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11/4/2009
Optical scanning to help the disabled

Protesa-developed technology will now allow the disabled to experience works of art

To touch a work of art. For many that’s something of a dream. For others – such as the blind – it’s the only way they can experience the work and appreciate its lines. Thanks to Protesa, the Sacmi Group company that specialises in supplying organisational and technological support services to the manufacturing industry, it’s now possible to touch a work of art - even a priceless one that experts would have trouble getting access to.

The latest project to be completed by Protesa in this field concerns the making of a copy of the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a “tactile relief” work that has been prepared by making use of cutting-edge optical scanning technology (complex image capturing devices), advanced modelling techniques and 3-D model construction.

The result, an outstanding blend of advanced technology and manual skill, will be presented on 12th November in Imola (Palazzo Tozzoni, 6 pm). Giving talks at the event will be the Red Cross, the Imola town council, the coordinator of the “Integrating the disabled through culture” project Franco Faranda and art consultant Sandra Manara. On behalf of Protesa talks will also be given by Giuseppe Pelliconi, Francesco Carati, Roberto Saponelli and Filippo Naldi. Supported by the Regional Heritage Office of Emilia-Romagna, the project has even attracted the attention of national Mexican TV (this renowned image of the Madonna has been in Mexico since 1531), which interviewed the managers at Protesa.

In addition to the evident social implications of Protesa’s project, there are also implications from an industrial viewpoint: the creation of this “tactile” copy of the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe represents, for this Sacmi Group company, a major result in the fields of advanced modelling and prototyping. Protesa is currently working on the digitalisation of other artworks of varying size. There are also good prospects for the core business thanks to the skills acquired in this field, especially concerning the modelling of tiles.

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