CVC at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023

The Computer Vision Center at the Smart City Expo

The Computer Vision Center attends the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023, thanks to the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya, highlighting its latest Computer Vision technologies for smart cities.

The Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is the international leading event for cities. This year, the event took place on November 07-09 at Fira de Barcelona. It was attended by more than 25300 in-person attendees and 1106 exhibitors from +140 different countries to find synergies and establish new partnerships.

During the exhibition, the CVC stand received visits from different personalities and politicians, such as the Minister of the Government of Catalonia for Business and Labor, Roger Torrent i Ramió; the Secretary of Digital Policies, Gina Tost; and the General Director of the Digital Society of the Department of Business and Labor, Liliana Arroyo. Besides, at the venue, many companies, institutions and professionals approached the stand during the congress showing interest in CVC's work, among them, delegations from different countries coordinated by ACCIÓ, the Catalan Government's agency for business competitiveness.

Computer Vision Solutions for Smart Cities

CVC aims to develop computer vision solutions to address different industrial challenges. At our booth, among many solutions for smart cities, we presented computer vision solutions for intelligent recycling .

A significant fraction of waste goes unidentified by industrial classification processes ending up being burnt or in the dump. We address the accuracy issues in waste classification processes at recycling plants using smart recycling solutions. By utilizing hyperspectral images, we can improve the process and accurately determine the type of material contributing to its proper recycling.

Coen Antens, Head of CVC's Innovation Unit, explains how it works in this video developed by XaFIR, the Industry 4.0 Network of Catalunya.

At the SCEWC, we also introduced EcoMate, a computer vision-based mobile app for waste identification and classification.

CVC collaborates with multiple schools in Catalonia within the framework of the 'Research, Creation & Service (RCS)' project launched by the Catalan Government's Education Department. This program aims at encouraging young people's interest and commitment to what is happening in their environment. In order to do so, collaborating entities propose a challenge which needs to be worked on by students resulting in the elaboration of products and/or services.

As part of the program, we proposed a smart recycling challenge for students to actively contribute to building a robust database that supports EcoMate, an app with significant social benefits. EcoMate allows community collaboration to expand and verify a database of products tagged so that the system can recognise them and show the user into which container should be thrown away: general waste, plastic, cardboard, glass, compostable, etc. And, it has a gamified interface to enhance engagement.

By using EcoMate to tackle the smart recycling challenge, students not only are gaining knowledge but also playing an important role in shaping a more sustainable future for everyone.

CVC-Ajuntament de l'Hospitalet collaboration

Furthermore, this year, we collaborated with Ajuntament de l'Hospitalet to bring two activities to reflect on the social impact of artificial intelligence (AI) to the SCEWC. Both activities had been previously developed as part of the ExperimentAI project, a scientific dissemination initiative, coordinated by CVC and co-funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), aimed at bringing AI and computer vision closer to citizens, fostering reflection on their societal impact through several sessions held in public libraries.

➡ On one hand, +100 Middle and Higher Training Cycle students in Audiovisual Graphics, Illustration and Interactive Graphic Product Assistance from EASD Josep Serra i Abella had the chance to explore the interaction between generative artificial intelligence and the arts. Arturo Fuentes-Calle, CVC predoctoral researcher and professor at the Image Processing and Multimedia Technology Center (CITM) from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, led the activity with the support of Diego Porres Bustamante, CVC predoctoral researcher.

➡ On the other hand, +50 Higher Training Cycle students in Social Integration from INS Can Vilumara had the chance to explore how social networks can be analysed with AI tools to detect mental health disorders and fight disinformation. Diana Ramírez-Cifuentes, CVC postdoc researcher, led the activity with the technical support of Enric Sala, CVC research engineer.

All in all, CVC had the opportunity to present its research to a high number of professionals. After three days of intense work and networking exploring the added value of technology for building smarter cities, the CVC team came back with a good impression and plenty of new contacts to be worked on from now on.

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