Leonardo and IIT, Italian Institute of Technology: together for the development of new security applications in space and emergencies

(To Leonardo / IIT)

The new joint research laboratories Leonardo and IIT (Italian Institute of Technology) are born in Genoa as part of Leonardo's Corporate research program, for the supervision of strategic technologies for the country's security.

The aim of the joint laboratories is to enhance 3 strategic areas for the future development of security applications in space and emergency: high-performance computing (supercomputing), robotic systems for industrial use integrated with artificial intelligence and the reconfiguration of these systems to unstructured environments.

The agreement provides for the employment of about 30 researchers who will work in the three areas and an investment of about 1 million euros per year for Leonardo and IIT.

The Leonardo-IIT Joint labs will be the national (and potentially international) reference point for the development of the digitalization of industrial processes and technologies, to better explore the potential of digital design and virtual environments. Robotics, monitoring, control and predictivity are the most advanced frontiers of digitalization, to which the Leonardo-IIT Joint labs are dedicating greater design attention. Those who design digitally save up to 80% of the time in the development phase, reduce costs and with digital design, consumption can decrease by up to 25%.

High-performance computing (supercomputing), an enabling element of digitization, is the basis of Leonardo's concept of integrated innovation. From the common factor of the skills on HPC (High Performance Computing) of IIT and Leonardo, thanks to the supercomputers davinci-1 of Leonardo and Franklin of IIT, one of the most important research laboratories at international level is born, which will boost the HPC community of the country and the national digitization process.

The joint Lab will increase technological capabilities in high-performance computing by working with the most modern technologies and also opening up to quantum computers. These systems allow to process in real time a very high number of operations that a traditional computer would carry out in days, months or years -. New numerical models and new computational codes will be developed to increase technological independence and implement ad hoc proprietary applications. In fact, for the modeling of very complex physical phenomena, for example the turbulence flow of the airfoils, enormous computing power is required which, however, allows to greatly accelerate the design and testing processes.

In the medium term, new algorithms for green computing will also be developed, with the adoption of an eco-sustainable approach, aimed at reducing energy consumption and the impact on the environment of the entire sector - the European goal is to have by 2030 the entire cloud and data center industry carbon neutral (today 5% of the energy produced in the world is consumed by data centers. This percentage is constantly increasing). This goal can also be reached through the optimization of calculation codes.

In this context, the Joint-Lab dedicated to HPC is studying further green systems applied to supercomputing machines. These include the automatic shutdown of unused circuits, energy supply from alternative sources and highly efficient cooling systems, obtained from natural resources - with the use, for example, of water from rivers, aquifers, or use of water evaporation. Tools that allow energy savings of 30%.

Another area of ​​collaboration is the development of robotic systems integrated with artificial intelligence, for industrial applications. With hybrid solutions of interaction between humans and robotic systems, it will be possible to digitize industrial production areas with an increase in safety levels, the programmed and predictive management of logistics, the best quality of production and products, the enhancement of after-sales, thanks to the integration of advanced monitoring systems for scheduled maintenance and predictive alert indicators.

Multi-robot teams will also be studied to independently carry out lifting, navigation and storage tasks of goods and technologies to remotely control robotic elements and allow humans to operate remotely.

The research and development of robotic technologies to be used outside industrial contexts, to operate in unstructured environments, is a further exploration sector of the Joint lab. These environments provide for the adaptability of robotic systems to unforeseen situations, in critical environmental conditions and the ability to act independently. The applications mainly concern Space - with the use of robotic systems, for example, on planets and satellites, where instruments are subject to radiation, marked temperature variations and particularly difficult mobility conditions - and emergency situations in the event of natural disasters. .