SciFi-It'2017, International Science Fiction Prototyping Conference, April 10-12, 2017, Novotel, Bruges, Belgium, Keynotes


Designing your Future with Science Fiction

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Keynote Speakers

Search and rescue drones: From the labs to the field

Geert De Cubber
Royal Military Academy of Belgium
Brussels, Belgium


When disaster strikes, every second counts. Relief workers have to operate as well-coordinated and as quickly as possible in order to save any remaining survivors. It is clear that drones can help to speed up these operations, by quickly giving rescue workers an overview and real-time maps of the situation, or by localizing victims faster. They could also render rescue operations safer by doing remote inspections for damage assessment or searching in victims in or around unstable structures. Therefore, researchers have been working already more than a decade on drones which could support the search and rescue workers during their dangerous, but life-saving operations. However, it is only in recent years that we have really seen the successful introduction and use of search and rescue drones in real missions, with a clear impact on the terrain. In this presentation, real-life examples will be shown of how progress in research in the domain of drone technology has led to improved search and rescue operations on the terrain.

Curriculum Vitae

Geert De Cubber received in 2001 the degree of Master in Engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), with as specialization Electro-Mechanical Engineering. He then obtained a PhD. for his research in the field of 3-dimensional reconstruction of natural scenes perceived by mobile robots. This PhD. and the associated research project were part of a joined research effort between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Belgian Royal Military Academy (RMA).

Currently, Geert De Cubber is a researcher working in the department of Mechanics of the Royal Military Academy, where he is leading the research activities of the research group on robotics for high-risk applications. The specialization of this research unit is the development of unmanned vehicles (aerial and ground robotic systems) for high-risk applications like search and rescue and humanitarian demining.

Geert is the coordinator of the EU-FP7-ICARUS project which deals with the development of unmanned tools (aerial, ground and marine robots) which can assist search and rescue workers to save human survivors after a major crisis (earthquake, tsunami, typhoon, shipwreck, …).
The robotics for high-risk applications research unit doesn’t only perform state-of-the-art fundamental research in the domain of robot perception and navigation, but also applies this research on the terrain. As an example, an unmanned aerial vehicle was deployed during an immediate disaster relief operation with the Belgian B-FAST team and the Bosnian Mine Action Centre to assist with the demining operations after the 2014 Spring floods in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Welcome to the Digital Age. Let’s shape it together

Vincent Nys
Walem, Belgium


Do you remember all those science fiction movies and tv-shows that showed us a world with breathtaking new technology and exciting new possibilities? Flying cars, tiny handheld communication devices, virtual realities and clever robots making our lives easier…
Well, that future is now a reality. And it’s all thanks to innovative men and women who dared to think outside the box and reshape the norm, by not being afraid of the unknown. Because it’s only then that true innovation can exist. All it takes is that first step.
That’s the reality of the Digital Age we live in. We have shaped and changed society, but it has changed us as well. Consumers today read and watch the same scifi stories and are always eagerly waiting for the next big technological advance to rock their world. Everything has to be better, faster stronger and preferably touchable, swipable ánd pinchable.
So we have to ask ourselves: are we ready to live up to that demand? Are we ready to further advance the Digital Age as the new innovators of our generation? We at NewFusion sure are!

Curriculum Vitae

Who is Vincent Nys, you may wonder? You can call him many things. He’s not only a passionate 26-year old entrepreneur with a vision and a digital native who lives and breathes technology and innovation. At the same time he’s also the young and successful ceo of NewFusion, a Flemish Digital Media Agency that has quickly grown from a relatively small startup into a successful company that caters to the media and marketing needs of several big brands. By fusing technology and marketing together, NewFusion creates unique and exciting experiences with a personal touch, and designs the necessary tools to tell an electrifying story.

Modular SkyScrapers for MegaCities

Hans Degraeuwe

Degraeuwe Consulting NV
+32 (0)491 084 809



Curriculum Vitae

Architect Hans Ferdinand Degraeuwe brings extensive knowledge of managing Real Estate Development, High Rise Architecture and Hotel / Brand Identity programs.
He enriched his wide range experience by consulting European, US, Nigerian and Arabian Gulf clients for the last 26 years and by pioneering ecoTower Modular Prefabrication Technology.