Overview

SIXTHSENSE is organized as a three-year research and innovation action to create novel technologies for wearable systems that will significantly improve the situational awareness and decision making of first responders and allow data based real-time risk management with improved communication capabilities in complex or demanding deployment scenarios. This technology will be developed and implemented into demonstrator systems that will be validated first in the laboratory, then in the first responder training facilities, and finally through in-situ experimental deployment. The work organisation and work package relationships are shown in the picture below.

Work organisation chart of the project presenting the outline of the implementation distributed over 10 relevant work packages. General relation between the development work packages (WP2-WP9) is also presented.

The development of technology will be performed iteratively in three stages. The structure of the work plan is based on 10 work packages that will support effective and efficient realisation of the project objectives and enable simple risk management. WP1 will involve the overall project management. WP2 to WP6 are dedicated to research and technological development, that will be integrated in functional prototypes in WP7. WP8 is focused on dissemination and communication of results.

WP1 Coordination and Management

will be led by the project coordinator TEC with participation of all consortium members. The organisation of the WP1 task is such that enables partners to work closely on general management and to enable fluent communication and decisionmaking process. Similarly, the activities linked to Exploitation, Dissemination & Communication are organised in WP10 that will be led by MDS and strongly supported by the market-oriented partners (6 SME and 3 large industry) in exploitation activities, research-oriented partners (three RTO and one university) in dissemination activities and practitioners in communication activities. Interconnecting effort of the WP1 and WP10 will assure well timed dissemination, while taking in account IPR opportunities, to create a comprehensive and targeted roadmap for commercial exploitation of the projects results.

WP2 Co-development, safety and experimental deployment

will ensure a common vision and understanding of project objectives, will work out a detailed and clear specification of the user requirements and define end user-oriented scenarios and pilot cases. A technical and functional specification will be worked out which is the basis of the development of the system architecture. Further accompanying measures define a clear understanding of constraints, limitations, requirements and specifications that stem from EU/national regulations and standards as well as the definition of key performance indicator (KPIs) for validations and testing procedures including development of risk definitions. In addition, the SIXTHSENSE consortium are duly committed to assessing risks associated with nanomaterials/nano-enabled products. Thus, a so-called Safe-by-Design approach is promoted to boost innovation capacity by reducing late development failures. BNN will assign resource to this activity within the respective R&D work packages.

WP3 Non-invasive biosensors

will bundle all the efforts related to research and development of functionalised biosensing surfaces, microfluidics and iontophoretic devices, needed to transcutaneous extract, collect, convey and analyse bodily fluids containing targeted analytes. Work in this WP will include specification of available analytes of interest and development of biofunctional surfaces and coatings and optimal electrode compounding and design. In parallel, this WP will cover the investigation focused on skin electrode interface layers and microfluidic control. The outputs of this WP will feed into WP5, so the development effort will include work on I/O interfaces to ensure compatibility with the rest of the system.

WP4 Minimally invasive biosensors

focuses on development novel systems for extraction and analysis of interstitial fluid. It includes research on hollow micro-needles arrays, systems for microfluidic transport and active sensing elements. All the development efforts will consider wearablility and low consumption which are currently an open question in the field. To ensure compatibility and complementarity with non-invasive biosensors there will be continual information exchange with WP3, and the task on I/O interfaces development will be shared. Sensor development for same targets is done in parallel in WP3 and WP4 since concentration ranges and operating conditions differ substantially for the two approaches. The outputs of this WP will feed into WP5.

WP5 Sensor data fusion

focuses on integration of existing and novel sensors in a comprehensive system. The work package comprises data acquisition, pre-processing and fusion to allow multimodal data analysis. It will develop an open architecture that is compatible with existing standards and software (like GINA CENTRAL) but fosters modularity and scalability to allow integration of novel sensors developed within SIXTHSENSE and beyond. The activities will include defining protocols for data acquisition and communication, developing pre-processing methods that rely on sensor redundancy and leverage multimodal data, as well as designing and prototyping the acquisition and pre-processing hardware.

WP6 Data analytics and DSS

deals with all the research needed to transform the recorded multimodal data into actionable information that can be communicated to the first responders and command centre. Based on the existing models and knowledge base, a multimodal predictive model that can estimate physiological strain, and simulate situational awareness and decision-making processes in such conditions, will be developed by including machine learning concepts. This will be implemented in a decision support system that will deliver relevant information to the first responders and the command centre.

WP7 Human machine interfaces

bundles the research activities related to intuitive information transfer through tactile sense, development of electrotactile feedback system and development of command centre communication dashboard. This research will include all technical and psychological aspects, experimental setups and procedures that are required to identify optimal schemes for electrotactile stimulation that would result with high-fidelity sensations.

WP8 Mission critical telecommunications

includes the research that will enable reliable and timely data transfer between the deployed first responders and the command centre. It will address the information coding and transfer protocols in the context of restrictive and rigid standards already existing in the field of mission critical communications used by first responders. New models will be devised, implemented and tested in field. Standardisation and modernisation of existing international standards in this field will also be addressed in this WP.

WP9 System integration & validation

incorporates all the previous results with the aim of developing wearable device demonstrators.