Jose Breñosa, a professor in the FUNIBER network, knew from an early age that he wanted to be a “tinkerer” like his father. He recalls how as a child he would take toys apart to see what was inside them. He followed his passion for learning how things worked throughout his education at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. There, he received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and later a master’s degree and a doctorates in Automation and Robotics.
Although these are often very complex systems, some could be teleoperated through relatively simple human-machine interfaces, such as a basic screen, mouse and keyboard configuration.
The more complex ones, more akin to a virtual reality system, can be fully immersive and include equipment such as 3D displays and viewers, surround sound systems and other tactile devices. The overall idea of all this equipment is to make the person feel that they are teleported to the place of the task as if they were performing it directly.
While developing his thesis, J. Breñosa worked on several projects involving the use of telerobotics in nuclear fusion facilities. The use of telerobotics in hazardous environments, such as with radioactive elements or other environments dangerous to humans, has its justification in protecting people from these harmful environments. These systems can be improved over time in such a way that they become tools that can not only protect but also help to perform tasks more efficiently through the semi-automation of processes and the integration of Artificial Intelligence, enabling solving and reacting to any problem that arises as a human-machine symbiosis.
At the same time, J. Breñosa began pursuing a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education to satisfy his passion for teaching. Coming from a family of teachers and professors, he has always wondered how best to pass on knowledge to others. However, trying to obtain this degree while doing his thesis, managing the workload and with a third child on the way, he decided to abandon this path and resume it later with more available time.
After completing his Docotrate in Automation and Robotics, J. Breñosa started working on a European Union project to find Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions for the training of emergency response teams. For the AUGGMED project, it was necessary to develop an augmented reality vest that would allow a person to interact with the training simulator through the sense of touch, such as feeling the heat of the flames, the impact of explosions, tactile signals, provoking stress, etc. In this safe and controlled manner, better professionals can be prepared through more repetitive and less expensive training than current ones, although not fully substituting them.
After finishing his contract with AUGGMED, J. Breñosa wanted to start with ideas related to the technologies he had been working with during all those years. But, he discovered that there were not many opportunities for entrepreneurship in Spain, especially within his particular field. Frustrated by this, he began looking for work related to robotics in which he had a lot of experience.
His professional career led him back to education, this time at the European University of the Atlantic (UNEATLANTICO), which belongs to the network of institutions with which FUNIBER collaborates. Here he was given the opportunity to be an associate professor of Automation and Control classes in the School of Engineering. The following semester, he joined full time with several subjects and part of the division devoted to research projects.
His participation in research came through FINANCEn_LAB, a European Union project that focuses on the creation of an online training program on aspects of financing new companies or start-ups. The objective of this project is to create a self-learning platform for everything related to the financing of projects and companies in their earliest stages. Breñosa commented that this project seemed designed for him: with his developments in human-machine interfaces and his participation in virtual training programs such as AUGMEDD, his passion for education and his personal experience of not being able to start a business due to funding problems.
Working at the European University of the Atlantic (UNEATLANTICO), both in the classroom and at FINANCEn_LAB, allows J. Breñosa to stay in touch with what he is passionate about: research in engineering, education and entrepreneurship. What J. Breñosa values most is being able to carry out his research with this project while exploring multiple disciplines, as it allows him to work with professionals from various fields to learn new things and be able to create those machines that help save time and effort for people in all areas of life.