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October 12, 2017 | Adding virtual texture to smooth surfaces

texturer virtuellement surfaces ListResearchers at List*, a CEA Tech institute, successfully controlled the friction created by a human finger on a smooth surface to produce a perception of texture. Because the vibration field generated is very local, the sensation of texture is fine and precise.

For smooth touch-interfaces like smartphone displays, an illusion of texture can be created by varying the force of the friction exerted on the user's finger. Most of today's texture-generating systems depend on tiny motors placed under the display surface to create a diffuse overall vibration. Researchers at List came up with an improved system that can provide a much more accurate perception of texture, letting users feel a different texture with each finger. The research won Best Paper Award at IEEE World Haptics 2017.

The researchers decided that, rather than increasing the friction coefficient over the entire surface, they would reduce the coefficient using ultrasound to generate a sort of "air cushion" around the finger. "What is new is that we were able to generate the air cushion very locally, providing a much more precise sensation of touch." Piezoelectric switches were placed under the display's surface, where they vibrate at select frequencies so as not to propagate the vibrations over the entire surface.

The system, patented by List, creates an illusion of texture on surfaces that can be touched by several fingers at the same time. Ultimately, transparent piezoelectric materials could be deposited directly on surfaces using deposition techniques developed by Leti.

*List earned the prestigious Institut Carnot seal in 2006 (Institut Carnot TN@UPSaclay).



October 5, 2017 | Image-guided radiation therapy: toward lower doses

controle dose radiotherapie list 250A method for generating personalized calculations of the doses received by individual patients during image-guided radiation therapy was developed in research conducted under the AID-IGRT project, backed by France's national research agency (ANR). Ultimately, the method will help improve medical imaging protocols and reduce doses.

The use of embedded imaging systems to accurately position patients before radiation therapy treatment has received increasing attention. The overall dose received by patients during treatment is often poorly calculated and, therefore, underestimated. To mitigate radiation-related risks to patients, List developed experimental digital tools for accurately assessing—and reducing—the doses received during treatment. The advance was achieved in research conducted under the ANR-backed AID-IGRT project.

The researchers began by measuring the doses delivered with calibrated dosimeters on anthropomorphic phantoms representing a standard patient's morphology. A prototype of the 3D calculation software was then developed. The software, designed to determine the doses delivered by embedded imaging systems, provides a calculation of the dose received by each of the patient's organs. The calculation is personalized according to the patient's morphology and the characteristics of the treatment protocol.

The software, which leverages Monte Carlo* simulation, was validated at the Doseo platform and presented to France's nuclear safety board. The ultimate goal is to implement the software in clinical settings to give healthcare professionals the first-ever accurate delivered-dose calculation system, giving them the tools they need to reduce doses without compromising on image quality.

*Monte Carlo methods are algorithms that use probabilistic techniques to obtain numerical results.



September 22, 2017 | French Armed Forces Minister visits CEA Saclay campus to explore digital ecosystem

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French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly came to Nano-INNOV at the CEA’s Saclay campus on Tuesday, September 19 to hold a meeting of the Ministry’s Executive Committee to discuss digital transformation.

Cluster Systematic extended a special invitation to French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly to hold a meeting of the Ministry’s Executive Committee on digital transformation in Saclay. Saclay has become one of France’s major digital technology ecosystems, concentrating a broad range of support services for digital technology research and development at a single location.

Representatives of the CEA and of Systematic1 and SystemX2 presented their organizations. Systematic and SystemX are now housed at DigiHall3, the Paris-Saclay campus’ new digital technology hub set up to bring businesses end-to-end R&D and innovation services and unite digital technology stakeholders at a single location, the CEA’s Nano-INNOV platform in Palaiseau.

Five innovative startups and SMBs launched with these organizations’ support presented products and services with potential military applications. All of these companies were initially created to respond to civil market needs. However, virtually all of them are currently running projects with major French military and defense companies and the French Directorate General for Armaments, the French military’s procurement wing.

And three of the companies are startups spun off by List4, an institute of CEA Tech, the CEA’s technology research division.

  • Diota, was set up in 2009 to develop industrial-grade augmented reality software to give industrial companies the tools they need to interactively link data and human workspaces and enhance performance.
  • Kalray, founded in 2008, offers a new generation of field programmable gate arrays that leverage a massively parallel several-hundred-core architecture and that can be reconfigured after fabrication.
  • Krono Safe, established in 2011, commercializes a software suite built on more than fifteen years of CEA R&D in nuclear- and automotive-industry operating safety; the company is the only one on the market capable of automating the real-time critical software development process without compromising on performance or safety.
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French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly with (from left to right) Philippe Watteau, Director, List; Pascal Cléré, Director, IRT SystemX; Jean-Luc Beylat, President, Systematic Cluster; and Christophe Gégout, Deputy Administrator General, CEA. © Systematic

Minister Parly highlighted the importance of innovation and digital technology in the Armed Forces Ministry’s own transformation process, stating that the credibility of the nation’s military now depends on the defense industry and defense-specific technologies better integrating more of the innovations being developed by the kinds of new digital-technology stakeholders in the CEA ecosystem she met during her visit to Saclay.

The CEA is, of course, a major digital-technology stakeholder, a leadership position that can be attributed in part to the organization’s Military Applications Division, one of the world’s leaders in high-performance computing. The Division’s supercomputers, developed for nuclear dissuasion, are at the international state of the art.

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Startup Diota presents its technology to French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly. © Systematic
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Staff from the French Armed Forces Ministry attending a presentation with (from left to right) Michel Bédoucha (in the red tie), Director, CEA Saclay; Christophe Gégout, Deputy Administrator General, CEA; and Philippe Watteau, Director, List. © Systematic


1 Systematic Paris-Région is a cluster founded in 2005 to build an ecosystem of software, digital-technology, and industrial professionals poised to address tomorrow’s industries. The cluster counts more than 800 members and the CEA is a permanent member of its Executive Bureau.

2IRT SystemX is one of eight Technology Research Institutes established by the French government in 2012 to create a more attractive and innovative French economy. Each Institute focuses on developing markets related to its area of expertise through strategic and balanced public-private partnerships.

3DigiHall, formerly called Digitec, was set up in 2017 by the CEA, Télécom ParisTech, Inria, Systematic, and IRT SystemX, with the support of the Île-de-France Regional council, Paris-Saclay University, and the Paris-Saclay Development Authority. By 2020 DigiHall will be home to more than 1,500 research scientists and engineers.

4List earned the prestigious Institut Carnot seal in 2006 (Institut Carnot TN@UPSaclay).


September 19, 2017 | RobMoSys expands model-driven engineering (MDE) to robotics

robotique list robmosysEU H2020 project RobMoSys will give robotics software development a boost by creating a shared design method and environment.

Currently, there are as many robotics software development platforms as there are types of robots—and they are virtually all different! EU H2020 project RobMoSys kicked off in January 2017 with the goal of creating a shared design method and environment to support the development of high-quality software and control development costs. Stakeholders from across the robotics community will be given opportunities to take part in this project.

The shared platform will leverage modular software models. List, a CEA Tech institute, is contributing its know-how in model-driven engineering (MDE) to the project. "MDE is very widely used in the automotive industry. It can really help with the design of complex systems, which also makes it ideal for robotics," said the List project coordinator.

The RobMoSys platform will support existing platforms without compromising their unique features or independence. "Ultimately, what developers will have are off-the-shelf software components that can be reused from one robot to the next." And, to ensure the widespread involvement of the robotics community, half of the project budget will be allocated to open calls for sub-projects.

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September 5, 2017 | List and Thales join forces to innovate new cybersecurity solutions

cybersécurité list thalesList recently reached a new milestone in cybersecurity, proving that its Frama-C formal verification software can be used to make sure that encryption software code is secure. The advance was part of research conducted under FormalLab, a joint List-Thales R&D initiative.

For the first time ever in the world of cybersecurity, the operating code of software used to encrypt sensitive data was analyzed using formal verification tools developed at List. The advance addresses a vast potential market: Encrypted communications software is currently used for the majority of digital communications, and vulnerabilities in the software can potentially compromise the security of large amounts of data.

In research conducted under the Thales-List joint R&D lab FormalLab, List applied its code analysis and verification know-how to Thales' encryption software.

The partners began by stating the software's security requirements in everyday language. They then drew up specifications for the features of the target software. The specifications were compared with the existing software code using advanced mathematical reasoning.

List researchers worked closely with developers at Thales on the project, which provided List with an opportunity to implement its Frama-C software on a real-world case. Thales is now rolling out the use of Frama-C on a test basis with the ultimate goal of using it on all of its encryption software code, thus eliminating security vulnerabilities. In other research, FormalLab continues its work to develop future generations of code analysis software.