Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel


New publications by SMIT researchers (July 2023 – December 2023)

Our researchers published several scientific articles or book chapters between July 2023 and December 2023. In this news item, you can read a summary of these articles.


Frontiers in Environmental Sciences

Carina Veeckman, S. Claes, Leo Van Audenhove and Shanna van der Graaf wrote the article ‘A framework for making citizen science inclusive with storytelling methods’ for Frontiers in Environmental Sciences. Citizen science is challenged by a participation inequality that is not compatible with a democratic approach to science. To include the voices of underrepresented groups, this article presents “STORCIT”, a framework for making citizen science inclusive with storytelling methods.


Citizen Science: Theory and Practice

The article ‘How can Inclusive Citizen Science Transform the Sustainable Development Agenda? Recommendations for a Wider and More Meaningful Inclusion in the Design of Citizen Science Initiatives’ of Dorottya Varga, Carolina Doran, Beatriz Ortega and Mabel Segú Odriozola aims to start a conversation on achieving more inclusive practices in citizen science initiatives and integrating them into the 2030 Agenda for wider data representation.


International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics

The conference paper ‘Social Markering and the Sustainable Development Goals: Scoping Review (2013-2021)’ of Mohamed Irfan Mohamed Refai, Saivimal Sridar, Renée Govaerts, Giorgia Chini, Tiwana Varrecchia, Simona Del Ferraro, Tiziana Falcone, Sander De Bock, Vincenzo Molinaro, Shirley A. ElpramaAn Jacobs, Alberto Ranavolo, Kevin De Pauw, Herman van der Kooij and Massimo Sartori describes a novel soft active exosuit in line with its impact on physiological and subjective measures during lifting. The authors tested four healthy participants who performed repetitive lifting tasks with and without this exosuit. The participant’s multimodal physiological measures including surface electromyography, metabolic cost, heart rate, and skin temperature are measured. And lastly, subjective scores on user exertion, task load, and device acceptability were measured. 



Andrea Cherubini, Benjamin Navarro, Robin Passama, Sonny Tarbouriech, Shirley A. Elprama, An Jacobs, Susanne Niehaus, Sascha Wischniewski, Freek J. Tönis, Pim L. Siahaya, Giorgia Chini, Tiwana Varrecchia and Alberto Ranavolo’s article ‘Interdisciplinary evaluation of a robot physically collaborating with workers’ for PLoS ONE addresses the following question: to what extent can robots help workers in physical human-robot collaboration tasks? To find an answer, we have gathered an interdisciplinary group, spanning from an industrial end user to cognitive ergonomists, and including biomechanicians and roboticists.


International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction

The article ‘Design and Implementation Requirements for Increased Acceptance of Occupational Exoskeletons in an Industrial Context: A Qualitative Study’ of Shirley A. Elprama, Sander De Bock, Romain Meeusen, Kevin De Pauw, Bram Vanderborght and An Jacobs for the International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction aims to formulate concrete requirements for the design and implementation of exoskeletons to improve exoskeletons and their adoption.


The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery

Anouk VerhellenShirley A. ElpramaThierry ScheerlinckFiene Van AerschotJohnny DuerinckFrederick Van GestelTaylor FrantzBart JansenJef Vandemeulebroucke and An Jacobs‘ article ‘Exploring technology acceptance of head-mounted device-based augmented reality surgical navigation in orthopaedic surgery’ for The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery used the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) to investigate the acceptance of HMD-based AR surgical navigation. An experiment was conducted in which participants drilled 12 predefined holes using freehand drilling, proprioceptive control, and AR assistance. Technology acceptance was assessed through a survey and non-participant observations. While most participants acknowledged the potential of AR, they also highlighted persistent barriers to adoption. To overcome these challenges, future AR surgical navigation systems should focus on enhancing surgical performance while minimising disruptions to workflows and operating times. Engaging orthopaedic surgeons in the development process can facilitate the creation of tailored solutions and accelerate adoption.


IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics

Shirley A ElpramaSander De BockRomain MeeusenKevin De PauwBram Vanderborght and An Jacobs wrote the conference paper ‘The Dynamic Adoption Journey: A Typology for Users and Non-Users of Occupational Exoskeletons’ describing a typology of different types of users and non-users of exoskeletons. Various barriers prevent the adoption of occupational exoskeletons. It is therefore important to understand why some people are willing to use occupational exoskeletons, while others are not.


Journal of Digital Media & Policy

María Trinidad García Leiva and Heritiana Ranaivoson edited the Issue ‘US-Based SVoD Providers in Europe: Impacts and Challenges’. It starts by a reminder of the importance taken by US-based SVOD in Europe, and their ambiguous impact. On the one hand, they play a key role in terms of audio-visual creativity and innovation. On the other hand, they have been at the centre of many policy debates regarding notably their impact on the production and consumption of European content. The objective of the Special Issue is to analyse such impact using various empirical approaches and comparative analyses.

In this Issue Catalina IordacheTim RaatsMichael Pakvis and Axelle Asmar wrote the article ‘Piecing the puzzle of VoD offerings: A comparison of eight US and local services in Flanders’. The article conducts a catalogue analysis that zooms in on the small market of Flanders (Belgium), and the content strategies of the eight most popular local and US-based players in the market. Through the comparative analysis, we investigate three main directions. First, we analyse the similarities and differences in the catalogue offerings of US and local video-on-demand (VoD) services. Second, we delve into the strategies of local players as they compete with US streamers and other legacy players. Third, we analyse the share and the characteristics of the Flemish titles on offer.


International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics

Catalina Iordache and Tim Raats‘ article ‘The platformization of public service media: A comparative analysis of five BVOD services in Western and Northern Europe’ for the International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics employs a comparative case study analysis of five VOD services of PSM in Western and Northern Europe: Belgium-Flanders (VRT.NU), Belgium-Wallonia (RTBF Auvio), Finland (Yle Areena), Ireland (RTÉ Player) and Norway (NRK TV). The results discuss three main categories: interfaces and features, strategies for catalogue and content curation, and tools for discoverability and prominence.


European University Institute

Giuseppe Mazziotti and Heritiana Ranaivoson wrote the working paper ‘Can online music platforms be fair? An interdisciplinary research manifesto.’ for the European University Institute. In this article the authors present a manifesto for research into the complex interplay between social media, music streaming services, and their algorithms, which are reshaping the European music industry—a sector that has transitioned from ownership to access-based models. The focus is to assess whether the current digital economy supports a fair and sustainable development for cultural and creative industries. The manifesto is designed to pave the way for a comprehensive analysis. 


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