The president of the largest applied research organization in Europe, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, visited this Fraunhofer Portugal headquarters on the 24th of August 2016. Reimund Neugebauer was accompanied by the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor.

The program of the event was composed by the presentation and the demonstration of projects which, by their relevance and innovative nature, are a reference of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS’ remarkable technology. It were distinguished solutions to reduce comorbidity and mortality associated with certain contexts: for detection and prevention of falls (FCC), and technology for pre-diagnosis of tropical diseases (MalariaScope). Projects that aim to increase the quality of life of society and the effectiveness of daily activities – indoor location technology (PIL) and inertial sensors to monitor different specific actions (Pandlets) – were also highlighted.

IMG_20160223_111912A poster of our white has been presented in the 2016 Falls Festival. The poster summarizes the work developed, knowledge and solutions created during the Fall Competence Center.

As a result of the Fall Competence Center a white paper showing Fraunhofer AICOS 360º approach on technology for falls detection, risk assessment and prevention was written.

It reflects our particular perspective and describes the path we have been developing at Fraunhofer AICOS to attack the problem of falls using low cost and pervasive technology.

fall detection infography 2 - new

The white paper can be found here:

IMG_1834[1]Fraunhofer AICOS held a Fall Competence Center Workshop last June 23, at Porto, intended to promote the debate on fall detection and activity monitoring. This one-day workshop gathered several researchers who shared their knowledge and know-how on the matter. The result was an enlightening an enriching gathering where new ideas and projects started to gain shape.

Fraunhofer AICOS has currently quite a few projects under development related to fall detection and activity monitoring, namely SmartSurf, Exergames, SAFE, PIL, Mover, and Fall Risk Analysis. All these have been showcased at the workshop giving the opportunity to participants to better understand each of them.

Special highlight to the international presence of Dr. Andreu Català from Technical Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) who shared his experience on some research topics which most interest him such as Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Control Systems and Assistive Technologies.

Andreu Català has a BSc/MSc in Physics from the University of Barcelona and a PhD in Physics from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). He had been Head Director of the Engineering School of Vilanova i la Geltrú (UPC) from 2000 till 2006, responsible of the Knowledge Engineering Research Group (UPC) since 1998, and Director of the Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living (UPC) since 2010. He is coordinator of the Thematic Network CIP-PSP-ICT ’European Network for Fall Prevention Intervention and Security E-NOFALLS’. Coordinator UPC of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Program on ’Interactive and Cognitive Environments’.

The students association of the Coimbra Health School (AE-ESTeSC) organized SCAS 2015 ‘Semana das Ciências Aplicadas à Saúde’, From the 20th to the 26th of April at the Dolce Vita Coimbra. In this event several organizations gather together and with the goal of conducting different health examinations.

The FCC projects related to Fall Risk Analysis, My Fall Risk Meter and SmartFeet, were available for testing during this week and, with the help of researchers from Fraunhofer Portugal, the participants were able to assess their risk of falling and to perform games and exercises for falls prevention.


The FCC project SmartSurf was the focus of a TV report in Portugal, with interviews to the Fraunhofer researchers involved, João Madureira and Ricardo Lagido, and Marcelo Martins from the Surf School Onda Pura.

The SmartSurf aims to help Surfers making the most of their surfing sessions by analyzing their performance. Inertial sensors are used to collect data and compute metrics, such as number of waves surfed, speed, distance in wave and angles of turns.

Watch the TV report about SmartSurf below, in Portuguese.

The FCC smartphone-based Fall Detection was presented at the EU Falls Festival.

The EU Falls Festival, is an event that gathers specialists aiming to promote the debate about falls amongst older people, as well as solutions for preventing it. Under the theme ‘Technology in the prediction, detection and prevention of falls’, the festival took place on the 24th and 25th of March, in Stuttgart (Germany).

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ExerGames on the TV


The FCC project ExerGames was the focus of a news report on a national portuguese TV broadcaster, with interviews with the researchers, patients and caretakers.

The ExerGames project aims at developing interactive games for physical activity and rehabilitation in which the user’s movements are monitored using sensors. The selected approach is to design and implement a framework that is multiplatform and provides all the needed interfaces for the games.

You can watch the video of the news report below, in Portuguese.



The number of waves surfed, speed and distance in wave. These are some of the metrics that can now be measured thanks to the SmartSurf, an application developed by a team of experts at Fraunhofer Portugal.

SmartSurf aims to analyze surfers’ performance, quantitatively, in real-time. The smartphone sensors are used to collect data and compute performance metrics, such as number of waves surfed, average and maximum speed, ride duration and distance in wave. Maneuvers are also detected and the angles of turns or the height of airs may also be computed.

The app may be used by surfers all around the world to measure their performance and compare statistics. Researchers from Fraunhofer Portugal will start working with competition athletes and trainers to develop the project into a training tool in order to improve the performance of the athletes. Moreover, during television broadcasting of Surf Championships the metrics may be computed in real-time and showed along with the surfing images.

It is estimated to exist around 23 million surfers worldwide. Moreover, in Portugal, there is a coastline of 1.794 kilometers, a high number of surf beaches and an increasing number of surf athletes.

AAL Forum 2014



More than 500 participants, several innovative and technological solutions and hundreds of visitors. This is the wrap-up of the AAL Forum 2014, an event in which Fraunhofer Portugal and its FCC Competence Center took part.

This year, the AAL Forum took place from the 9th to the 12th of September in Bucharest (Romania). The AAL Forum is the annual platform for the increasing European AAL community to meet and discuss several topics, relevant for improving the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP) as well as the adoption of AAL solutions in the market. It is an initiative of the AAL Joint Programme.

The AAL Forum is the annual showcase event for the people involved in the AAL JP’s projects and the AAL community. It is the core connection of the joint programme to the AAL Community. This community includes policy makers, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) developers, manufacturers, health professionals, commissioners, businesses, venture companies, technologists, academics, designers, carers and, of course, older adults. Its purpose is to exhibit and demonstrate existing or developing ICT solutions (products and services), promote networking within the community, foster the interest of other sectors in the field of AAL, provoke debate and discussion on various topics and highlight new or emerging developments in the area to inform the AAL community.


Safety & Security



Fraunhofer AICOS is developing an Assault Detection and Documentation System intended to provide a cost-effective smartphone-based approach to increase the safety of the Field Operatives and to ease the documentation of their activities. The Safety project consists of an adaptable operations management solution, composed by a Command Center and several Field Operatives. The Command Center will rely on a backend server and dedicated frontend interface for operations management. The Field Operatives will be equipped with a smartphone which will be worn in a fixed position in the chest, with the camera facing to the front and, optionally, a headset with a Heads Up Display (HUD) and a detachable controller.

The Command Center centralizes the information received from all the operatives combining the tracking of their location, status and activities, automatically generating daily work reports. The operations management interface allows monitoring each operative, immediately highlighting abnormal situations and sending instructions/information or even video to the smartphone or HUD of that Field Operative, allowing them to make more informed decisions. Likewise, the Command Center can receive the video streams from all the Field Operatives involved using them to crowd source information.

Taking advantage of the smartphone built-in sensors, the location and activities of the Field Operative can be automatically recognized in real-time, discriminating periods of sitting, walking, running, jumping, or even, for example, physical confrontation, being shot or lying down.

We are currently working on the integration of the different components and on the recognition of specific activities. Moreover we are planning to develop customizable alert triggers in response to the detection of a certain activity, for example too long still periods or falling unconscious, or based on geofencing, as when the routes deviate from the expected paths/locations or scheduled checkpoints.

This project will ultimately result in an integrated solution for Field Operatives and operations management that can be easily adapted to different application contexts. These could include not only public authorities, private security companies but also equipment maintenance crews, for example.

Recently, Exame Informática interviewed the team of the Safety project. Follow the link bellow and see the report. On our Facebook page the printed report is also available.

Exame Informática – “Safety: a plataforma das patrulhas e rondas”


A group of internationally renowned experts from Switzerland, Spain and Ireland, gathered last March 7 with the Fraunhofer’s team in what was the first workshop on the Fall Competence Center (FCC). The initiative, organized by Fraunhofer AICOS, aimed to foster the sharing of know-how and expertise on topics such as fall detection and management.

Among the guests, we note the presence of Dr. Alan Bourke (Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Prof. John Nelson (Centre for Physical Activity and Health – University of Limerick), Prof. Andreu Català and Prof. Joan Cabestany (Technical Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya).

The Fraunhofer AICOS took the opportunity to deepen the understanding on these experts’ research, present their own ongoing projects and discuss new ideas. The outcomes of this workshop allowed strengthening the bonds between these institutions and setting the tone for future collaborations in the scope of their core competences.

Researchers from Fraunhofer AICOS gave a full presentation about the FCC as well as its ongoing lines of action, such as Fall Risk Assessment, Fall Detection, Activity Monitoring, Fall Prevention and Smart Rehabilitation. Likewise, the international guests had the opportunity to approach the work they have been developing.

Dr. Alan Bourke, from Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), talked over gait analysis and spatio-temporal parameters with foot-worn sensors, highlighting the relation of gait parameters with fear of falling. Physical activity monitoring and Instrumented Functional Tests using inertial sensors: Simple Shoulder test, Timed Up & Go, Berg Balance Test were also some of the subjects addressed by the expert. As a final point, Dr. Alan Bourke presented a European Project in which his group is involved: Farseeing.

Representing the Centre for Physical Activity and Health (University of Limerick), Prof. John Nelson presented several projects covering topics related to wireless sensors, mobility monitoring, signal processing, falls prevention and mobile platforms. Prof. John Nelson also embraced the opportunity to present ICT4Depression, a European Project in which his institution is involved.

Finally, Prof. Andreu Català and Prof. Joan Cabestany, referred to some of the projects in which Fraunhofer AICOS is also involved, such as REMPARK – Personal Health Device for the Remote and Autonomous Management of Parkinson’s Disease and E-NOFALLS – European Network for Fall Prevention, Intervention and Security. From the Technical Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), the specialists discussed some main areas of interest and competence: design and development of specific electronic systems and solutions, applied artificial intelligence, fall detection, usability and user centred design, technology for chronic diseases. Furthermore, Prof. Andreu Català and Prof. Joan Cabestany presented FATE – a project which validates an innovative and efficient ICT-based solution focused on improving the elder’s quality of life by an accurate detection of falls, both at home and outdoors, and SENSE4CARE, a start-up company in collaboration with the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya that is commercializing two products: a fall detector and a device for Parkinson Disease symptoms measurement.

The outcomes of this workshop could not have been more positive considering the brainstorming and share of know-how fostered. Surely this was the first of many enriching gatherings.


Fraunhofer AICOS is organising a Fall Competence Center Workshop with the aim of bringing together international partners with expertise in the area of fall detection and management.

This one-day workshop will take place on the 7th of March 2014 at Porto, Portugal and will have the honor of hosting international guests from Switzerland, Spain and Ireland: Dr. Alan Bourke from Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Dr. John Nelson and Dr. Pepijn van de Ven from Centre for Physical Activity and Health (University of Limerick), Dr. Andreu Català and Dr. Joan Cabestany fromTechnical Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Livin(Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya).

We look forward to hearing about their research, presenting our current projects in this area and discussing new ideas and future collaborations.