University Team Wins 2006 National ICT R&D Award On the 25th May 2006, the Computer Society of Malta (CSM) organized the second edition of the National ICT Achievement Awards (NICTAA). As remarked by the NICTAA organizers, a record number of nominations were received for this year’s edition. An ICT application being jointly developed by the Concurrent Engineering Research Unit (CERU) of the Department of Manufacturing Engineering, and the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, University of Malta, has been awarded the best project in the R&D category. Dr. Ing. Jonathan Borg and Ing. Philip Farrugia from the Department of Manufacturing Engineering received the award on behalf of the research team from Minister Dr. Austin Gatt. Dr.Ing. Borg took the opportunity to thank the Computer Society of Malta for organizing the event and also publicly thanked the several University research members for their contributions to the work involved. The project, is funded by the University of Malta Research Grant “Innovative Early Stage Design Product Prototyping” (InPro). In essence, the goal of this InPro project is to develop an ICT application which makes it possible for its users to obtain 3D virtual models on cameraphones directly from paper-based sketch representations. A tool nicknamed X-SKetch has been developed as a proof-of-concept. The InPro project will give rise to new ways of how mobile technologies can be used, this also having also an impact on the services provided by mobile communication service providers. Given its simple sketch-based user-interface, X-SKetch enables the general public to easily interact with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems and many other modelling applications. Due to its potential and novelty, this on-going research project has received a number of awards. These include twice (2001 and 2003) the best final year project by the Chamber of Engineers (Malta), the best final year project by the Group of Professional Engineers (Malta), the most innovative project by the Malta branch of the Institution of Engineering Designers (UK) and the best paper at the NordDesign 2002 Conference held in Norway. This project idea is covered by patent no. 2130. Further details and a video demonstration on the X-SKetch system can be found at http://www.eng.um.edu.mt/~ceru/.
14 June, 2006