Press Releases

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  • Better processes in intensive care units / 2016

    CeBIT 2016: Medical monitor with eyes and ears

    Research News / 1.2.2016

    CeBIT 2016: Medical monitor with eyes and ears
    © Photo: Fraunhofer HHI

    The „proxemic monitor“ is connected to a PC, which in turn is connected to the database in which all the vital data of the patients in intensive care converge.

    In intensive care Units (ICU), every second counts. In emergencies, doctors and nurses need to make the right decisions quickly. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a smart „proxemic monitor“ which has optimized the processes in the most sensitive area of a hospital and clearly shows the data of the connected medical devices while avoiding false alarms. The screen can be controlled from a distance, without contact, by means of gestures and voice commands, thereby reducing the risk of transmitting pathogens.

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  • Understand announcements more easily / 2016

    Software adapts speech to ambient noise level

    Research News / 1.2.2016

    Software adapts speech to ambient noise level
    © Photo: Fraunhofer IDMT

    At stations loudspeaker announcements often are difficult to understand. For example when trains are arriving on the platforms. The software Adapt DRC adjusts the spoken messages perfectly to the noise level. Even calls over mobile phones will be understood more easily with the help of this technology.

    Loudspeaker announcements at railway stations are often incomprehensible, since the surroundings are noisy. With new software, the clarity of such announcements can be considerably improved. A microphone picks up ambient noise and adjusts the spoken messages perfectly to the noise level. Even calls over mobile phones will be understood more easily with the help of this technology.

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  • Repairs at high sea / 2016

    Long-lasting rust protection for offshore wind turbines

    Research News / 1.2.2016

    Carrying out repairs on an offshore wind farm.
    © Photo: Muehlhan AG

    Carrying out repairs on an offshore wind farm.

    Offshore wind farms generate energy from the raw winds out at sea. But the salty air causes them to rust. For such plants to be profitable, they have to re- main in service for at least 25 years – which is impossible without regular maintenance. In the future, the use of innovative materials and technologies will make this task less onerous and cheaper. Fraunhofer researchers are developing a protective film that will optimize the repair process and are working on the necessary inspection criteria.

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  • Toxicity testing with cultured liver cells / 2016

    Microreactor replaces animal testing

    Research News / 1.2.2016

    © Photo: Fraunhofer IZI

    Prototype of the HeMiBio bioreactor for the long-term culture of liver cells.

    Researchers all over Europe are working on alternatives to animal testing that can be used to evaluate the adverse side-effects of medications. But many of these test methods still present problems. A microreactor developed as part of an EU-funded collaborative research project enables cultured liver cells to be used as test samples. Unlike animal testing, this novel method enables the assessment of potentially toxic substances on tissue in real time.

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  • Deep-sea space shuttle / 2016

    Hannover Messe 2016: Mass-produced underwater vehicles

    Research News / 1.2.2016

    The underwater vehicle suspended above the maritime systems research platform with its slewing crane, portal system and (in the background on the left) pressure chamber.
    © Photo: Fraunhofer IOSB-AST

    The underwater vehicle suspended above the maritime systems research platform with its slewing crane, portal system and (in the background on the left) pressure chamber.

    Autonomous underwater vehicles are essential for tasks such as exploring the seabed in search of oil or minerals. Fraunhofer researchers have designed the first robust, lightweight and powerful vehicle intended for series production.

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  • Hannover Messe Preview 2016: Alternatives to line production / 2016

    Production without rigid plans

    Press Release / 27.1.2016

    © Photo: Fraunhofer IPK

    All production processes are displayed on the monitor.

    Everyone’s talking about “Industrie 4.0”, but opinions differ on how to set up highly flexible production that works as quickly – and as cheaply – as line production does. Fraunhofer researchers have found a solution: they organize production to operate without rigid plans and fixed chains, turning human coordination and decision-making skills into a key component of sequence control. Exactly how that works is what the researchers will be presenting at the Hannover Messe 2016 – the preview on January 27, 2016 provides the first glimpse of their achievement.

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  • Hannover Messe Preview 2016: Industry 4.0 – Making headway in biotechnology / 2016

    Adjusting production processes in real time

    Press Release / 27.1.2016

    Adjusting production processes in real time
    © Photo: Bildschön GmbH

    An inside view of the StemCellFactory.

    Industry 4.0 requires comprehensive data collection in order to control highly automated process sequences in complex production environments. One example is the cultivation of living cells. But digitalizing and networking biotech production equipment is a huge challenge: relevant standards have yet to be established, and biology has a dynamic all its own. Using fully automated equipment for producing stem cells, Fraunhofer researchers have managed to adjust the process control to cell growth – delivering an adaptive system that is suitable for use in a number of sectors.

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  • Viral infection / 2016

    Reliably detecting dengue fever

    Research News / 4.1.2016

    © Photo: James Gathany, CDC

    Asian tiger mosquito

    Tiger mosquitoes are indigenous to Africa and Asia. However, they are increasingly being found around the Mediterranean and are bringing the dengue virus with them. Up to now, there’s been no sure-fire antibody test for detecting this virus. Researchers have now developed such a test, creating a cost-effective and fail-safe way to diagnose dengue.

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  • Lowering the costs in hospitals / 2016

    Quickly identifying tumors by using antibodies

    Research News / 4.1.2016

    © Photo: Fraunhofer IAP

    Even a cell phone camera is sufficient to examine tissue samples for tumor cells.

    Antibodies combat viruses and bacteria. They also attach themselves to cancer cells – in a typical, characteristic way. Fraunhofer scientists are using this property to detect cancer cells in tissue samples. Such rapid tests can already be applied by surgeons during operations – within a few minutes and without expensive equipment.

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  • Civil security / 2016

    Remote-controlled robot inspects suitcase bombs

    Research News / 4.1.2016

    © Photo: North Rhine-Westphalia State Office of Criminal Investigation

    Police emergency personnel defuse a suitcase bomb.

    Abandoned items of luggage are frequently found at airports and train stations. This is a case for the emergency services, who have to assume that these items might contain bombs. They must assess the potential threat quickly, avert any possible danger, and preserve evidence for criminal proceedings. In the future, police will have the support of a remote-controlled sensor system as they go about their duties. Fraunhofer researchers are developing this sensor suite in cooperation with industry partners and criminal investigation authorities.

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