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Esmailbeigi takes wearable technology class to Italy

Professor Hananeh Esmailbeigi (far left) and her class at POLIMI in Italy.

BME/ CS 479, Wearables and Nearables Technology Course, and Richard and Loan Hill Department of Biomedical Engineering Clinical Associate Professor Hananeh Esmailbeigi crossed the pond this summer to conduct a two-week course on wearable technology for PhD students at Polytechnic University of Milan (POLIMI) in Italy.

This course provides practical experience in the design and development of wearable and smart devices. The UIC course includes groups of undergraduate and graduate students from biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science departments collaborating to produce a single wearable technology device.

Students in the class to work in multidisciplinary teams to mimic a real industry environment that requires people to work with others from different disciplines, Esmailbeigi said.

She initially visited POLIMI because of a research collaboration. Her summer course was adapted for PhD students who created a tennis training platform for beginner players.

Players use sensors on their body and racket to learn how to correctly hit the ball, and improve their posture, performance, and overall play.

“We’re developing a wearable technology for monitoring vital signs discretely, especially breathing signals, and customizing that towards the sports application,” Esmailbeigi said. “They all had previous research experience related to building devices, so they expressed that they benefited a lot from working with different sensors and understanding how to interact with them and package devices into their volume units.”

“The participating PhD students were from different majors and from different cities across the country,” she said. “They obviously became very close friends because they worked together every day. It was interesting to teach to PhD students who were already engaged in research in wearable technology or rehabilitation.”

The course resulted in a manuscript, “Wearable Platform for Tennis Players Performance Monitoring: a Proof of Concept,” by Esmailbeigi and her students that was presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Workshop on Sport, Technology and Research (STAR) conference.