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DTx: the new paradigms that are made with the digital transformation into a CoLAB model

The work areas are developed in four groups, massive collaboration, emotics, dynamic collaboration and trustful CPS environments, and with work and learning processes, with the creation of dynamics between the partners. This way of working, in open collaboration with companies, has exceeded expectations, says the president of DtX.

In practice, there are three types of projects: exploratory projects are developed in open research models, but then there are specific projects, drawn up by industrial partners, usually to solve specific issues, in cutting-edge areas of technology, and these are added to also competitive projects, which result from projects won by DTx in international consortia, such as EdAR, which works with holographic interfaces such as Microsoft's HoloLens.

The Bosch connection history that already existed at the University of Minho and EMBRAER with CEIIA was a solid basis for this operating logic, but the models have also been developed already within the framework of CoLAB, facilitating the investigation and creation of products and services.

Holistic vision that blurs technology boundaries

The list of projects includes the Symbiotic human-robot collaboration with IKEA, Smart Interiors with Bosch and Digital Manufacturing: Optimould with Celops, or Molded eletronics, which involves Bosch, Celopls and Simoldes, but the list is quite longer.

The software and information systems concentrate about 60% of the activity and to respond to the projects, DTx has increased the number of researchers, already counting with 37 collaborators, of which 34 researchers, but the goal is to reach the end of the year with 45 50 people. Three years ago the goal was even higher, reaching 60 researchers, and Antnio Cunha guarantees that despite the high specialization that is required, he has not had any problems in recruiting.

For the president of the Collaborative Laboratory, the scope achieved in the DTx is an asset, with the interconnection between the different areas, and the objective is also to expand competences in the areas of cybersurgery, intelligent materials and composites, interactive robotics and human-machine optics. But for Antnio Cunha they are all complementary areas for the laboratory's vision.

DTx works at the intersection of the physical, digital and cyber domains, with the objective of creating the next generation of evolved cyber-physical systems, which is able to blur the border between the real world and the virtual world, underlines Antnio Cunha, recalling that this holistic view two years ago made sense, but now it makes more.

The roadmap for 2022/2024 is already outlined and the president of DTx says that this is the guide for the development of the laboratory, but that he does not dare to make a list further because "we are ashamed to write because we do not know what will happen" .

"This is a process under construction, and we will probably always be evolving," he recalls.