We focus on ten societal areas.
TNO cooperates with companies, the public sector and other organisations, to apply our knowledge and expertise with and for others.
We develop knowledge not for its own sake, but for practical application.
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I believe that technology should support our performance, safety, well-being and our strive for happiness. Therefore, I work on Human-Technology Symbiosis. I am fascinated by advanced ICT as well as by the complexity of the human brain and body and I try to realize breakthroughs where they come together. Examples include brain computer interfaces, multi-sensory user interfaces, human-controlled robotics, visualization of big data, and the relation between the microbiome-gut-brain axis and cognition. For human-controlled robotic, we aim to break the barriers of distance and to transport the operator's social and functional self to any fit for-purpose avatar at any place on Earth through a compelling combination of state-of-the-art social, visual, haptic, audio and olfactory technologies. By studying the microbiome-gut-brain axis we intend to discovery the mechanistic way they influence each other, ultimately leading to interventions that prevent cognitive decline caused by aging, disease or external stressors and/or facilitate cognitive enhancement for people working at the edge of their capabilities. This research area is relevant in health and disease and links the TNO units Healthy Leaving, ICT, and Defence, Safety & Security.
My research advances hardware, results in new methods, and progresses science through models and publications. For example, we added dexterous manipulation capabilities to our telepresence system, designed and tested a tactile obstacle avoidance display for people who are blind, developed algorithms that link neurophysiological signals to mental and emotional state, and implemented compelling multisensory sensations in an experience pod together with a start-up. In addition, we designed and validated a new test to measure emotional state based on emoticons, delivered a cross-cultural food image database for research on food elicited affective responses, and designed a test battery to benchmark dexterous performance in teleoperated systems. Finally, we quantified key parameters affecting the understanding of uncertainty visualisations in big data, developed a provisional model that links multisensory performance to activities of daily living in aging, identified the boundary conditions for robot-initiated social touches, and developed a framework for emotional responses to multisensory environmental stimuli.
I also work with artists and try to involve the general public in the discussion on technological advancements and what these may mean for human kind. Popular topics in this regard are Human-Robot Interaction, Intelligent Agents, Brain-Computer Interfaces and Cyborgs. Interested in the kind of things I do without reading scientific publications? Pick any of the events to get an idea:
The emotional brain (http://todaysart.nl/2015/symposium/hack-the-body/)