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Two new research teams, Mjolnir and Defrost, created in Lille

© Inria / Photo Kaksonen

Two new research teams have just been created in Lille. Defrost, focused on deformable robotic, and Mjolnir, specialized in the field of human-computer interaction, joined the other 14 teams that already exist at Inria Lille - Nord Europe centre.

Defrost - DEFormable RObotic SofTware

© Inria / Photo H. Raguet

Defrost team (associated with Lille 1 University*), is a spin-off Shacra team. Directed by Christian Duriez, the team works in the field of Robotics and Smart environments.

« Deformable robotics sheds new light on the design of the robots of tomorrow: they will no longer be only rigid, but made of complex structures which create movement by deformation, similar to the organic tissue found in nature. Deformable robots make it possible to create new applications, reduce manufacturing costs, and improve solidity and safety... It may constitute a major advance for robotics in coming years.
Currently, however, the main obstacle, according to all those on the leading edge of this research is that the methods for design, modelling, control and interaction used in robotics are not appropriate: the deformations are not only a disruption of the articulated rigid model typically used in robotics, but are the basic characteristic of these robots.
This is where our team is offering a radically different vision. We are suggesting the use of specific, real-time modelling of robot deformations, as well as new inverse approaches, for interaction with the environment; which in itself constitutes a real challenge... »


Mjolnir - Empowering computer tools

© Inria

Mjolnir team (associated with Lille 1 University*) is directed by Nicolas Roussel. Mjolnir is a spin-off Mint team, and is one of Inria teams  addressing the theme of interaction and visualization.

« Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a constantly moving field. Different problems and opportunities regularly appear, and among them, it is not always easy to differentiate the news from the real significant new . Mjolnir proposes to get back to fundamental questions that have lately been eclipsed by technological changes, and to revisit them in today’s context. What does it take for an interactive system to be perceived as a tool or a partner? Can computing tools be designed to support both transparent and analytic use? To tackle these questions, we propose to investigate ways to leverage human control and perceptual skills, and means to support digital skill development. »


* within UMR 9189 CNRS-Centrale Lille-Université Lille1, CRIStAL.

Keywords: INRIA Lille - Nord Europe Research Centre Defrost team Mjolnir team