The Innovation Days Exhibition was held in Lisbon and presented around 500 new technology projects from 300 exhibitors, the vast majority of which were Portuguese. The event, organised by the Portuguese Agency for Innovation, hosted around 40 Eureka projects. The exhibition also included debates and round tables. According to the organisers, the main aim was to publicise innovation by Small and Medium sized enterprises.
One exhibit was a robotically controlled device to help brain surgeons using Computer Tomography-guided biopsies and interventions. The novelty is that is not a huge machine, like previous surgical robots, but light and completely portable. It is also more accurate than old machines. Another project was a new, advanced laser system designed to be used to renovate paintings or materials like paper, parchment, and metal objects. It automatically detects the distance to the surface needing to be cleaned, and uses dynamic focusing control when presented with irregular surfaces. Again, another new feature is that it is completely portable, and can be used on the gound, ouside of a laboratory setting. The Portuguese Institute for Systems and Robotics is developing a robot with awareness, whose “attention” can be attracted by a child with a ball, for example. It is hoped that this will lead to better robot communication with humans and will allow the robot to explore its surroundings visually, react to novelty and memorize positions of objects allowing it to build up memory in order to perform tasks such as fetching or searching for specific items. This is a first step towards integrating robots into human society.