Her main research line is on methods for product design enabled by novel technologies. In this domain, the PI has always addressed novel and emerging areas of investigation. The PI has been involved in 25 research projects funded in competitive contexts, gaining about M€3.5 total funding. Currently, she coordinates the Virtual Prototyping research group consisting of 10 young researchers and PhD students with a multi-disciplinary background in mechanical and information engineering, and industrial design. The group hosts also many MSc, PhD and young researchers coming from international Universities as Okkaido Univ, Keio University, IITM-Chennai, Hunan University, Universitat de Girona, EUITI of Bilbao, thus enabling a flourishing transfer of knowledge, which is cross-domain and cross-cultural.
- Human Computer Interaction. Research started in 1988 on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) including the study of a system for the semi-automatic generation of graphical user interfaces, novel interaction techniques as gesture recognition and 3D input, integrated with tools for product design. The research has been developed during two-year EU ERCIM grant at European research centers, and EU Esprit and Brite/Euram projects. Results have been applied for the development of novel user interfaces and interaction modalities of applications by projects industrial partners (Honeywell, Bull).
- Feature-based design. Starting in 1995, study of features for designing industrial products, mainly in the context of two EU Brite/Euram projects in the aeronautical sector. Results have been used by companies (Aerospatiale, Alenia, British Aerospace, Dassault Aviation) for developing assembly-features libraries.
- interactive Virtual Prototyping (iVP). Starting in 2001, after joining the School of Design at PoliMI, research on methods and tools for industrial product design, including novel technologies as haptics and Virtual/Augmented Reality. Several methods have been developed and extensively tested, based on iVP. Since then, several research projects have been carried out also with the collaboration of companies (Whirlpool, Indesit, Bombardier, DesignInnovation…), numerous M.Sc and PhD students have been trained, young researchers have worked on iVP-related topics, and, since 2009, an international Summer School on Virtual Prototyping has been organized by the PI at PoliMI, several papers have been published and seminars and invited talks performed. Collaboration started with cognitive psychologists on perception for supporting development and evaluation of tools and methods through experimental activities with users.
- Haptics and haptic interfaces. Research on haptic interfaces for design started in 2003, and two main EU-FP6 projects (T’nD and SATIN) have been coordinated by the PI’s group. Results of projects have been included in CAD tools (developed by think3 Inc.) and used in haptic devices (developed by MOOG). PI’s research group is currently working extensively on haptics applied in design and medical areas, within research projects and PhD programmes. Numerous papers have been published; presentations at international conferences of reference, panels, workshops etc. have been issued.
- Multisensory interaction and Emotions. Recently within the research topic on multisensory interaction, olfaction has been integrated with vision and haptic. Results have been published in papers at the conference of reference (Digital Olfaction Society). On multisensory interaction including olfaction, the PI has gained a grant from Nokia and has been invited to showcase a prototype at the Intel exhibition booth at the Maker Faire Rome 2014. Research on Emotional Engineering has developed theories based on users’ appraisals and emotional also through a strong collaboration with cognitive psychologists. The PI is co-chairing the Special Interest Group on Emotional Engineering of the Design Society, and organizes several workshops for discussing issues related to emotional engineering with a multi disciplinary community.