An elephant trunk in the factory
Inspired by an elephant’s trunk and built using additive manufacturing processes, the Bionic Handling Assistant is the brainchild of Festo AG and Fraunhofer IPA. By transferring principles of natural structures to the robot, the researchers produced a system that is almost lifelike in the smoothness, dexterity and flexibility of its movements. The project won the 2010 Deutscher Zukunftspreis.
Inspired by the elephant’s trunk: Smooth and flexible, this novel high-tech helper for industry and household. Video in German
Robot rescue network
Whether it is an earthquake or an explosion in a chemical plant, disasters often strike with no warning. Lives depend on rescuers being able to assess the situation fast. In the SENEKA project, researchers are investigating the best way to link up robots, sensors and rescuers to create a system that can quickly identify survivors and potential dangers in the aftermath of a disaster.
Within tomorrow’s workshop
The Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance is running a project exploring “the car workshop of tomorrow”. Researchers are looking at how we might be using additive manufacturing technologies in 2025. In the future, assessing damage and producing and replacing parts will have merged into a single, optimised process that is as environmentally friendly as it is cost-effective.
Solving global challenges
The High-Tech Strategy for Germany
The High-Tech Strategy is intended to help Germany assume a leading role in the solution of global challenges andto give convincing answers to the important questions of the 21th century. In this way, we are not only contributing to improving the lives of many people. A broad base in science and research and the development of quality technology are also helping us secure prosperity and qualified jobs in Germany. The Federal Government has therefore defined ten forward-looking projects, relying on the advice of the Industry-Science Research Alliance.
More information about the forward-looking project „Industry 4.0“ can be found here (in German only).