CVC has participated at this year’s CROMA 2.0 day, the initiative launched by the Autonomous Solidary Foundation (FAS) that promotes the link between the Autonomous University of Barcelona and schools with a large presence of students at risk of social exclusion.

In this way, almost 40 primary school students between 10 and 12 years old from four different schools of Vallès Occidental visited CVC on the 28th of May in the morning. These four schools – Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer School (Rubí), Ramon Llull School (Rubí) Juan Ramón Jiménez School (Sabadell) and Miquel Carreras School (Sabadell) – have been working during the months of April and May on the project “how can we design a pain detector for patients that can’t communicate?”, based on Pau Rodriguez’s research on pain detection. So, finally, after a few weeks of effort and learning, the kids were able to present the results of this project to CVC researchers.

Dr. Jordi Gonzàlez giving some feedback to students’ projects

These results turned out to be more creative and innovative than anticipated, with lots of brilliant ideas such as a super helmet to detect pain or a machine that detects immediately the pain expression in people’s faces:

After presentations, some CVC researchers organized four different workshops to let children know what is exactly Computer Vision and which are its applications beyond pain detection.

In the first of these activities, coordinated by Dr. Ernest Valveny, the kids could learn how computers can understand text and pictures. They could also experiment with our sketch-based retrieval tool, drawing lots of sketches and discovering the pictures that most resembled them.

Dr. Ernest Valveny explaining the sketch-based retrieval demo

Another workshop was coordinated by Dr. Jordi Gonzàlez and Diego Velazquez and it was thought to continue working on the concept of biometrics but this time, with a different purpose: detecting people’s age and gender. Children could discover a demonstration that uses Computer Vision to predict their age and gender, developed by Diego Velazquez, and they also could test it with photos of their favourite celebrities. However, the most entertaining part of the session was when the children started to challenge the machine using wigs, beards, moustaches and other complements in order to confuse its predictions.

Diego Velázquez and Dr. Jordi González presenting the activity to students

Moving on the next activity, we found an interactive workshop on visual perception, organized by the CVC NeuroBiT group. In this activity, the children discovered how our eyes can challenge our brain and the limits of our visuals system through some visual experiments carried out by Dr. Alejando Párraga. Moreover, Dr. Xavier Otazu showed them the colour lab and Nilai Sallent explained to them two different experiments to detect color blindness: the Ishihara test and the Farnsworth test.

Finally, in the fourth activity, the kids could discover what a car will look like in the future meanwhile they raced against the Artificial Intelligence through our CARLA Simulator. They were really amazed when they realized that video games are not only used for entertainment, they are also used as important tools for research and progress.

Nuria Martínez

The author Nuria Martínez