The two new Solvers Wanted 2024 projects on Bio-Inspired Sensor Technology are underway

01 July 2024

In May 2024, the kick-off meeting of the two winning projects of the technological challenge "Bio-inspired sensor technology" took place. This is one of the five formats hosted within Solvers Wanted, Leonardo's technological scouting platform that identifies and promotes innovative solutions, in collaboration with universities, research centres, companies and start-ups on a global scale.

Solvers Wanted is our concept of transformation and evolution of Open Innovation as a tool to support the Group's technological development, with a demand-driven approach to identify solutions for specific needs, capable of accelerating the development of technological/strategic plans in line with the 2024-2028 Industrial Plan.

As Simone Ungaro, Leonardo's Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, explains, “With Solvers Wanted, Leonardo starts from the industrial point of view to understand the needs, and then moves towards the system made up of companies, research centres, universities, to explore possible solutions."



The Bio-inspired sensor technology challenge, launched in October 2023, was aimed at finding solutions in the field of neuromorphic sensors to be used in Detection & Tracking applications. Neuromorphic sensors are electro-optical sensors that reproduces the functionality of the retina, similarly to the human eye. This category includes event-based sensors, which react to changes in light intensity rather than frame rates (sequences of frames) or artificial control signals, sensors that emulate the management of the dynamics of the human eye and sensors that apply neuromorphic processing.

The winners of the challenge, who were awarded a 12-month contract for direct collaboration with Leonardo, are:

The EYE-TECH start up from Carrara with the EYE2DRIVE - Building the digital EYE project, coordinated by Monica Vatteroni and Andrea Raggi.

EYE2DRIVE aims to provide a prototype system to be used for image acquisition tests in critical situations and highly variable and non-optimal lighting conditions. The system, based on a solution owned by EYE-TECH, will integrate the ET1080 sensor and a calculation and processing unit which will make it particularly versatile and suitable for marketing for different applications. The system will also include firmware/software and artificial intelligence algorithms that will be adapted to application needs.

The Department of Computer Science, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering of the University of Genoa with the SENSE-NN - symbolic end-to-end neuromorphic sensing project, coordinated by Prof. Fulvio Mastrogiovanni.

SENSE-NN will explore the use of neuromorphic sensors within a system that uses them to acquire information about the environment in which it operates. SENSE-NN wants to overcome the current barriers that derive from the use of neuromorphic sensors managed by canonical algorithms that were not developed to exploit their peculiarities. The objective of the project is to develop a robust hybrid framework that will employ neuromorphic sensors within a Large Language Model (LLM) capable of making rapid decisions, because it will use the data coming from the sensors, avoiding canonical algorithmics.

The kick-off meeting of the projects was held at the Campi Bisenzio site (Florence, Italy) in the presence of Pierpaolo Gambini, Head of the Open Innovation Organisational Unit, Manuel Fuselli (Solvers Wanted, startups and spinoffs), Antonio Porta (CTO LoB Optronics) and Marco Morini (CTIO Innovation – Quantum & Optronics Key Enabling Technologies).


Click here to discover the 5 formats and challenges of Solvers Wanted