structuring and solving has been demonstrated by various research activities since the 1970s. The need for systematizing the first phase of problem solving activity has led the authors to the development of a dedicated procedure for problem reformulation and the implementation of a dedicated software package, named BOB-UP®. It aims at driving the user to reformulate the initial problem using a dialogue-based system hiding an accurate cause-effect analysis. BOB-UP® provides three tools (Ill-Balls diagram, Fight diagram, and a linguistic composer) that guide step-by-step the user to the right problem formulation. This paper presents the experimentation of such CAI tool within two courses at the University of Bergamo. The first is a compulsory course for the master degree in Mechanical Engineering, while the latter is an elective course for the master degree in Mechanical Engineering and Management Engineering. The experimentation has been carried out with 56 students sub-divided into three groups according to their competences on problem structuring and solving and technical background. We considered five problems related to industrial applications coming from different technological domains to demonstrate the independence of the results from the specific industrial area. Finally, results are discussed presenting advantages and drawbacks. They have been evaluated according to specific criteria to evaluate its usability and efficacy; in addition, students were asked to fill a questionnaire to comprehend the perception they have on BOB-UP® usefulness and potential. © 2013 TEMPUS Publications.

Keywords: BOB-UP® | CAI tools | Cause-effect analysis | Engineering education | Problem structuring | TRIZ

[83] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Digital Human Models and Virtual Ergonomics to Improve Maintainability, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 11(1), 10-19, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Maintenance is one of the key drivers for future company success, due to the fact that these kinds of operations are strictly related to human labor cost, an expensive factor for western states. Furthermore, in the last decades, norms and laws on safety and ergonomics of the work place have taken importance among industrialized countries. Design for Maintenance is a design methodology that since early stages of product life cycle outlines needs and necessities of maintainers, in order to reduces time and cost; decreasing the complexity and the difficulties of these procedures and achieving a higher standard of workers' health. In order to reach this goal, Digital Human Models (DHM) have been used to simulate assembly and maintenance processes. Virtual ergonomic analysis performed with a human model allows evaluating visibility, reachability and postures, stress and fatigue. The lack of methods supporting virtual ergonomics simulation has been addressed by proposing a systematic approach based on a step-by-step procedure and proper tools. The said procedure was applied on a case study and results on the method and on its application are shown. © 2013 Copyright CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: design for maintenance | digital human modeling | ergonomics

[84] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Vitali A., Socket virtual design based on low cost hand tracking and haptic devices, Proceedings - VRCAI 2013: 12th ACM SIGGRAPH International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry, 63-69, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper concerns a research project that aims at developing an innovative platform to design lower limb prosthesis. The platform is centered on the virtual model of the amputee and is based on a computer-aided and knowledge-guided approach. In particular, the paper focuses on the module, named Socket Modeling Assistant-SMA, conceived to design the socket, the most critical component of the whole prosthesis. The underlining idea is to experiment low-cost devices, such the Leap Motion, to manipulate the 3D virtual model of the socket using hands as traditional done by the prosthetist. The goal is to make available a modeling tool that permits to replicate/emulate manual operations usually performed by the prosthetist during the traditional development process. First, we first describe the traditional socket development process; then the SMA software architecture and the guidelines used to develop the interaction algorithms (integrated within SMA) that exploit the Leap Motion and Falcon devices. Finally preliminary tests and results will be illustrated. © 2013 ACM.

Keywords: 3D modeling | hand tracking | haptic interaction | lower limb prosthesis

[85] Wang C.C.L., Magnenat-Thalmann N., Pan Z., Jin X., Rizzi C., Zhang X., Proceedings - VRCAI 2013: 12th ACM SIGGRAPH International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry: Preface, Proceedings - VRCAI 2013: 12th ACM SIGGRAPH International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry, 7, (2013).
[86] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., A full virtual approach to design and test lower limb prosthesis, Virtual and Physical Prototyping, 8(2), 97-111, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Lower limb prostheses for above or below knee amputees are still designed and produced almost completely in a manual way, deeply relying on the experience and manual skills of orthopaedic technicians. This paper presents the main features characterising the prototype of a virtual environment developed to assist the technicians designing and testing the prosthesis. To reach the ambitious goal of replacing the manual process with a complete virtual one several issues have been considered and addressed: the capture and formalisation of process knowledge of orthopaedic technicians, the acquisition of patient's information and digital data, the development of an integrated solution to design and test standard and custom-fit components and the simulation of the gait of a virtual human wearing the virtual prosthesis. The architecture of the prosthesis design platform as well as the modelling and simulation tools are described. Finally, the experimentation phase and related results are presented and discussed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords: design environment | digital human modelling | lower limb | prosthesis

[87] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Gabbiadini S., Rizzi C., Socket modelling assistant for prosthesis design, International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology, 5(2-3), 216-241, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: In this paper, we propose a knowledge-based approach to design lower limb prostheses; in particular, we focus on the 3D modelling of the socket, the most critical component. First, the architecture of a dedicated design framework is described, detailing features of the main design steps. Then, the paper discusses the acquisition and formalisation of the knowledge related both to the prosthesis manufacturing process and to the considered component. Finally, we present the computer-aided module, named socket modelling assistant-SMA, we specifically developed to design the socket. It is a virtual laboratory where the socket virtual prototype is generated directly on the digital model of patient's residual limb. It guides and supports the designer during each step in an automatic and/or semi-automatic way applying design rules and procedures. The modelling steps and available interactive tools that emulate orthopaedic technician's operations are described. Results of the experimentation phase are described. At current state of the prototype development, they are encouraging and have permitted to preliminarily validate the proposed approach and envisage future improvements. Copyright © 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: 3D socket modelling | Knowledge-based design | Lower limb prosthesis | Virtual prototyping

[88] Colombo G., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., De Vecchi G., Motion capture and virtual humans to enhance ergonomic design and validation of refrigerated display units, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2(PARTS A AND B), 663-671, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a computer-Aided environment to analyze postures and movements in order to ergonomically validate the design of potentially any device a man or woman may have to deal with. The proposed environment integrates virtual prototyping techniques with Digital Human Modeling and Motion Capture techniques to determine fatigue, stress and risk for workersâTM health. We considered a vertical refrigerated display unit as case study to analyze the interaction of supermarket staff filling the shelves with goods with the main goal determining the suitability of operatorsâTM working condition and, eventually, providing a feedback to the design step. The paper, after a brief description of the state of the art of the Motion Capture system and Digital Human Modeling, presents the architecture of the integrated environment developed and the working paradigm. At last preliminary results of the experimentation as well benefits and the limits of the outcomes achieved so far in the automation of ergonomics in machines design are presented. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

[89] Buzzi M., Colombo G., Facoetti G., Gabbiadini S., Rizzi C., 3D modelling and knowledge: Tools to automate prosthesis development process, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 6(1), 41-53, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Computer-aided tools can help to realize custom-fit products characterized by a strict interaction with human body and definitely improve quality of life, in particular of people with disabilities. The paper refers to this context and to a specific custom-fit product, the lower limb prosthesis. It presents an innovative framework centred on virtual models of the patient's body, to design and configure lower limb prosthesis, both transfemoral and transtibial. The framework integrates virtual prototyping and knowledge-based tools to support the orthopaedic technician during all the steps of the lower limb prosthesis design, suggesting rules and procedures for each task. First, the considered product is introduced, and then, the new design framework is described as well as main steps and related tools, from socket modelling to standards component selection and final prosthesis assembly. Results of preliminary experimentation and final remarks conclude the paper. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords: Custom-fit products | Knowledge-based systems | Lower limb prosthesis | Socket | Virtual prototyping

[90] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Movigliatti D., Rizzi C., A virtual human for lower limb prosthesis set-up, ASME 2011 World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality, WINVR 2011, 253-261, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper concerns the usage of virtual humans to validate lower limb prosthesis design. In particular, we are developing an innovative design framework centered on digital models of the whole patient or of his/her anatomical districts, which constitute the backbone of the design process. The framework integrates a set of virtual "assistants" to guide the technicians during each design task providing specific knowledge and design rules. In this paper, we focus the attention on the last step of the prosthesis deign process, i.e., the final set-up with the patient using a biomechanical model of the amputee. First, we describe the state of art on virtual humans and main features of the new design framework. Then, the application of virtual humans for the prosthesis set-up is presented as well as preliminary results. Copyright © 2011 by ASME.

Keywords: Lower limb prosthesis | Product development | Virtual humans | Virtual prototyping

[91] Colombo G., Gabbiadini S., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Design procedure and rules to configure lower limb prosthesis, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2(PARTS A AND B), 673-681, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Modular lower limb prosthesis is composed by custom-fit parts, such as the socket containing the residual limb, and standard components available on market, such as knee or foot. For both custom and standard parts the support offered by existing design tools is not efficient or integrated enough and, as a result, most prosthetists do not use computer-aided tools and still rely only on their personal expertise. This paper presents an approach to design and configure complete lower limb prosthesis for transfemoral and transtibial amputees, using patient's digital data (e.g., residual limb model acquired by MRI) and specification sheets of components. The ultimate goal is to realise a virtual laboratory where the technicians can design lower limb prosthesis guided step by step by the system. We have identified key patient's characteristics guiding the prosthetist during the four main steps of the production process: acquiring patient's data, socket modelling, standard components selection and prosthesis assembly and check. The developed innovative framework integrates different tools to guide the technicians during each design task providing specific knowledge and rules. Thus, it allows a quicker and easier definition of the virtual prosthesis, on which virtual test could be performed (e.g., pressure distribution on residual limb, gait evaluation) in order to be able to realize the definitive prosthesis at the first attempt. The results have been evaluated and validated with the technical staff of a certified orthopaedic laboratory. © 2011 by ASME.

[92] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Morotti R., Rizzi C., Physically based modelling and simulation to innovate socket design, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 8(4), 617-631, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper introduces a virtual laboratory to design prosthetic socket, which integrates a 3D CAD module, named Socket Modelling Assistant (SMA), specifically developed to create the socket digital model, and a CAE system to analyze the stumpsocket interaction. Software tool, named Virtual Socket Lab (VSL), is part of a knowledge-based framework to design lower limb prosthesis centered on digital models of the patient or of his/her anatomical districts. The focus of this paper is on the definition of an automatic simulation procedure to study the stump-socket interaction and validate socket design. We first introduce the new design framework and main features of VSL. Then, we present a state of art on FE models adopted for residual lower-limb and prosthetic socket during last two decades highlighting key issues. Finally, the identified procedure and the integration strategy within SMA are described as well as preliminary results of the experimentation. © 2011 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Physics-based modelling and simulation | Socket | Socket-stump interaction

[93] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Nani R., A TRIZ-based approach to manage innovation and intellectual property, International Journal of Technology Management, 55(3-4), 274-285, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: In this paper, we present a methodology and a working paradigm, based on TRIZ theory, specifically conceived for SMEs that are not able to face the problem of intellectual property management (IPM) in an autonomous way. As a first step, we introduce the competences and possible company structure to manage and protect intellectual property (IP) by means of patents and trademarks; then we describe the methodologies and the tools, which can be used for IPM, such as those derived from TRIZ. Finally, we describe a case study which refers to a typical example of know-how transfer from a technological leading sector to the large production of consumable products showing the use of considered TRIZ tools. © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: Intellectual property management | IPM | Patents | SMEs | TRIZ

[94] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Gabbiadini S., Rizzi C., Virtual configuration of lower limb prosthesis, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 2, 681-690, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a new design framework to configure lower limb prostheses, both transfemoral and transtibial, where the key elements are the patient digital avatar and the domain knowledge. The technician is supported during the design process by the knowledge acquired from analysis of the traditional process and represented in the framework. The last one integrates virtual prototyping tools and knowledge management techniques. A specific software tool, named Socket Modelling Assistant, has been developed to design the socket, the custom-fit component of the prosthesis. A commercial CAD system is used to model the standard components (e.g., knee, foot and tubes) and to create the final assembly. Patient avatar and his/her data (e.g., anthropometric and physiological parameters) are the backbone of the whole product design process. They guide both the selection of standard components and the modelling of the socket digital model. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.

[95] Colombo G., Facoetti G., Gabbiadini S., Rizzi C., 3D modelling of prosthesis socket with a knowledge based approach, Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering, TMCE 2010, 1, 243-254, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: In this paper, we propose a knowledge-based approach to design lower limb prostheses; in particular, we focus on the 3D modelling of the socket, the most critical component. First, the architecture of a dedicated knowledge based engineering framework is described, detailing features of the main design steps. Then, the paper discusses the acquisition and formalization of the knowledge related both to the prosthesis manufacturing process and to the considered component. Finally, we present a computer-aided module, named Socket Modelling Assistant-SMA, to design the socket; it is a virtual laboratory where the socket virtual prototype is generated directly on the digital model of patient's residual limb. It guides and supports the designer during each step in an automatic and/or semi-automatic way applying design rules and procedures. The guided modelling steps and available tools are described. Work in progress and future developments conclude the paper. © Organizing Committee of TMCE 2010 Symposium.

Keywords: 3d socket modelling | Knowledge-based design | Lower limb prosthesis | Virtual prototyping

[96] Facoetti G., Gabbiadini S., Colombo G., Rizzi C., Knowledge-based system for guided modeling of sockets for lower limb prostheses, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 7(5), 723-737, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a 3D CAD system to design sockets of lower limb prostheses, both transfemoral and transtibial. The proposed system, named Virtual Socket Laboratory, can be seen as a virtual laboratory where the user has at her/his disposal virtual tools that permit to emulate the procedures applied by orthopaedic technicians during the traditional socket manufacturing. The module is centred on the digital model of the patient and is based on the specific domain knowledge to guide the user during socket modelling suggesting the most appropriate design rules and procedures. First, main steps of the new design-modelling process and system functionalities are presented. Then, for each step, procedures carried during the traditional process, how they are executed with the new module and tools specifically developed are described. © 2010 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: 3d socket modelling | Artificial prosthesis design | Knowledge-based system

[97] Colombo G., de Ponti G., Rizzi C., Ergonomic design of refrigerated display units, Virtual and Physical Prototyping, 5(3), 139-152, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a methodological approach to evaluate ergonomic issues of refrigerated display units. It is based on the use and integration of virtual human models with virtual prototyping techniques in order to support and optimize the product development process. The methodology has been investigated simulating the behaviour of two users' categories (customers and operators), which have different roles, needs, and ways of interaction with the machinery. Regarding customers, aspects related to reach capability and visibility were analyzed and quantified. For the operators, two typical tasks were analyzed (loading a unit and serving a customer), evaluating postures and movements respect to requirements established by international standards to reduce health risks. Ergonomic simulations were carried out varying unit type and configuration (number and types of shelves, etc.), manikin size and packed food (sizes and weight). © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords: Ergonomic analysis | Reaching | Refrigerated display units | Virtual human | Visibility

[98] Gabbiadirii S., Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Knowledge management and customised 3D modelling to improve prosthesis design, Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009, 2(PART A), 625-633, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a new approach to design lower limb prosthesis focusing the attention on geometrical model issues. The new design approach has been developed within national and international research projects and, at present, "ad hoc" tools to carry out specific tasks are under development. Within this context, an important role is played by product and process knowledge and by specific CAD tools to design the most critical component, the socket. The paper discusses acquisition and formalisation of the knowledge related to the prosthesis design, with particular attention to the socket, and presents main features of a CAD tool specifically intended for this highly customised component. Copyright © 2009 by ASME.

[99] Colombo G., Filippi S., Rizzi C., Rotini F., A new design paradigm for the development of custom-fit soft sockets for lower limb prostheses, Computers in Industry, 61(6), 513-523, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a new 3D design paradigmfor the development of specific custom-fit products, such as the soft socket of prostheses for lower limb amputees. It is centered on the digitalmodel of the human body and, contrarily to the traditional process almost manually based, it considers the integration of methods and tools coming from different research and application fields: Reverse Engineering, Medical Imaging, Virtual Prototyping, Physics-based Simulation, and Rapid Prototyping. The paper describes the techniques adopted to acquire and create the digital model of the residual limb, the procedure to generate the socket model, the strategy developed for the functional simulation of the socket-stump interaction and, finally, the realization of the physical prototype. Each design step is described with the related problems and the obtained results. Both trans-tibial and trans-femoral amputees have been considered; however, for now the complete process has been validated for trans-tibial prostheses. Major outcomes of the proposed approach stand in a better quality of the final product, in a shorter involvement of the amputee implying a lower psychological impact, in a limited use of physical prototypes, and in a shorter development time. Moreover, the resulting paradigm answers to the Collaborative Engineering guidelines by optimizing the interaction between different domains and enhancing their contributions in a homogeneous development framework. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Custom-fit products | Human-centric soft product design | Physics-based modeling for soft products | Prosthesis development process

[100] Gabbiadini S., Colombo G., Facoetti G., Rizzi C., Knowledge management and customised 3D modelling to improve prosthesis design, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2(PARTS A AND B), 625-633, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a new approach to design lower limb prosthesis focusing the attention on geometrical model issues. The new design approach has been developed within national and international research projects and, at present, "ad hoc" tools to carry out specific tasks are under development. Within this context, an important role is played by product and process knowledge and by specific CAD tools to design the most critical component, the socket. The paper discusses acquisition and formalisation of the knowledge related to the prosthesis design, with particular attention to the socket, and presents main features of a CAD tool specifically intended for this highly customised component. © 2009 by ASME.

[101] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Enhancing modular design with creativity tools, 2008 Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, DETC 2008, 4, 355-363, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: This research work regards the development of a new roadmap for complex products design based on an improved modular approach. The goal is to refine an existing method affected by some drawbacks into a to new product development paradigm, with the aim of reducing design times, mistakes and subjectivity. The best results came from integrating a set of diverse methodologies for product design and systematic innovation. The proposed design paradigm is based on an improved Modular-TRIZ-DSM approach, and the results obtained, in terms of modules definition and interfaces, have been evaluated. The most important results concern a better repeatability of design results and the capability to forecast technical evolution of a specific product family. After a short description of the methodologies of interest, the roadmap is described focusing on the differences from the traditional method. Copyright © 2008 by ASME.

[102] Bertoni M., Bordegoni M., Cugini U., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., PLM paradigm: How to lead BPR within the Product Development field, Computers in Industry, 60(7), 476-484, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: The design and implementation of a PLM solution in a cross-company environment is a complex and labour intensive operation, which is often coupled with a Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) project to better deploy technologies as well as methodologies and to target the system implementation on the real company needs. Enterprise Modelling (EM) languages are typically used to collect and share process knowledge among the BPR participants. Plenty of techniques are actually available at this scope and it is not always easy to understand how to select and use them in the different steps of re-engineering. The main purpose of this paper is to perform a qualitative analysis of three well known EM languages (IDEF, UML and ARIS) and to propose a new methodology, based on their integrated use, supporting BPR efforts in the Product Development domain. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: ARIS | Business Process Re-engineering | Enterprise Modelling | IDEF | UML

[103] Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Enhancing modular design with creativity tools, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, 4, 355-363, (2008). Abstract
X

Abstract: This research work regards the development of a new roadmap for complex products design based on an improved modular approach. The goal is to refine an existing method affected by some drawbacks into a to new product development paradigm, with the aim of reducing design times, mistakes and subjectivity. The best results came from integrating a set of diverse methodologies for product design and systematic innovation. The proposed design paradigm is based on an improved Modular-TRIZ-DSM approach, and the results obtained, in terms of modules definition and interfaces, have been evaluated. The most important results concern a better repeatability of design results and the capability to forecast technical evolution of a specific product family. After a short description of the methodologies of interest, the roadmap is described focusing on the differences from the traditional method. Copyright © 2008 by ASME.

[104] Colombo G., Pugliese D., Rizzi C., Developing DA applications in SMEs industrial context, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, 277, 69-82, (2008). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper discusses aspects related to the implementation of Design Automation applications within Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) industrial context. It focuses the attention on some characteristics of the design process in SME context, and highlights issues of DA in relation to the characteristics previously evidenced. On this basis, it has been defined a methodology, named MEDEA (Methodology per Design Automation), to develop DA applications; it proposes a step by step roadmap and suggests methods and tools finalized to developers more skilled on products and design process than on IT technologies. Two industrial applications realized to evaluate the methodology are then presented. They are based on two different approaches: the first suitable to represent product structure and derived from Object Oriented programming and the second based on design process representation. © 2008 International Federation for Information Processing.

Keywords: Design automation | Knowledge representation | Knowledge-based engineering | PDM/PLM | SMEs

[105] Colombo G., Bronco D., Rizzi C., Regazzoni D., Virtual ergonomics analysis to validate product design, 5th International Industrial Simulation Conference 2007, ISC 2007, 311-315, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents an approach to evaluate product ergonomics using virtual humans. This work has been carried out to demonstrate that virtual humans are an important tool to improve virtual prototyping functionalities and, above all, to increase ergonomics and safety of products. A test methodology has been defined and several simulations have been made, varying anthropometry and workplace conditions. Two case studies that can demonstrate the validity of the approach are described. The first concerns instruments of a car for which the geometric model of the interior and a commercial virtual human have been used. The second case study concerns the external visibility of a farm tractor that can be equipped with different tools to accomplish to various tasks (e.g. harvesting and fruit picking). The results obtained are images that represent what the virtual human sees and permit to compare and validate different design solutions.

Keywords: Ergonomics | Internal and external visibility | Virtual manikin

[106] Crotti A., Ghitti M., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Trends of evolutions and patent analysis: An application in the household appliances field, The Future of Product Development - Proceedings of the 17th CIRP Design Conference, 145-154, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper describes the results of an experience carried out in the field of systematic innovation. Its main goal has been to verify the validity of evolutionary laws introduced by TRIZ theory applying them to a complex industrial product. The product considered is a washing machine and particular attention has been focused on two sub-systems, the tub and the soap dispenser. The paper, first, describes the patent search activity carried out for both the whole washing machine and the specific subsystems; then their evolutions have been single out and compared with the evolution patterns coming from the formulation proposed by Savransky.

Keywords: Intellectual property management | Trend of evolutions | TRIZ

[107] Colombo G., Filippi S., Rissone P., Rizzi C., ICT methodologies to model and simulate parts of human body for prosthesis design, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 4561 LNCS, 559-568, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: The work presented in this paper refers to the implementation of a product development process based on the use of virtual model of the human body to design specific custom-fit product, such as a prosthesis socket (interface between the residual limb and the mechanical part of the prosthesis). It considers the integration of advanced ICT tools coming from the reverse engineering, the physics-based modelling and simulation, and the rapid prototyping fields. The paper describes problems related to the implementation of each step within a real socket development process. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007.

Keywords: Human body modeling | Physics-based simulation | Product customization | Prosthesis design

[108] Fontana M., Rizzi C., Cugini U., Computer-aided apparel tailoring with virtual simulation, International Journal of Product Development, 4(6), 605-625, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: A physics-based cloth modelling system has been proposed, targeted at the virtual prototyping of garments of real interest and production. The system should allow designers to validate their styling/design choices on a digital apparel model before (or in place of) any physical prototyping. Taking into account the design complexity of real tailored apparel, CAD apparel models can be defined incorporating information about tailoring/assembly features. A graphical interface allows a user to create his/her garment by interactively specifying design elements such as layers, seams, pockets, constraints, aesthetic and functional lines. A discrete Newtonian particle-based model is considered for physics-based cloth simulation, originally defined for single textile layers and then extended to real-shaped apparel, by taking into account structural properties of materials and the previously defined design/ assembly rules. Several garment models are proposed as test cases, designed for real apparel manufacturing and simulated on virtual mannequins. Copyright © 2007 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Keywords: Apparel design | Cloth modelling | ODE solvers | Particle-based modelling | Tailoring features | Virtual simulation

[109] Bertoni M., Cugini U., Regazzoni D., Rizzi C., Ugolotti M., A BPR methodology for Product Development Processes, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, 207, 370-378, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents methodology and guidelines about the use of process modeling languages to support BPR activities in relation with Product Development process. The methodology is based on the complementary adoption of different modeling techniques such as IDEF, UML and ARIS. Starting from the analysis of different models, we have selected and associated the most appropriate modeling suite to each phase of the re-engineering process. At this purpose, diagrams coming from IDEF, UML and ARIS families have been compared with respect to following issues: Degree of formality, completeness, simplicity vs. detail, capability to describe "business goal" and support to costing operations. © 2006 International Federation for Information Processing.

Keywords: ARIS | Business process re-engineering | IDEF | Process modeling | Product development process | UML

[110] Mana R., Cugini U., Carubelli A., Rizzi C., A plug-in to define assembling and sewing parameters for virtual clothing simulation, 4th International Industrial Simulation Conference 2006, ISC 2006, 353-358, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a plug-in, named Cloth Assembler, implemented in the framework of the Italian PRIN Project (Research Project of National Interest) VI-CLOTH (Virtual CLOTHing). The base idea is to allow the designer to interactively define/the necessary information to assemble 2D panels on a virtual mannequin and to generate the 3D physical model in its initial configuration, initial step for the garment simulation process. Starting from 2D single pieces, ClothAssembler allows a user, as a virtual tailor, to specify assembly rules among cloth panels (e.g., cut lines, dart, and buttons), insert accessories, such as zips and hooks, and, finally specify finishings on single pieces and the presence of different textile multilayer, pockets, reinforcement lines, etc. The plug-in can be easily integrated with any commercial 2D CAD system and represents the connection element between 2D cloth world and 3D physics-based modelling and simulation systems. It has been validated with three real test-cases, a T-shirt, a denim skirt, and a pair of trousers.

Keywords: Apparel design | Assembly process | CAD | Cloth models | Virtual prototyping

[111] Fontana M., Rizzi C., Cugini U., A CAD-oriented cloth simulation system with stable and efficient ODE solution, Computers and Graphics (Pergamon), 30(3), 391-406, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: Cloth modelling is a research field of increasing interest both for computer animation and computer-aided design purposes. Aiming at being closer to cloth manufacturers needs, this work proposes an integration of a particle-based modelling approach within a CAD oriented system for real design of apparel and complex-shaped cloth. The particle-based model, originally defined on single textile layers, is extended to take into account the physical effects of seams and darts, construction constraints, layered parts, and other manufacturing processes that contribute to the final shape of the garments. Starting from an initial 3D configuration of the particle grid consistent with mannequin and support geometries, the physical simulation process is then computed, based on constrained Newtonian dynamics laws. Stable and efficient algorithms for the time discretization of the Newtonian ODE problem are proposed, based on implicit and semi-implicit BDF(2) or hybrid Euler-BDF(2) techniques. As applications, several test models are considered, simulated on rigid supports or mannequins, for both numerical comparisons and global shape analysis, from simple cloth geometries up to complex-shaped models for real apparel manufacturing. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Apparel design | Cloth modelling | ODE solution | Particle-based modelling | Virtual simulation

[112] Fontana M., Rizzi C., Cugini U., 3D virtual apparel design for industrial applications, CAD Computer Aided Design, 37(6), 609-622, (2005). Abstract
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Abstract: The integration of physics-based models within CAD systems for garment design leads to highly accurate cloth shape results for virtual prototyping and quality evaluation tasks. To this aim, we present a physics-based system for virtual cloth design and simulation expressly conceived for design purposes. This environment should allow the designer to validate her/his style and design option through the analysis of garment virtual prototypes and simulation results in order to reduce the number and role of physical prototypes. Garment shapes are accurately predicted by including material properties and external interactions through a particle-based cloth model embedded in constrained Newtonian dynamics with collision management, extended to complex-shaped assembled and finished garments. Our model is incorporated within a 3D graphical environment, and includes operators monitoring the whole design process of apparel, e.g. panel sewing, button/dart insertion, multi-layered fabric composition, garment finishings, etc. Applications and case studies are considered, with analysis of CAD modelling phases and simulation results concerning several male and female garments. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Cloth design | Newtonian dynamics | Physics-based modelling | Virtual simulation

[113] Fontana M., Carubelli A., Rizzi C., Cugini U., ClothAssembler: A CAD Module for Feature-based Garment Pattern Assembly, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 2(6), 795-804, (2005). Abstract
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Abstract: This work presents a CAD prototype, named ClothAssembler, targeted at complex-shaped apparel design for real manufacturing. The intent is to fill a gap in the current CAD technology for garment design as it is mainly conceived for 2D/3D geometric modelling of cloth shapes, but generally does not provide high level operators that allow interactive and easy design of aesthetic/functional features that characterize the garment pieces, and relations/connections between parts. Though still an academic prototype, ClothAssembler allows to define/choose in an interactive way all the necessary geometric and functional information for the design and finishing of 2D pieces, such as insertion of textile layers, reinforcement lines, pockets, cut lines and pleats, as well as topological information about how pieces are pair-wise connected and assembled, by definition of seams, darts, zips, constraints such as buttons and hooks, etc. A taxonomy and parametrization of cloth tailoring features is discussed, and system functionalities are presented, with applications to garment models of real production. © 2005 by CAD Solutions Company Limited.

Keywords: CAD | Garment design | Tailoring features

[114] Fontana M., Rizzi C., Cugini U., Physics-based modelling and simulation of functional cloth for virtual prototyping applications, ACM Symposium on Solid Modeling and Applications, SM, 267-272, (2004). Abstract
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Abstract: A CAD-oriented system is proposed for the design of complex-shaped functional cloth, provided with a physics-based modelling core for simulation and virtual prototyping tasks. Textiles are physically modelled as particle grids in 3D space subjected to Newtonian dynamics, with internal spring, bending and shear forces derived from KES-F data measuring material behaviour. Interactions with the environment are expressed as external forces, collisions against obstacles, self-collisions and constraints. Differently from physics-based animation systems, the proposed system is conceived for real design purposes, and includes functionalities emulating the construction process of actual clothing and structural textiles, e.g., mesh sewing/assembly, insertion of small components, multi-layered fabric composition, mechanical shape deformation, and 2D-to-3D mapping methods. As applications, several cases of textile configurations are considered, with geometric models directly provided by industrial companies and presenting different levels of design complexities, such as garment models (e.g., men's jackets) for the clothing sector, or functional textiles used in the automotive industry (e.g., soft car tops). © The Eurographics Association 2004.

[115] Rizzi C., Ruozi D., Gherri N., A methodology to acquire and formalise process knowledge for technology innovation: An industrial application, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 136, 65-80, (2004). Abstract
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Abstract: In this paper, we propose a methodology to acquire and formalize process knowledge for technological innovation and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). It integrates process modeling and simulation techniques with TRIZ Theory (Russian acronym for Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). The methodology gives the technicians a structured framework, which provides a step-by-step roadmap for BPR through three main phases: acquisition and formalization of AS-IS process knowledge and identification of process criticalities through IDEF techniques, creative problem solving using TRIZ methodology, and modeling and simulation of the new processes, named TOBE, implementing the new technological solutions. The methodology has been experimented for an industrial test case, permitting us to evaluate its efficacy and benefits. © 2004 by Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords: Business process engineering | Knowledge management and acquisition | TRIZ theory

[116] Rizzi C., Fontana M., Cugini U., Towards Virtual Prototyping of Complex-shaped Multi-layered Apparel, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 1(1-4), 207-216, (2004). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual prototyping of cloth has recently become a topic of increasing interest both in computer graphics and computer-aided design for industrial fabric or apparel production. Aiming at an accurate simulation of garment shapes, this paper presents a physics-based system for virtual cloth modelling, specifically conceived for design purposes and targeted to the clothing industry. This environment should allow the designer/modellist to validate her/his style and design options through the analysis of garment virtual prototypes and simulation results in order to reduce the number and role of physical prototypes. To this end, a complete physics-based model has been defined, oriented to actual complex-shaped apparel, incorporating aspects related to garment’s shape and structure (e.g., 2D profiles of basic patterns and multi-layered parts), mechanical/structural properties of fabric materials and multi-layered parts, and design/manufacturing processes (e.g., ironing, starching). The physical garment’s model has been developed upon a particle-based model embedded in constrained Newtonian dynamics with collision management. The system has been validated within European and national projects, simulating several female and male garments with different levels of design complexities and directly provided from involved clothing companies. © 2004 by CAD Solutions Company Limited.

Keywords: Garment design and manufacturing | Garment simulation | Physics based-models

[117] Mandorli F., Rizzi C., Susca L., Cugini V., An approach to implement feature-based applications using Knowledge Aided Engineering technology, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 109, 41-55, (2003). Abstract
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Abstract: Concurrent Engineering methodology and process analysis and modeling showed the importance of tools that allow the designers to evaluate, from the beginning, different aspects of product definition. 3D CAD systems, simulation tools and virtual prototyping technologies can support the designer during her/his decision-making activity but, in order to provide an effective support, they must be tailored to the needs of the design process of each specific product. During last years, different types of tools appeared on the market to support this tailoring activity and to promote the development of product-dependent applications. In this paper, we have focused the attention on software tools named KAE (Knowledge Aided Engineering) development shells. Applications implemented by using this type of tools can support experts during the decision making process to evaluate alternative solutions. They provide a kernel for the integration of different technologies, and represent a basic step for the development of the product design. In this paper we present a brief overview of the architecture of a typical KAE application and we provide a survey of the most significant systems that we have developed, within different application domain, taking advantage of the KAE technology. © 2003 by Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords: Feature technology | Knowledge aided engineering

[118] Susca L., Mandorli F., Rizzi C., Cugini U., Racing car design using knowledge aided engineering, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing: AIEDAM, 14(3), 235-249, (2000). Abstract
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Abstract: The evolution of computer aided design (CAD) systems and related technologies has promoted the development of software for the automatic configuration of mechanical systems. This occurred with the introduction of knowledge aided engineering (KAE) systems that enable computers to support the designer during the decision-making process. This paper presents a knowledge-based application that allows the designer to automatically compute and evaluate mass properties of racing cars. The system is constituted by two main components: the computing core, which determines the car model, and the graphic user interface, because of which the system may be used also by nonprogrammers. The computing core creates the model of the car based on a tree structure, which contains all car subsystems (e.g., suspension and chassis). Different part-subpart relationships define the tree model and link an object (e.g., suspension) to its components (e.g., wishbones and wheel). The definition of independent parameters (including design variables) and relationships definition allows the model to configure itself by evaluating all properties related to dimension, position, mass, etc. The graphic user interface allows the end user to interact with the car model by editing independent design parameters. It visualizes the main outputs of the model, which consist in numeric data (mass, center of mass of both the car and its subsystems) and graphic elements (car and subsystems 3D representation).

[119] Cugini U., Denti P., Ippolito M., Rizzi C., Modeling and simulation of handling machinery with dynamic and static behavior of non-rigid materials, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 5(1), 48-56, (1998). Abstract
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Abstract: This modeling and simulation environment allows the system engineer to design and simulate automated systems handling non-rigid materials taking into account their physical properties. The system's three main components include one which geometrically models both the workspace and the handling machinery, one which physically models and simulates the behavior of flat elastic and visco-plastics bulk types of non-rigid materials, and a robot off-line programming system. The second module, SoftLand, is based on the particle-based model and constitutes the innovative component.

[120] Bordegoni M., Frugoli G., Rizzi C., Direct interaction with flexible material models, Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics, 21(B), 387-390, (1997). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents novel interaction techniques and tools to support direct manipulation of flexible material models. We discuss interaction techniques and tools at two different levels: definition of the object/environment model, and manipulation of the digital environment as it was real to modify and validate the model.

[121] Denti P., Dragoni P., Rizzi C., Constraint-based approach for the simulation of flexible materials in industrial processes, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 4, 2811-2815, (1996). Abstract
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Abstract: Several industrial sectors are concerned with the design and manufacturing of flexible products. However traditional CAD and simulation systems cannot be used to study and simulate process that involve such kinds of products. Our objective has been to develop a modelling and simulation environment able to deal with different classes of non-rigid material, from flat to bulk, in a unified way. This has been done at two different levels: object modelling and interactions modelling. For what concerns the former a particle-based model has been adopted where an object is described by a set of particles with their mass, radius and other physical properties. Regarding the latter we decided to define a unified approach to manage object interactions with the environment. To verify the potential of the developed prototype some application case studies have been selected: the automated folding of a cotton sleeve, the draping of a skirt over a human body and the opening and closure of a convertible car soft top.

[122] Cugini U., Denti P., Rizzi C., Design and simulation of non-rigid materials handling systems, Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 41(5-6), 587-593, (1996). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper presents a software environment to model and simulate non-rigid materials behaviour during handling operations according to their physical properties (e.g. stiffness), and to detect undesirable deformations (e.g., material breakage). The system provides a graphical and integrated environment for modelling and graphically simulating rigid objects (e.g. robot arm, gripper) combined with flexible products (e.g. garment, meat). It consists of three main modules: a module to geometrically model the workspace and the robot composing the automated handling system, a module to physically model and simulate the behaviour of flexible materials and finally a module for robot off-line programming. An approximated and descretised model has been adopted to describe non-rigid materials in order to incorporate both its geometric and physical properties. To show the functionality of the system, the simulation of an industrial operation (automated folding of a cotton sleeve) is illustrated.

[123] Karakerezis A., Ippolito M., Doulgeri Z., Rizzi C., Cugini C., Petridis V., Robotic handling for flat non-rigid materials, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 1, 937-946, (1994). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper deals with the conception, construction and simulation of gripping systems for handling flat Non-Rigid Materials (NRMs). A prototype gripping system dedicated to handle regular shaped flat materials, has been designed, constructed and experimentally tested. In addition two other gripping systems for grasping irregular shaped NRMs have also been designed and simulated through this work. A consistent review in end effector technology has been made, and a thoroughly conception design along with the functional requirements and proposals for the proposed 'gripping systems' are described. The final decision and implementation for the gripper along with the design study and construction are presented. Experimental and simulation results of the final version of the grippers and discussion are provided.