4.09 AURORA: sustAinable aUgmented pRoducts for spORts and sAfety

Antonio Lanzotti
Marzo 2023
Febbraio 2026
Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II

Politecnico di Torino

Università degli Studi di Brescia

Università degli Studi di Bergamo

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

4.09 AURORA: sustAinable aUgmented pRoducts for spORts and sAfety

Augmenting a product means adding features at its core or at its additional functionalities. In the context of sport technology, the goal of augmented products is to monitor and thus enhance over time the athlete’s performance, to reduce the risk of injury and increase the overall engagement for young and disabled people. In parallel, within the context of workplace safety and ergonomics, augmented products aim at improving workers’ safety and health, with the results of enhancing the overall workers wellbeing and reducing the risk of injury. Furthermore, the implementation of such devices can be also used as a tool to improve work performances of people with disabilities. Today, we are far from completely sustainable and recyclable products. This is mainly due to materials and lack of smartness for supporting the users during multiple life cycles.
The goal of the AURORA project is to develop sustainable augmented products for sports and safety based on four main pillars: i) sustainable product design: activities to improve products and their life cycle in terms of required materials and components, as well as opportunities for maintenance and repair; ii) sustainable smart materials, in terms of smart textile and foam easy to recycle and reuse; iii) sustainable functionalities: additional IoT functionalities focused on the optimization of product use and sustainable maintenance to extend its lifetime; iv) sustainable impact on the society: analysis of the costs in terms of social aspects and legislative implications (especially about safety in and outside the work environment). Potential improvements can be attained also in the aspect of mass product personalization, by developing human-centric devices taking into account the morphologic measures of human beings.
In order to achieve the proposed aims a multidisciplinary team has been composed with expertise in the following fields: product design and development methods, sports engineering, soft robotics, wearable sensors, chemical sensors for smart textiles, processes and recycling technologies for textiles, artificial intelligence to design fabric structure, electronic instrumentation and sensors, non-invasive control and non-destructive diagnostic material characterization, statistical methods for controlling and improving the quality process, social network analysis, labour law.


The expected results of the project are:
1. Development of new design methods for reducing raw materials and waste generation during the life cycle of the product for sports and safety.
2. Development of techniques for separation of textile and electronics.
3. Enhancing the efficiency and systemic sustainability of smart textile.
4. Enhancing the operational lifetime of the products for sports and safety.
5. Development of sustainable products following social need and labour law.
6. Testing and validation of the AURORA technology in laboratory settings.
The augmented products of AURORA will be concretized in different proof-of-concepts in key sectors of the Made in Italy (examples include, but are not limited to, clothing and footwear) with applications for sport and safety. The expectations will be the realization of products as smart augmented wearables and textiles (i.e., smart garments and assistive exoskeleton for workers), smart augmented surfaces for sport field as well as smart augmented protection devices. The intrinsic characteristics of smart augmented products (flexible, durable, biocompatible and lightweight sensors and actuators) will reduce resource consumption and significantly improve circularity.
The research results to be achieved within the project will contribute to enable the realization of products with zero impact, helping made in Italy companies to differentiate from others offering augmented products that can produce competitive advantages and a safe work environment.