EPFL at the Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (2RC): Using science and technology to contribute to peace promotion, sustainable development, and humanitarian action

EPFL is striving to contribute to the global effort against CM and its humanitarian consequences. We are also working in a larger sense working at the Development-Humanitarian-Peace Nexus. This page showcases some of EPFL’s research directions, which are related to the Convention on Cluster Munitions


The webinar registration is closed. However, you can view a recording of it below. 

The Q&As from the webinar can be found HERE


Have a question? Want to let us know what you think of the role EPFL is playing in this area? Have an idea or a humanitarian problem that needs solving?

Please get in touch HERE


Want to know more about the role EPFL plays in solving humanitarian, peace promotion and development problems? 

Check out the EssentialTech Centre main site HERE

Webinar: How science and technology contribute to peace promotion, sustainable development and humanitarian practice

Catchup on the webinar we ran as a side event at the CCM conference. The aim was to add to the understanding how to build successful collaborations to accelerate the contribution to the humanitarian-development-peace nexus: through concrete examples and practical methods.

What’s happening at EPFL?

Below you’ll find a number of video presentations from EPFL Professors who are working on topics closely related to addressing the use of cluster munitions and their effects on humans.

Prof. Farhad Rachidi-Haeri

Disabling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) Using Electromagnetic Waves

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Prof. Véronique Michaud

Advanced Composites for Better Prosthesis

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Prof. Auke Ijspeert

Research in the Biorobotics Laboratory

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Prof. Carmen Sandi

How Traumatic Events Impact Brain and Behaviour

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Prof. Friedhelm Hummel

Neurotechnologies for Home-based Treatment of Disabilities

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Prof. Karl Aberer

ICRC-EPFL: Data Science for Humanitarian Action

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Some recent EPFL success stories

EPFL aims to create technology that has an impact in the world beyond academia. Here you’ll find some projects that have application in the Development-Humanitarian-Peace Nexus, which are on their way to flying the EPFL nest…

Agilis: An advanced prosthetic foot for developing countries

The EPFL-ICRC joint project Agilis is developing an innovative prosthetic foot for disabled people with higher mobility and activity requirements. The need for prostheses is increasing globally and affordable solutions for active people are still missing. In order to address this need, the Agilis project is working on a solution that considers the context of use and a solution that would be universally accessible.

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Exomotion: Move out of the box

Moving freely and with ease has been the dream of human being since long before the invention of wheel. We have reinvented the wheel to take a leap in this direction and give one more degree of freedom to any mobility device on earth and beyond.

Allure is our electric wheelchair which gives back one degree of freedom that disabled people have already lost. Users can move in any direction they desire with absolute motion freedom. Allure enables smooth and easy maneuvers for its users, both in outdoor and indoor environments.

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ASIO (Flybotix): The revolutionary indoor inspection drone solution

Flybotix’s inspection drone is caged to enable easy flying in tight spaces. This means it can be used to inspect collapsed buildings for search and rescue, or where there may be booby traps. The system boasts:

– Up to 24 minutes flight time for efficient inspection missions
– High performance propulsion system, using motors co-developed with maxon, to make you fly longer and further
– Strong protective cage made of aerospace grade material, co-developed with Solvay
– Advanced sensors and algorithms to assist the pilot with autonomous features, making ASIO incredibly easy to fly

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EMOVO: Move your hand at home

Emovo is an exoskeleton that allow the wearer improve their grasp capacity. Whether the wearer has partially or completely lost the ability to move one hand due to neurological or orthopedic injury, Emovo Grasp is a portable and lightweight hand orthosis that allows you to grasp and release simple objects at home.

– The device offers a natural sensation of moving the hand, through novel artificial tendons that can both actively open and close the fingers.
– The device was specifically designed for independent use for persons with hemiparesis, and can be worn on and off using only one hand.
– A simple push-button is used to control the desired range of motion, and detachable modular components enable ease of use and maintenance.

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SmartPPE: Developing a 21st Century PPE

Reusable: Contrarily to most of the equipment used during the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, our aim is to design a reusable solution. This reduces dramatically the total cost of ownership of such PPE by reducing transport and storage costs. It also reduces the amount of infectious waste that must be disposed of.

Integrated: The suit is a single-piece garment, integrating full-body, head and face protection, in order to provide a more efficient protection and simplify dressing and undressing procedures.

Ventilated: A ventilation system is a big challenge to use and maintain in the targeted context of tropical climates in potentially remote rural areas. This is why the system we are designing will be particularly robust, requiring no maintenance, and powerful enough to keep healthcare workers at a comfortable temperature even during their most tiring duties.

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Biorobotics Laboratory: Amphibious Field Robotics

The Biorobotics lab is building amphibious robots for outdoor robotics tasks, taking inspiration from investigation of real animals. The platforms are used to investigate scientific questions, e.g. as a test-bed for novel types of adaptive controllers based on the concept of central pattern generators, or to investigate hypotheses of how locomotion-controlling neural networks are implemented in real animals. Using the insight gained from these studies, the lab designs novel hardware to traverse over and transition between terrestrial and aquatic landscapes. Current development is targeting applications in search and rescue scenarios where sending personnel or rescue animals would pose too great a risk.

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