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The role of the tutorials is to provide a platform for a more intensive scientific exchange amongst researchers interested in a particular topic and as a meeting point for the community. Tutorials complement the depth-oriented technical sessions by providing participants with broad overviews of emerging fields. A tutorial can be scheduled for 1.5 or 3 hours.

Tutorial proposals are accepted until:

September 13, 2017

If you wish to propose a new Tutorial please kindly fill out and submit this Expression of Interest form.


Physiological Computing with BITalino 
Lecturer(s): Hugo Plácido da Silva

Physiological Computing with BITalino


Hugo Plácido da Silva
IT- Institute of Telecommunications; PLUX - Wireless Biosignals, S.A.
Brief Bio

PhD in Electrical and Computers Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) – University of Lisbon, Hugo is a researcher at the IT - Instituto de Telecomunicações ( since 2004. In 2012 he was a visiting researcher at the Computational and NeuroEngineering Laboratory (CNEL) from the University of Florida. He is co-founder of PLUX – Wireless Biosignals (, established in 2007 as an innovative technology-based company operating in the field of medical devices for healthcare and quality of life, where he is currently Chief Innovation Officer.

More recently, Hugo has been actively working towards making the world a bit more physiological, through BITalino (, an open source software and low-cost hardware toolkit, that allows anyone from students to professional app developers, to create cool projects and applications with physiological sensors.

His main interest interests include biosignal research, system engineering, signal processing, and pattern recognition, and his work has been distinguished with several academic and technical awards such as the 1st place at the Ordem dos Engenheiros Young Engineer Innovation Award in 2015 with the project “BIT: Biosignal Igniter Toolkit”, the 1st place at the Venture Day Lisbon in 2013 with the project “Vitalidi: Your Heart (h)as a Key!”, the selection as a semi-finalist to the Engadget Expand NY Inset Coin competition in 2013, the Life Sciences Award in 2010 at a yearly venture competition co-promoted by the MIT, and the "Caixa Geral de Depósitos Award'' from 2003 to 2005 for recognized academic merit.


Physiological data has had a transforming role on multiple aspects of society, which goes beyond the health sciences domains to which they were traditionally associated with. While biomedical engineering is a classical discipline where the topic is amply covered, today physiological data is a matter of interest for students, researchers and hobbyists in areas ranging from arts, programming, engineering, among others. Regardless of the context, the use physiological in experimental activities and practical projects is heavily bounded by the cost and limited access to adequate support materials.

In this tutorial we will focus on BITalino, a versatile toolkit composed of low-cost hardware and software, and created to enable anyone to create cool projects and applications involving physiological data. The hardware consists of a modular wireless biosignal acquisition system that can be used to acquire data in real time, interface with other devices (e.g. Arduino or Raspberry PI), or perform rapid prototyping of end-user applications. The software comprehends a set of programming APIs, a biosignal processing toolbox, and a framework for real time data acquisition and post processing.

PART I - A Primer on Physiological Computing
* Commonly used biosignals
* Underlying physiological principles
* What information can be extracted from each biosignal
* Examples of different biosignal-based applications
* Biosignal instrumentation and measurement
* Experimental procedures and recommendations (e.g. noise sources, grounding)

PART II - Anatomy of a BITalino
* Detailed description of the BITalino Board (e.g. operating voltage, maintenance)
* Presentation of the SignalBIT software and its functionalities
* Detailed description of the BITalino Plugged (e.g. wiring scheme, how to connect own sensor design)
* Detailed description of the BITalino Freestyle (e.g. pinout of each board, how to build own integrated system)

HANDS-ON: Get to know your own BITalino
* Experiment with the different sensors

PART III - Interfacing with BITalino
* Presentation of the SignalBIT MVC framework
* Overview of the WebSockets protocol
* Detailed description of the presentation layer
* Detailed description of the model layer
* BITalino programming APIs (Python version)
* BITalino & Embedded Systems (low-level commands, modes and overall communication protocol)

PART IV - BITalinos in the Wild / Example Applications
* FlowerBIT
* LockBIT
* HeartBIT
* Tilt-based scroll controller

HANDS-ON: Create your own BITalino application
* Toy problem / project for raw data acquisition using software and hardware components

Part V - Signals and Systems
* Definition of a signal
* Analog & digital signals
* Periodic & aperiodic signals
* Sampling
* Resolution
* Definition of a system

PART VI - Biosignal processing
* Time domain analysis (e.g. time & amplitude measurements)
* Normalization
* Rectification
* Spectral analysis
* Filtering
* Smoothing
* Statistical analysis (e.g. histogram, statistical moments, etc)
* Useful operations (e.g. offset removal, derivative, onset detection, peak detection, …)
* Source synchronization

HANDS-ON: Process your data
* Toy problems involving biosignal processing (e.g. EMG trigger, heart rate monitor, …)

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