1,967 research outputs found

    Computing fast search heuristics for physics-based mobile robot motion planning

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    Mobile robots are increasingly being employed to assist responders in search and rescue missions. Robots have to navigate in dangerous areas such as collapsed buildings and hazardous sites, which can be inaccessible to humans. Tele-operating the robots can be stressing for the human operators, which are also overloaded with mission tasks and coordination overhead, so it is important to provide the robot with some degree of autonomy, to lighten up the task for the human operator and also to ensure robot safety. Moving robots around requires reasoning, including interpretation of the environment, spatial reasoning, planning of actions (motion), and execution. This is particularly challenging when the environment is unstructured, and the terrain is \textit{harsh}, i.e. not flat and cluttered with obstacles. Approaches reducing the problem to a 2D path planning problem fall short, and many of those who reason about the problem in 3D don't do it in a complete and exhaustive manner. The approach proposed in this thesis is to use rigid body simulation to obtain a more truthful model of the reality, i.e. of the interaction between the robot and the environment. Such a simulation obeys the laws of physics, takes into account the geometry of the environment, the geometry of the robot, and any dynamic constraints that may be in place. The physics-based motion planning approach by itself is also highly intractable due to the computational load required to perform state propagation combined with the exponential blowup of planning; additionally, there are more technical limitations that disallow us to use things such as state sampling or state steering, which are known to be effective in solving the problem in simpler domains. The proposed solution to this problem is to compute heuristics that can bias the search towards the goal, so as to quickly converge towards the solution. With such a model, the search space is a rich space, which can only contain states which are physically reachable by the robot, and also tells us enough information about the safety of the robot itself. The overall result is that by using this framework the robot engineer has a simpler job of encoding the \textit{domain knowledge} which now consists only of providing the robot geometric model plus any constraints

    Assessing Credibility of Asylum Seekers’ Statements on Sexual Orientation: Lights and Shadows of the F Judgment

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    This Insight examines the judgment delivered by the Court of Justice on 25 January 2018 in the case F (C-473/16). This case concerns a very sensitive topic, as it relates to the admissibility of an expert’s report and projective personality tests to assess the existence of a specific ground up-on which international protection can be asked, namely sexual orientation. The Court lays down important criteria in a constant attempt to ensure the respect of the applicant’s fundamental rights. The F judgement is likely to give an impetus to a new legal approach on the matter, even if some points of the Court’s legal reasoning are not fully convincing

    Free Movement of Workers and Old-age Benefits: The Court of Justice of the European Union’s Standpoint in Commission v. Cyprus (C-515/14)

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    La nota commenta la sentenza della Corte di giustizia dell'Unione europea del 21 gennaio 2016 nella causa C-515/14 "Commissione c. Cipro", che riguarda la libera circolazione dei lavoratori dipendenti (pubblici) con riferimento agli articoli 45 e 48 TFUE e che interviene sulle differenze di trattamento in ragione dell’età nel percepimento della pensione di vecchiaia

    Free Movement of Services and the Green Economy within the Law of the European Union

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    Il fine principale della tesi è di dimostrare che il concetto di economia verde, pur non avendo natura giuridica, ha un rilievo notevole nel diritto dell’Unione europea, in particolare rispetto al mercato dei servizi. L’indagine concerne innanzitutto lo sviluppo sostenibile, del quale l’economia verde rappresenta uno strumento, per poi incentrarsi sul concetto di economia verde, al fine di ricostruire la sua veste giuridica e la sua collocazione nel diritto (primario) dell’Unione europea. In secondo luogo, si analizza come l’Unione stia utilizzando il proprio diritto per favorire la transizione verso un’economia verde e per stimolare la circolazione dei relativi servizi. Da ultimo, vengono prospettate le varie relazioni che si ritiene possano intercorrere tra l’economia verde (nella sua dimensione giuridica a livello sovranazionale) e la libera prestazione dei servizi.The main purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate that the “green economy” concept, although not having a legal nature, can make a remarkable impact within the Law of the European Union, especially with regard to the services market. First, the research considers the sustainable development, since the green economy is a means to reach it; then, the concept of green economy is studied, with a view to provide it with a legal meaning and to link it to the (primary) Law of the European Union. After that, it is assessed how the European Union is using its law in order to define and implement the transition to a green economy and to spur the “green” services movement within the EU’s internal market. Finally, some possible relations between the green economy (considered in its supranational legal dimension) and the free movement of services are advanced and explored

    Sustainability disclosure and IPO performance: exploring the impact of ESG reporting

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    Investors are increasingly concerned with the sustainability of firms and their impact on global development, resulting in a rise in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) that considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Integrating sustainability into company strategies can affect various aspects of an organization, including IPOs (initial public offerings). Given the growing importance of ESG information disclosure, this study wants to examine the potential effect of an ESG report disclosure on IPO performance, since there are not studies focused on analyzing how ESG factors and IPO performance are correlated. The purpose of this study is to examine how ESG disclosure affects IPO underpricing and increases transparency for stakeholders to reduce information asymmetry. This study explores the impact of disclosing ESG information on IPO underpricing using a sample of 100 European IPOs from 2017 to 2021, with 50 firms disclosing an ESG report prior to the IPO and 50 that did not. The results showed that the publication of a sustainable report before an IPO has a positive effect on underpricing by reducing it. This finding suggests that companies that publish sustainability reports are perceived to be less risky, and investors value ESG disclosure as a tool to reduce the risks associated with ESG issues. The work contributes to the research on firms’ incentives to disclose ESG information. Our study is limited by the size of the sample, which is limited and only focused on European companies; therefore, future studies should consider companies from other parts of the world, and with more data related to IPO performance

    Proprioceptive training and sports performance

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    One of the current trends in the field of sports training concerns the integration into training programs of exercises defined as "proprioceptive", which also include balance exercises, used to optimize performance, prevention or recovery from injuries. After introducing and describing the main characteristics of proprioceptive training in sports, the present review aims to set out and analyse the various flaws in this type of training as it is commonly practiced, in order to lay the groundwork for future improvements in proprioceptive training. Our research highlights that it is common practice to combine proprioceptive training with training on unstable surfaces, generally meaning the same for both situations. Such practices are indicative of the confusion surrounding the concepts of proprioception and balance. Indeed, until these two concepts and their respective performance benefits are clearly differentiated, it will be difficult to move beyond the controversy surrounding proprioceptive training and hence. to make advances in the field of proprioceptive training research. In conclusion, therefore, against the comforting theories that accompany the use of proprioceptive training in relation to the improvement of performance, unfortunately there is a literature that shows many variables not yet considered or treated in an approximate way

    Metabolic response of Insulinoma 1E cells to glucose stimulation studied by fluorescence lifetime imaging

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    A cascade of highly regulated biochemical processes connects glucose stimulation to insulin secretion in specialized cells of mammalian pancreas, the β-cells. Given the importance of this process for systemic glucose homeostasis, noninvasive and fast strategies capable to monitor the response to glucose in living cells are highly desirable. Here, we use the phasor-based approach to Fluorescence Lifetime IMaging (FLIM) microscopy to quantify the ratio between protein-bound and free Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate) species in their reduced form (NAD(P)H), and the Insulinoma cell line INS-1E as a β-like cellular model. Phasor-FLIM analysis shows that the bound/free ratio of NAD(P)H species increases upon pulsed glucose stimulation. Such response is impaired by 48-hours preincubation of cells under hyperglycemic conditions. Phasor-FLIM concomitantly monitors the appearance of long-lifetime species (LLS) as characteristic products of hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress

    Studying social cognition using near-infrared spectroscopy: the case of social Simon effect

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    In order to understand the so-called "social brain," we need to monitor social interactions in face-to-face paradigms. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a promising technique to achieve this goal. We investigate the neuronal underpinnings of sharing a task in a proper social context. We record cortical activity by means of NIRS, while participants perform a joint Simon task. Different from other hemodynamic techniques, NIRS allows us to have both participants sit comfortably close to each other in a realistic and ecological environment. We found higher activation in the sensorimotor cortex while processing compatible trials as compared to incompatible ones referring to one's own action alternative. Strikingly, when the participant was not responding because it was the turn of the other member of the pair, the inferior parietal was activated. This study provides twofold findings: first, they suggest that the joint Simon effect relies more on shared attentional mechanisms than a proper mapping of the other's motor response. Second, they highlight the invaluable contribution NIRS can afford to social neuroscience in order to preserve ecological and naturalistic settings. © 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) (DOI: 1

    Neurological features of 14q24-q32 interstitial deletion: report of a new case

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    Background: Interstitial deletions of the long arm of chromosome 14 involving the 14q24-q32 region have been reported in less than 20 patients. Previous studies mainly attempted to delineate recognizable facial dysmorphisms; conversely, descriptions on neurological features are limited to the presence of cognitive and motor delay, but no better characterization exists. Case presentation: In this paper we report on a patient with a de novo interstitial deletion of 5.5 Mb at 14q24.3-q31.1. The deletion encompasses 84 genes, including fourteen Mendelian genes. He presented with dysmorphic face, developmental delay, paroxysmal non-epileptic events and, subsequently, epilepsy. Conclusions: The clinical and molecular evaluation of this patient and the review of the literature expand the phenotype of 14q23-q32 deletion syndrome to include paroxysmal non-epileptic events and infantile-onset focal seizures. © 2015 Nicita et al
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