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10 décembre 2019 | Prix « ÉTOILES DE L’EUROPE » pour le projet C-BORD

Le projet C-BORD (Effective Container Inspection at BORDer Control Points), piloté par le CEA et regroupant 18 partenaires européens, a été récompensé par le prix Étoiles de l’Europe, catégorie Innovation. Ce prix a été remis le 10 décembre à Guillaume Sannie, ingénieur-chercheur au CEA List, par Frédérique Vidal, ministre de l’enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l’innovation.

guillaume sannie etoiles europe 500

Avec plus de 3 milliards de tonnes de marchandises transportées par bateau chaque année, le fret maritime représente aujourd'hui 85% du commerce mondial. En tant que premier port de commerce européen, le terminal de Rotterdam prend en charge à lui seul 14 millions de conteneurs par an ce qui implique des contraintes importantes liées aux contrôles de ces marchandises.

Avec l'appui des douaniers néerlandais, polonais, et hongrois, les partenaires du projet C-BORD ont pu tester dans l'enceinte des ports de Rotterdam et de Gdansk ainsi qu'au niveau d'un poste-frontière situé entre la Hongrie et la Serbie l'efficacité de cinq solutions de contrôle : imagerie par rayons X de nouvelle génération (Smiths Detection), interrogation neutronique (CEA), photofission (CEA), mesures nucléaires passives (Symetrica Security), nez électronique (Université de Manchester).

Grâce à cette série de tests menés en conditions réelles, C-BORD a démontré l'intérêt de combiner plusieurs de ces technologies pour couvrir une palette plus large de risques allant de la contrebande, à l'immigration clandestine en passant par le trafic de drogue et la présence de matières illicites dangereuses. Ces travaux ont plus particulièrement contribué à accroître la qualité de l'imagerie par rayons X afin de cibler avec une plus grande précision les points d'intérêt au sein d'un même conteneur. Une fois ceux-ci localisés, un complément d'analyse réalisé via un second dispositif s'appuyant sur l'interrogation neutronique ou la photofission permet alors de déterminer la nature précise des matériaux ciblés par les rayons X.

Deux brevets ont été déposés en imagerie par rayons X à l'issue du projet. Le premier porte sur l'élimination des images d'artefacts dues au mouvement tandis que le second concerne l'identification, objet par objet, des matériaux constitutifs d'une cargaison.

Dans le cadre de C-BORD, une nouvelle méthode de traitement des données acquises par interrogation neutronique a également été brevetée. Celle-ci permet d'extraire des informations destinées à différencier les matières organiques illicites, comme les explosifs et les drogues, des produits bénins. Un dispositif d'inspection basé sur cette technologie devrait en outre déboucher sur une exploitation commerciale, l'un des partenaires industriels s'étant déjà engagé dans cette voie.

En augmentant l'efficacité des contrôles tant au niveau des zones portuaires que des frontières terrestres de l'Union européenne, les développements technologiques initiés dans le cadre de C-BORD devraient contribuer à renforcer la sécurité du territoire.

C-Bord est un projet pour le contrôle non-intrusif des conteneurs de fret maritime et la détection de matières dangereuses ou illicites.

Voir aussi :

December 9, 2019 | Tendermint blockchain consensus under the microscope

blockchain 250The Tendermint blockchain consensus was recently validated—a noteworthy occurrence in the world of blockchain, where proof of the validity of protocols is only rarely provided.

A blockchain is a series, or "chain", of distributed data records where each participant possesses a local copy. There are a number of methods that can be employed to ensure that the chain is coherent. However, some of them are more energy efficient than others. A team of researchers that included scientists from CEA Tech institute List set out to prove that the Tendermint consensus algorithm—which offers the advantage of being energy efficient—has been implemented correctly.

In blockchain, consensus-making requires all participants to agree on an item (such as a transaction) before it can be added to the chain. The researchers identified several vulnerabilities that were then corrected by the developers. The corrected consensus algorithm was then validated and its implementation in the Tendermint blockchain was tested. The research also confirmed optimal tolerance of the so-called Byzantine Generals Problem—the biggest threat to blockchain systems. Here, the blockchain can tolerate up to one-third of participants being untrustworthy (either they no longer respond, or they send false information to trick the system).

This first-ever demonstration of a consensus-based blockchain is yet another example of List's (that earned the Carnot seal in 2006) leadership in this field, coming after the recent appointment of List researcher Sara Tucci to the French government's Blockchain Taskforce announced in July by France's Economy and Finance Minister with the goal of developing a national blockchain strategy and promoting communication between the blockchain community and the government.

*Tendermint consensus is used in the Cosmos blockchain network

Read article at http://www.cea-tech.fr/

 

 

November 28, 2019 | New human-machine interfaces make driving tractors easier

List pilotage tracteurs
© AGCO

A haptic interface was developed by researchers at List, a CEA Tech institute, to make operating farm machinery easier. An initial prototype centralizes the control of two major functions: the gearbox and draft.

Today's farm machinery is more powerful than ever and packs in an increasing number of features. Leading global agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO turned to List, a CEA Tech institute, for help developing simpler control interfaces. The goal was to come up with a control wheel that could be used to move intuitively through the tractor's tools and functions. The wheel also had to have a programmable haptic feedback feature.

The researchers developed a rotating knob integrating a motor and magnetorheological fluid whose viscosity varies depending on the amount of resistance needed. The hybrid system delivers quality haptic feedback characterized by fast response times and high force dynamics. Combining a visual display with the tactile sensations provided by the new interface improves the operator's perception of the machine's status.

For example, hard stops can be programmed depending on a tool's characteristics, increasing resistance can be configured depending on the level of stress the tractor is subjected to, and vibrating alerts can be set up.

A proof of concept prototype was built and tested in actual operating conditions with a tractor gear box and draft. The CEA will present a modified version of the technology (a joystick) at CES 2020 in Las Vegas in January 2020.

Learn more: Matiss flyer

Read article at http://www.cea-tech.fr/

 

 

November 14, 2019 | ExpressIF platform now offers constraint satisfaction reasoning capabilities

ExpressIF List 250
© monsitj - Fotolia.com

Solving combinatorial problems requires special artificial intelligence software. This type of software was recently added to the ExpressIF platform, which can now solve even more complex problems.

Unlike neural networks, symbolic artificial intelligence algorithms simulate human reasoning by exploring a set of solutions to a given problem. The ExpressIF software platform developed by CEA Tech institute List, which uses deductive reasoning, was recently updated with a new type of reasoning known as "constraint satisfaction" reasoning, so that it can tackle even more complex problems.

Constraint satisfaction solvers are algorithms that effectively solve combinatorial problems. With fuzzy constraint satisfaction solvers, for example, priorities can be set and requirements and preferences introduced so that only certain constraints must be satisfied only partially. This is the kind of algorithm that was integrated into ExpressIF to give the platform greater flexibility in terms of how a problem must be stated (in natural language at that!) and to allow it to find more complex solutions.

This new reasoning component will position ExpressIF to address problems like scheduling, task allocation, positioning, and the annotation of items in images. It will be used on concrete tasks for EU research projects Micado (to analyze spectra and recognize isotopes using mass spectrometry) and Deephealth (to annotate medical images).

Read article at http://www.cea-tech.fr/

 

 

November 8, 2019 | To combine agility and competitivity in manufacturing industry? The EU DIMOFAC project takes up the challenge!

dimofac logoMass customization is a major challenge for the manufacturing industry. To stay ahead, factories must be able to constantly reconfigure their production lines while maintaining profitable yields. The solution is to combine a more agile organization with digital simulation to increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes. The EU DIMOFAC project, which was officially launched on November 6, 2019 at the CEA, France, will develop technologies to enable efficient mass customization.

The ability to customize mass-produced consumer products is vital to the growth of today's manufacturing companies. However, modifying existing manufacturing processes to produce custom output is a major challenge. One solution is to create a digital twin of the factory and model manufacturing processes to enable virtual production management. When combined with a modular organization of the factory floor, this digital twin can be used to reconfigure production lines, making them faster and more agile and rendering processes more efficient. A digital twin can reduce the time it takes to reconfigure a production line by for example up to 75% for interactive displays, up to 50% for cosmetic packaging, aeronautics components, and 3D printing, and by up to 30% for razors and industrial modules.

The EU DIMOFAC project will bring manufacturing companies digital modelling and reconfiguration solutions, a network of pilot production lines, "flagship" factories, and Digital Innovation Hubs offering R&D and tech-transfer services to support the validation and testing of the processes developed. A total of six industrial demonstrators will be implemented on project partners' (Philips, Sculpteo, Albéa, VDL, Schaltag, and Eire Composites) production lines. The demonstrators will integrate in particular tools developed by the CEA, including CIVA for in-line quality control using automated non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques and, mostly, Papyrus for the functional digital twin of manufacturing production lines.

A number of CEA technology platforms are involved in the project, including the Additive Factory Hub (AFH), FFLOR, PICTIC, SMART FACTORY KL, and MANUHUB@WG.

The DIMOFAC project brings together a consortium of 30 partners from across Europe, and is coordinated by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). The official project launch took place on November 6 and 7, 2019 at the CEA campus in Grenoble, France.

dimofac illustration

The DIMOFAC project

+ Budget: >19 million
+ Duration: 4 years
+ Partners: The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA, coordinator), Siemens Industry Software SAS, Philips Consumer Lifestyle BV, Albéa Services SAS, VDL Industrial Modules, Schaltag AG, ESI Software Germany GmbH, Intrasoft Intl. S.A., Comau S.p.A., Sculpteo Fill Gesellschaft mbH, Eire Composites Teoranta, New Infrared Technologies SL, TTS Technology Transfer Systems SRL, Electronic and Optomechanic Engineering EXOM SL, FundingBox Research APS, TopSolid, Innovalia, Brainport Industries Cooperatie UA, Technologie Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V., European Association of the Machine Tool Industries, Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne AG, University of Patras (LMS), Centre Technique Industriel de la Plasturgie et des Composites, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwet. Onderzoek (TNO), Deutsches Forschungszentrum für künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, Association de Investigacion Metalurgica del Noroeste, Politecnico di Milano, and Datapixel.

DIMOFAC will receive €14 million in funding from the European Commission under contract no. 870092.