I progetti vincitori del bando Proof of Concept del Politecnico di Torino /1

I progetti vincitori del bando Proof of Concept del Politecnico di Torino /1

Di seguito l’elenco della prima call del 2016

1 – ENERTUN – Energy tunnel segmental lining

Project Manager: Prof. Marco Barla 

The concept developed here is an improved tunnel precast segmental lining equipped to exchange heat with the ground in order to heat and cool adjacent buildings. A circuit of pipes is installed in each segment in the factory before precasting. Once installed, a fluid circulates through the pipes allowing for heat exchange with the ground.

The concrete segment can be equipped in three different configurations:

a) ENERTUN GROUND: single circuit of pipes on the ground side to exchange heat with the soil

b) ENERTUN AIR: single circuit of pipes on the tunnel side to exchange heat with the tunnel internal air

c) ENERTUN AIR&GROUND: double system of pipes to exchange heat with both sides


  • Metro tunnels
  • Shallow tunnels
  • Deep tunnels
  • Underground sewage systems


  • High heat exchange
  • Low hydraulic head losses
  • Rapid installation
  • Limited additional costs for equipping segments



Project Manager: Prof. Barbara Onida

Despite the significant impact of dermatological diseases, both acute and chronic, on our health and the increased attention given to the care and protection of the skin, the paradigms and technologies in dermatological formulations are still traditional. Let’s consider, for instance, the common use in hospital of antibiotics, in the form suitable for systemic administration, in the topical treatment of wounds and ulcers.

The goal of the project is to obtain innovative eudermic formulations based on skin surface drug reservoir.

The drug reservoir is made of porous silica particles which act as drug carriers, yielding  a constant and sustained released of drug on the skin.



Project Manager: Prof. Alessandro Ferrari




Modern Common rail injection systems for diesel engines control the energizing time of the electrical command to the injectors and the rail pressure level, but there is no control of the effective injected mass.

The objective of the proof of concept project consists of the realization of a rapid prototyping hardware that can assess the effectiveness of an innovative algorithm for a feedback control of the injected mass. The measurements of two piezoresistive pressure sensors, installed on the rail-to-injector pipe, are used to evaluate the fuel mass entering the injector. This mass correlates well with the injected mass.

The activity is divided into three main parts:

a) hydraulic characterization of an injection system for Euro 6 diesel engines with the standard control strategy (injector characteristics at different rail pressure levels, cycle to cycle dispersion and injected volume variations with dwell time in multiple injections are measured);

b) the innovative closed loop strategy for the injected mass control is implemented in a rapid prototyping hardware, which involves a flexible electronic control unit;

c) the injection system hydraulic characterization is repeated in the presence of the innovative control strategy. The injection system is controlled with the rapid prototyping flexible ECU.

The injection system controlled with the innovative strategy is expected to reduce the error between the injected mass target and the effective injected mass and to decrease the fluctutations of the injected volume as dwell time varies. This would be a fundamental outcomes in order to improve the management of the complex trade-off between fuel consumption, combustion noise and pollutant emissions.


4 – Smart, Active and Modular Probe & Measuring System

Project Manager: Prof. Luca MASTROGIACOMO

The present invention relates to the field of large-volume dimensional metrology, i.e. that branch of metrology that deals with the dimensional measurement of objects whose size ranges up to a few tens of meters. Optical systems are commonly used for such kind of applications. In particular, due to the rapid technology development, photogrammetric systems take the lion’s share: such systems combine the multiple views provided by a network of cameras to reconstruct the geometrical features of a measurand.

In detail, the proposed invention consists of a feeler device (probe) for photogrammetric measurements, capable of providing with high accuracy the three-dimensional coordinates of points touched by the probe itself on the surface of a measured object, using as a reference a photogrammetry system composed of high-resolution digital cameras.


5 – SALTLESS. A method and a system for generating steam in a planar structure using solar radiation or another radiation. A device for the thin film regenerative condensation, and the method thereof. 

Project Manager: Prof. Eliodoro Chiavazzo

SALTLESS aims at developing a sustainable approach to provide drinkable water in off-grid and isolated areas, using a thermally driven approach capable of exploiting waste heat sources. Several technologies are available to perform solar desalination, for example photovoltaic systems coupled to reverse osmosis. However, water purification/desalination by thermal processes shows the following advantages: (i) better flexibility to input water quality; (ii) maintenance needs lower than membrane-based processes; (iii) increased system durability.

In the present prototype, the system can exploit waste sensible heat from internal combustion engines (e.g. from exhaust gases or cooling circuit of gensets) to realize Multiple-Effect Distillation – MED. Possibly also by-products can also be produced (e.g. domestic hot water, pasteurized milk, etc…).

MED is one of the best technologies in terms of both energy, economic performances and robustness. MED processes are based on a series of evaporation/condensation stages of salt or dirty water (input), which is subsequently transformed into distilled, drinkable water (output).

Double effect distillation unit for producing fresh water from relatively high temperature heat (to be driven either by exhausted gas heat or electrical heater).



The second prototype connected to the genset is able to produce fresh water exploiting low temperature waste heat (max 90 Celsius) from the genset cooling circuit.


6 – SMART. A deflecting module for an anti-sand barrier, a barrier thus obtained and a protection method from windblown sand.

Project Manager: Prof. Luca Bruno

A growing and exciting market:
Over the next 20 years 40,000 km of railways will be built through the deserts of Africa and Middle East: twice as long as the European high-speed network with an investment of 260 billion dollars. Wind-blown sand is a key design issues for railways across deserts: it covers the tracks, wears rails and wheels, causes train derailments.

A computer-based aerodynamic conceptual design:
SMART barrier has been conceived as a wind machine. It promotes wind reversed flow, wind speed , sand sedimentation far from the railway. Conceptual design and optimization is based on accurate computational simulations of the air and sand flow.

An experimental Proof-of-Concept by wind tunnel tests:
SMART barrier scaled prototype will be tested in a high-fidelity laboratory environment at Wind Tunnel of Von Karman Institute of Aerodynamics (Belgium). The laboratory environment includes both wind and windblown sand. The efficiency of the SMART barrier will be assessed.


7 – Study of a wireless and self-powered measuring  system for wind turbines monitoring.

Project Manager: Prof. Aurelio Somà

The research activity includes the identification of a geometric and structural monitoring system of a wind turbine.

Features of the original patent:

  • energy harvester (converting vibrational energy into electrical energy);
  • storage battery for power supply MEMS sensors;
  • wireless transmission of measurements made;
  • easy installation;
  • low cost.

Research activity

Structural monitoring features of the wind turbine:

  • use patent starting with harvester to radio waves and not vibrational;
  • detection of cracks and control of their propagation;
  • easy scheduling of intervention through knowledge damage and their evolution;
  • possibility of not having a decrease in production of electricity for machine block.

Monitoring geometric features (pitch angle) of the wind turbine:

  • application angular sensor directly into the turbine blade (greater accuracy);
  • power supply sensor through the same harvester of structural monitoring;
  • better adjustment capability;
  • lower turbine starting time in start-up phase;
  • efficiency increase.


8 – SounBe – Method and device for acoustic sensorial analysis of materials.

Project Manager: Prof Claudia De Giorgi

SounBe is a methodology with an associated instrumentation in support of those people who deal with the issue of sound design objects. The invention provides a common method used for any mechanical sound description, later labelled by an adjective and collected in a database. Therefore, it is possible to forecast the perception of the sound characterizing an object, by improving the quality of the final product (e.g. sound produced by a chair rolling on the floor).

The “toolandmethod” supports designers in the materials hyper-choice phase. It appears as a toolkit housed in a briefcase, and comprises a support frame and a plurality of accessories to make the material samples sound under normalized solicitations. The set of accessories comprises percussive sticks in different materials (polymer, wood, steel, glass, etc.), resting planes, a measuring cup for granular substances, a flapping clip to repeatably hold sheet materials (thin plates, fabrics, etc.) and a plurality of support bars.

It has been conceived as a support tool for designers, industrialists, manufacturers, students and to all those people dealing with the theme of mechanical sound as a project requirement. Thanks to this methodology it’s possible to create a common vocabulary and a shared sensory evaluation method for materials, based upon scientific, but also simple and comprehensible criteria. Specifically, SounBe allows to repeat the solicitation excluding human variability.

From an applicative point of view, the SounBe “toolandmethod” allows to: point out the “product sound mistakes”, collect easily adoptable meta-projectual indications, define new product sound identities, managing/controlling the product sound, customize the sound on specific needs of the customer.

Concerning the Proof of Concept project, the main objective was to evolve the physical tool from the original wooden prototype stage to an enhanced industrialized product, to be replicated in higher number, if necessary. Then, the objectives were to verify the efficacy of the new toolkit and launch a communication campaign, to spread the opportunities offered by this technology.


9 – ThINK technology.  Method for the preparation of cellularized constructs based on thermosensitive hydrogels

Project Manager: Prof. Valeria Chiono

The developed technology proposes the bio-fabrication of cellularized three-dimensional (3D) porous matrices (scaffolds), for application in tissue engineering as in vitro human tissue models or constructs for regenerative medicine purposes. The proposed technology is a new bio-printing technique based on the “additive manufacturing” (AM) principle, that allows the layer-by-layer printing of 3D porous matrices characterized by a controlled and reproducible geometry, derived from a CAD model.

Novelty arises from a new processing method making use of smart hydrogels.


  • Design of in vitro models of healthy and pathological tissues to be used as a valuable tool to screen drug efficacy/toxicity or study disease onset and progression
  • Design of cellularized constructs for tissue engineering/regenerative medicine applications
  • Direct bioprinting on open wounds


  • Cell-friendly method (post-printing crosslinking is optional)
  • Self-supporting structures (no additional material needed)
  • High reproducibility
  • Possibility to incorporate drugs/growth factors (mild processing conditions)
  • Possibility to print on exposed living tissues (e.g. skin) (mild processing conditions)


Project Manager: Prof Marco Mellia

Web tracking services (also known as Web trackers) were born with the goal of collecting information about users’ Web navigation, and selling this data to advertising companies. Since policy makers have never seriously regulated Web trackers, actually they can act freely having the possibility to collect very private and sensitive information. The more common trackers are able to follow the navigation of 96% of Internet users and are embedded in 71% of global Web sites. Because of this phenomenon, therefore, users unwittingly give strictly personal and private information to totally unknown people that use these data often for profit. In the past many cases have shown how data collected by trackers have been sold to other dubious persons or to who used this information to harm the user himself (for example, Data brokers selling lists of rape victims, AIDS patients). Web trackers, therefore, represent a serious cyber-security and privacy threat for all Internet users.

The technology born with the goal to automatically detect Web trackers. Inspecting Web traffic traces, the methodology pinpoints new Web trackers or old that have mutated their behavior. The methodology, that is completely automatic and unsupervised, is 1000 time faster in Web tracker detection and blacklist generation than current solutions, that are completely manual.

Only using this technology is possible to guarantee a real time protection against Web trackers.

11 – Stair-climbing wheelchair using hybrid locomotion system

Project Manager: Prof. Giuseppe Quaglia

The project is addressed to the design and realization of an electric stair-climbing wheelchair, able to move on flat surface, climb sidewalks and stairs.

Design requirements:

  • lightweight (less than <100kg)
  • small dimensions
  • simplicity and user autonomy
  • safety and stability
  • outdoor and indoor mobility
  • compliance with international standards
  • high quality design and style
  • smart human-machine interface


12 – WOUND VIEWER. Device and relative methodology for the acquisition and analysis of medical images of chronic wounds.

Project Manager: Prof. Fernando Corinto

The fully-automated 3D wound detection and tracking system based on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, developed with specialized physicians to assess wound healing status, reduce hospitalization, facilitate home services and improve standard of care.

Few other solutions are able to provide 3D measurement of the wound parameters. Wound Viewer is the only one that can assess them automatically in a couple of minutes (versus 10 minutes for the most promising competitor) thanks to an AI algorithm.

A first round of pre-clinical trials has been made on a first version of the system, reaching 94% accuracy in measurement. The next steps in the project will include a second round of clinical trials, intellectual property and patenting protection, product manufacturing process definition, validation of market entry strategy (direct and indirect, through distributors and service providers), business development and sales in other European countries, establishing industrial partnerships.


[Qui aggiornamenti alla prima call PoC del 2017]