DST-NRF SARChI Chair in Enabled Environments for Assisted Living, Tier 1
Primary discipline: Engineering Sciences (2014 - 2018)
Prof Djouani is a full Professor, scientist and technical group supervisor of pattern recognition, soft computing, networking systems and Robotics at University Paris Est-Creteil (UPEC) seconded to Tshwane University of Technology.
In June 2012, he was the Deputy Director in charge of research at the IUT-CV (University Institute of Technology) at UPEC. In January 2011, he has been appointed as full professor at French South African Institute of Technology (F'SATI) at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, after having been seconded, from July 2008 to December 2010, by the French Ministry of Higher Education to the same institution.
He is heading the SCTIC team of the LISSI lab, University Paris Est. Till July 2008, he was also national and European projects manager at the LISSI Lab. He has also a large experience in industrial project contracting and transfer of technology with SMMEs and large groups, public institutions. His current research work focuses on the development of novel and highly efficient algorithms for reasoning systems with uncertainty as well as optimization and Networked control systems.
He authored/co-authored over 200 articles in archival journals, and conference proceedings as well as one Patent, one IP, 18 chapters in edited books and two books.
The research activities focus on the development of mechatronic and networked technologies to assist persons with disabilities and the elderly. The theoretical aspect of research concerns nonlinear systems modelling and control with the human in the loop while considering different sources of uncertainties that exist in such systems.
The main research themes that are targeted by the chair in the Enabled Environment for Assisted Living include the following:
The developed research concerns assistive living technologies. The newly developed systems are adaptive in the sense that they adapt their behaviour to the needs of the user and to specific situations. For instance, a mobility assistive system, as the exoskeleton under development at TUT, adapts to the disability situation. In other cases, blind persons need more intelligent navigation systems with a virtual safety envelope concept in which the mechanical system used for guidance is connected to the enabled environment using sensory information in order to ensure safe navigation at any time.
In addition, the next generation wheelchair needs to be adapted to persons with disabilities in which the control interfaces are dependent on the disability situation, and must be capable of detecting the user’s intention in real time in order to ensure safe and easy navigation. These are large potential expectations that could lead to new innovative products in this emerging field of assisted living concerning robotic systems design, hybrid systems for human intention detection and emerging Internet on Thing based technologies and services for enabled environments.