Monday, December 27, 2010

Myth Märklin

The oldest and biggest Märklin collection is presented in Oberhausen. The collection contains over ten thousand pre-war Märklin toys and a much higher number is from the period after 1945. 500 of these toys are presented in Oberhausen, many of them for the first time. The exhibits of the private museum are said to fill a football field, among them are prototypes and samples at an inestimable collector's value. However, the collector wants to stay incognito.

The collection is shown in Oberhausen for only one year. It will then disappear again into the private rooms of the collector who with expert's eye separated the wheat from the chaff.

So on to Oberhausen:

Monday, December 20, 2010

How are trees cut underwater?

Image source: Triton Logging Inc.

The robot "Sawfish" cuts trees underwater. When artificial lakes are flooded it often happens that trees lie under the water's surface. Here they perform no ecological function, nevertheless they are a valuable product.

The company "Triton Logging" invested 4 years and three million dollars in this project. The robot is controlled by a pilot. Eight board cameras help him to do his job in the dark and murky water. Every three hours the "Sawfish" weighing 3.5 tons is tested on the work platform. A small tug collects the trees at the surface.

About 100 trees are cut at the lake bottom every day. If all goes to the inventors' plans, the Sawfish will soon be used in many artificial lakes worldwide. The underwater trees are estimated to total approx. 200 million.

Image source: Triton Logging Inc.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Electricity wins

On 13 July 2010 the R8 e-tron won the first "Silvrettra E-Auto Rally Montafon 2010", this is the R8 based Audi e-tron technology platform. Development manager Michael Dick, board member of AUDI AG, division technical development and factory driver Lucas Luhr drove the Audi e-tron electric sports car as winner across the finish line after 167.5 kilometres.

Image source: AUDI AG

Michael Dick is happy: "On the demanding race track of the Silvretta E-Auto Rally we showed with our R8 based e-tron technology platform that we are on the way to series maturity with our electric drive."

The rally
In the "Silvretta E-Auto Rally Montafon 2010" the 230 kW (313 hp) R8 e-tron technology platform had to demonstrate its ability. And that's what it did: The two seater won against 23 other electric cars and gained the victory with an advance of half a second in the overall standings.

Further information:


Monday, December 6, 2010

First visible success

"Bosch increases speed for electromobility"

Bosch already has a programme for hybrid vehicles and electric drives. As first full hybrid vehicles with parallel technology of the Stuttgart-based company the new VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne have been launched. Bosch invests € 400 million per year in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies. At present the first series production of electric motors and powerful electronics is set up in Hildesheim and Reutlingen. The large series production of Li-ion batteries from the Samsung-Bosch joint venture, SB LiMotive, is scheduled to start in 2011.

Image source: Robert Bosch GmbH

Link (content only in German):

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Electronics brings you forward

National development plan and its results

The Federal Ministries of Education and Research, Economics and Technology, Transport, Building and Urban Development as well as for the Environment, Nature Conversation and Nuclear Safety worked out a "National Electromobility Development Plan" which is to make Germany a leading market for electromobility in the next 10 years. The goal of the government's National Electromobility Development Plan: one million electric vehicles on German roads. Therefore the Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds research and development as well as the important young scientists and engineers required in these fields.

Image source: BMBF

Background of the commitment: "The topic electromobility is of high strategic importance for the government. If it succeeds to generate the required electricity solely from renewable energies in the medium and long term, mobility will no longer depend on the limited fossile raw materials which are harmful to the climate."

"We are looking for a concept without compromise", says Michael Dick, board member of AUDI AG, division Technical Development. "Electromobility does not mean for us a subsequent electrification of conventional vehicles. We rather want to deal with all aspects of the topic in a holistic approach."

Image source: Audi AG


One of the projects of the German automotive industry supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is, for example, the joint project ePerfomance

In cooperation with the automotive manufacturer Audi, RWTH Aachen, the technical universities in Munich, Dresden and Ilmenau, Leibniz University Hannover and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft as well as Robert Bosch GmbH and Bosch Engineering Gmbh at the industrial end will develop a holistic approach for electric vehicles. The estimated project duration is three years. The project is supported with a sum running into tens of millions of euros.

However, until the dream of electric vehicles with market maturity becomes a reality considerable technological obstacles will still have to be overcome.

"Rethinking the car"!

Image source: Audi AG


It seems to take longer than abroad, wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung in July 2010 (approx. one year after publication of the National Development Plan) and continued: "No sparks are flying around" and "Electric cars, battery technology, infrastructure and charging stations as well as green electricity: Germany has fallen behind in all, really in all areas.

What is obvious at this point is that the ambitiously set targets of the government cannot be met by 2020. The chances, even as regards jobs and possible profits of companies, are given up carelessly, the train to the future is travelling abroad. The country is in the process of gambling away its second industrial revolution."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mazda R360

Mazda's vintage micro car

Monday, November 22, 2010

Something beautifully French

And if you'd rather travel with some understatement...

And here you can get the nice car...for sure, at this price something for everyman:

»»»'s some more information:

When you look at the back of the 560 kg light handmade car which is fitted with a light plastic body you can catch a glimpse of part of the engine. The engine was used in former Renault Mégane models and is still used in the Dacia Logan. Shifting is done via a five-speed gear. The engine performance is about 105 hp and it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, according to the manufacturer at an average consumption of 6.0 litres for 100 kilometres.

More interesting information:


and here some nice photos:


Monday, November 15, 2010

If money does not matter

then diving will also get boring some day...

"Then I will build a flying sub." Nothing is passed on but when you are on the website of the Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson you can imagine how the British entrepreneur thought just that when he ordered the "Necker Nymph, a sub from the generation "Merlin" of the British engineer Graham Hawkes. With specialists of Hawkes' company Branson puzzled out state-of-the-art technologies.

Image source:

... descriptions which make you think you are dreaming: „Underwater flight takes ocean exploration to another level. Gliding on the water’s surface like an airplane on a runway, one of the three pilots will operate the joystick to smoothly dive down, and the thrilling experience begins. Uncover ancient shipwrecks, fly side-by-side with dolphins, or spyhop with whales; the options are endless. With the flexibility to glide peacefully over glorious reefs or bank adventurously in 360 degrees turns, the sub is hydrobatic. Individual “wind shields” remove the pressure of slipstream, enabling comfortable speed and ranges previously unthinkable without enclosing the pilots. The open cockpits afford near ideal 360 degree viewing for occupants, creating a uniquely open experience.”

According to the Hawkes Ocean Technologies (HOT) website the technical marvel is not only safe for people but also no problem for the environment: „Importantly, all DeepFlight craft, have near-zero environmental impact. Its positive buoyancy prevents the sub from landing on a reef, and its low light and noise emissions ensure the fragile ocean ecosystems remain undisturbed.”

This is really a toy which degrades every water slide, however great it is, or sub to a "if there is no other choice" alternative. Mr Branson knows what he is doing, whether it is about space travels or boredom on water, no billionaire must feel bored. As the Merlin sub is extremely light thanks to the missing pressure chambers (it weighs just 400 kg), it can so far only fly 44 metres deep. By the way, it 'flies' because the "Necker Nymph" needs buoyancy under the just 5 metre long wings like an airplane. You can only rent the light carbon fibre vessel providing space for two passengers and the pilots in a package with one week on Branson's luxury catamaran "Necker Belle" for about 64,000 euros - the price for the "Necker Nymph" for one week is another 18,000.

Well, if the ocean is not enough for you, then try with the universe: here too, Sir Branson has attractive options on offer:


More information:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wall socket?

This blog is all about a really alternative way of energy production:


Particularly interesting:


I wonder which other eco-friendly means of transport are there?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So voilà, Bob Basic presents

... my first own website.
Here you will find exciting news from the world of automation and all information on the new modular control concept ecomatmobile Basic.

Have fun!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

May I introduce myself? I make wind turbines.

And you?

The Wind Lift 1, the service and installation vessel of Bard Engineering Group, has a lot to do.

Alone the foundation of a commercial installation in an offshore park weighs more than 1000 tons. In addition, the piles with a length of approx. 70 metres weigh about 210 tons each. Therefore suitable transport and assembly must be ensured. For this, Bard Engineering Group has an appropriate answer. With the Wind Lift 1 the company in Bremen developed a vessel which meets the requirements for offshore installations.

Plenty of tests and simulations were done. Using models on a scale of 1:40 the new foundation structure and the vessel were exposed to much stress in the wave tunnel of the Technische Universität Berlin - and found to be good.

Even wave heights are no problem any more. The Wind Lift 1 can lift itself with its legs of 72 metres. Despite its high balance point and a draught of only 3.5 metres the 103.8 metre long ship, which is relatively wide with its 36 metres, can travel at up to 10.1 knots even with a wind force of 11.

Image source: Bard Engineering Group

More information:

The magazine Wirtschaftswoche writes on the company Bard Engineering GmbH: "Hardly anybody believed that the company Bard in Bremen, newly founded in the wind business area in 2003, could pioneer in wind farms. All the more so that nobody could assess the entrepreneurial abilities of the then 68 year old founder Arngolt Bekker."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

part 2: The new rail link

Within minutes through the Alps

The Gotthard axis consists of a new rail link from Arth Goldau to the Lugano area and includes a new Gotthard Base Tunnel. This is the heart of the flat rail link for travel through the Alps. The north portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is north of Erstfeld, the south portal at Bodio.

Image Source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

The length of the Base Tunnel is approx. 57 km. Intermediate points of attacks are planned in Amsteg, Sedrun and Faido. The tunnel is scheduled to be completed in 2015. For a total length of 57 km and a planned train speed of 200 km/h the advance rate per day is 20 to 40 metres in shift operation. 2000 miners and engineers are working here. This is a major logistical challenge for the material transport.

Image Source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

The equipment
At the construction site a diesel-hydraulic monorail transports concrete skips, all materials for rock protection and the tunnel boring machine (TBM), girders, big bags, machine parts, rails and sand containers.

The hydraulic monorail is a universal means of transport. It enables transport without handling and a mains independent transport system thanks to the diesel engine.

Because of the high demands a PLC, a CAN communication bus as well as the CANopen protocol are used.

  • Mechanical stability in case of extreme shocks
  • Use over low and high temperature ranges
  • Direct influence of dirt and water
  • High fluctuations of the supply voltage
  • High electromagnetic compatibility
  • E1 approval from the German Federal Office for Motor Traffic

Image Source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

Here the technical data:
  • Application: ARGE Amsteg (CH)
  • Machine type: diesel-powered monorail locomotive
  • Transport task: concrete skips and goods
  • Drive: diesel-hydraulic
  • Power: 110 KW
  • Tractive force: 40 kN
  • Speed: 2 m/s
  • Inclination: 1%
  • Max. load: 19 t
  • Total weight: 32 t
  • Control: radio remote control
  • Particularities: transponder system, remote diagnosis

Gotthard tunnel breakthrough!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Within minutes through the Alps

Part 1: The project

As of 2015 high-speed trains will race through the Alps. Milelong jams in incredibly long tunnels will belong to the past once the Gotthard Base Tunnel project has been completed.

Image source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

Preliminary work on the project started in Sedrun in 1996. Since then colossal boring machines have been making their way through the age-old rocks of the Alps.

Image source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

In the main mountain range of the Alps drilling is done at five locations in three different cantons (Uri, Ticino, Graubünden). The 153 km long tunnel and shaft system will cost approx. 10 billion Swiss francs. The huge project is a challenge for engineers: sliding soft rocks, tunnel boring machine standing in water or enormous pressure forcing down steel girders. A great deal is, of course, required of technology. Actually, conditions can hardly be any harsher: extremely rough environment, much dust caused by blasting, moisture because of mountain water, high vibrations and temperature fluctuations. Sensors and controllers must be able to take a lot.

Image source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

More information about the project:


Part 2 provides information about the construction of the new rail link from Arth Goldau to the Lugano area and the technology used.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who am I?

She is the daughter of a poet even though she could not see him for the first time on a portrait photo before she was 20 years old. Her mother played her part in this as well as in her natural-scientific interest - she was one of the few women who had studied geometry and astronomy. This mathematically interested mother brought her up befitting her social status in a conventional way; however, she ensured that she got a natural-scientific education - her tutor was a former Cambridge professor and the usual private tuition included the subjects mathematics and astronomy which was highly unusual for girls.

She developed an interest for machines when she was 18 years old. She visited technical exhibitions and attended scientific lectures. In the early 1830s she met the reputed mathematician Mary Somerville. Mary Somerville encouraged her to study mathematics and technology and introduced her to the scientific circles in London. Here she heard about Charles Babbage's idea of a new calculating machine, the difference engine, for the first time in 1834.

She got married at 19. Her husband wrote for her; nevertheless her marriage was quite unhappy - as she said herself - since there was only little time left for her two passions mathematics and music besides her motherly duties. To complicate matters further, access to libraries was forbidden for women. In 1840 she started correspondence with Augustus De Morgan, the first professor for mathematics at the University of London, so that she could at least continue her studies in this way.

After she translated an Italian article about Babbage's second big calculator project, the analytical engine, in 1842 and sent the text to Babbage, the latter encouraged her to study the engine in more detail and to add her own explanations. The comments tripled the length of the original article. Together they further worked out the programming basics of the analytical engine. Ada's suggestion to calculate the Bernouil figures is today considered to be first computer program.

'The analytical engine', she said, 'weaves algorithmic patterns just like the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.' Her mathematic brain was distinguished by her extraordinary imagination.

This cooperation found Babbage's interest but he declined any further cooperation.

Neither was it possible then to implement the theoretical findings into technology since at that time it was not possible to manufacture precision instruments such as today's EDP systems. However, her findings ensure that today's computer systems work: In 1979, more than 100 years after her death, a programming language was named after her.

Solution will be given in the next entry...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

From sketch to scale prototype

The steps that lead from a handmade sketch to a scale model created using Rapid Prototyping technologies.

For more info visit:


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Concept of BMW-like vehicle

Engineering-based Transformer, ready to rapid prototyping and/or manufacturing ...

Transforming Parts and bodies, assembly, motors ...

3D Animation and rendering ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fraunhofer alliance generative manufacture

Fraunhofer Institut is also involved in the research of rapid prototyping.

The Fraunhofer alliance generative manufacture draws up consulting concepts and holistic research and development offers in the fields of materials, technology, engineering and methods. This includes feasibility analysis, strategic initial research, product development and process development.

Social, economic and ecological consequences are considered in the development of this generative method.

Image source: Fraunhofer ILT

Further information, only in German:


Monday, October 4, 2010

Simply print out your bicycle

3D printing becoming a real thing?

In the spring of 2010 the future of the IT world was pre-outlined at the SolidWorksWorld 2010 in Anaheim, California. A process of particular interest was Rapid Prototyping. It is a process for fast manufacture of sample components on the basis of design data.

Image source: Wikimedia

Rapid prototyping processes are manufacturing processes with the aim of transforming existing CAD data rapidly and directly without any detours into workpieces. The data interface relevant for this process is the STL format. The processes known as rapid prototyping since the 1980s are usually primary forming methods building up the workpiece layer by layer from formless material by using physical and/or chemical effects.

Image source: Wikimedia

An interesting article on this topic by Hod Lipson:


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Eye of the sky

And if you want to know even more about the eye of the sky, here the world's biggest one:

Image source:


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Robot telescope TRAPPIST

Observe comets and stars per remote control

A cooperative project of the Liège university and the Swiss Observatoire de Genève putthe TRAPPIST telescope into operation in June 2010. The new robot-driven telescope controlled from Liège has started its observation operation at the La Silla observatory of the ESO in Chile. The “TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope”, TRAPPIST for short, is devoted to the study of planetary systems: On the one hand side it will analyse comets on their orbits around the sun and on the other hand it will prove the existence of planets outside our solar system (exoplanets) and determine their characteristics.

Image source:

Goal of the project

“The two objectives of our project are part of a growing interdisciplinary field of research: astrobiology which examines the origin and distribution of life in space", explains Michaël Gillon who is responsible for examining exoplanets at TRAPPIST.

The telescope is a light construction that is operated by a robot. The diameter of the mirror is 60 cm.

Here some more information about Trappist:


Friday, September 24, 2010

Airbus A380

Arrival ILA 2010 in Berlin

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The latest model that can fly

The ILA 2010, at 101 years the oldest aircraft show in the world, was a complete success:

Dietmar Schrick, President of the BDLI, believes that the world’s oldest aviation and space show is in a stronger position than ever in 2010: “On the basis of the business conducted during this year’s show the ILA has again established itself as a top-ranking international aerospace event. In 2010 we have been able to record the single biggest order ever achieved at any aerospace anywhere in the world. The enormous growth in almost all sections of this event confirms the strength of the underlying concept, and the ILA 2010 has set new standards.”


OK, someone or another took it a bit easier:

Here some more photos: »»»

And here: »»»

Thursday, September 16, 2010

No run-off-the-mill family car

Have you ever wanted to make a family trip in an environmentally-friendly and comfortable way? Here is the suitable and even quite nice-looking car:

Even if “Tesla Motors is the drama queen of the auto industry”, technology and design are the best advocates: “But if you can look beyond the company’s histrionics—lawsuits, financial struggles, exaggerated promises, repeated delays, and inflated egos—the brilliance of its vehicle design shines through. So far, the best example of its ingenuity is the Tesla Model S—a bright vision of what a practical and desirable all-electric sedan should and might be.”

Interested in more details?

OK, there's a catch to the nice hot rod, however (sales will not start before 2011), but otherwise there is a lot of anticipation:
“The Model S is shaping up to be a proper cracker. First off, just look at it. Not bad for an upstart company, eh?”
“So there you have it … the future starts now.”
“The Model S is a bright vision of what a practical and desirable all-electric sedan could be. Tesla set a big goal for itself to deliver on all that it has promised.” (Source:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Charles Babbage developed the first plans for the difference engine in 1821:

Babbage developed two mechanical calculators, the difference engine and the analytical engine. During his lifetime he could, however, not build a functional engine but the latter served as the predecessor of the modern computer. His interests and activities reach far beyond pioneering work in this field.


More details on Charles Babbage

Thursday, September 9, 2010


... invented the predecessor of the computer?

And what did he call them?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I am

Nikola Tesla.

This formula results in the physical entity of the magnetic flux density named after the Croatian Nikola Tesla since 1960.

Further information:


Veeeery interesting:


Suitable for hobby inventors, tinkerers and "Did you know that..." questions.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

World surveillance map

A student delivers criticism.... and in a very imaginative way for that:

Raul Mandru originates from Romania and came to study at the FH in Dortmund. There he graduated in design and he presented the world surveillance map 2008 as his diploma thesis. He did not only win the reddot design award but also his first job as an Art Director at Ogilvy in Düsseldorf.

"The world surveillance map is a great example of transforming social criticism into a piece of art. Raul Mandru links the essential subjects we are dealing with in our social structural change: culture, technology, education and also democracy." Prof. Dieter Gorny, Art Director "Creative Industries" of RUHR.2010 GmbH.

"This thesis has picked up a very interesting topic relevant for society and implemented it on a high design level." Prof. Kurt Mehnert, President of Folkwang Hochschule Essen.

Raul Mandru deals with the issues of 'souss-veillance', an important topic of our forum about the new industrial world. Vincent Puig, Centre Pompidou Paris.

See for yourself:



Monday, August 30, 2010

Electro in series on four wheels

Picture source: SolarWorldNo1

Environmentally friendly, elegant and suitable for everyday use - the latest BOcruiser from the FH Bochum shows how it works. The only 250g BOcruiser is planned and implemented mainly by manual work using coal fibres.

Picture source: SolarWorldNo1

Supported by employees of the high-tech manufacturer Composite Impulse, a picture-book example of energy efficiency is created. Minimal weight is, of course, the central design requirement. As concerns robustness and weight, the fibre composite material with carbon fibres is ideal and brings the BOcruiser very close to the goal they have set for themselves.

Picture source: SolarWorldNo1


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


How about experiments online then:

Here a selection of experiments presented by the Science Center Spectrum in a continuous and touring exhibition...

Historical picture of the Science Center Spectrum

... as an interactive animation:


Experimenting also exists in English, however a bit more playful:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fischertechnik video

dance robot


Industrial construction

Monday, August 23, 2010

Infinite space

Let us leave Star Trek behind because we will soon be able to do all that ourselves: exploring unknown space, measuring distances, following tracks, displaying directions of travel via flashing signals, recognising colours, measuring temperatures, avoiding hitting obstacles without any contact, distinguishing day and night, turning headlights on and off automatically, triggering alarm, .... all that - and much more - is possible using sensors of the ROBO TX Explorer – ’beam me up, Scotty’ will then only be a question of time...

»»» This way to the toy.

If you want to thrill your kids, this is certainly something for you: "Here you will learn more about modern and innovative materials and what you can do with electricity or what you'd rather not do. Always according to the motto - "Learn about technology while playing". OK, and if that does not draw anybody from the woodwork, then maybe this: "By the way: all big and small people celebrating their birthday on 04 July will get a sausage + a drink free of charge!"


by the way:
fischertechnik is a product group of fischerwerke, the manufacturer of fastening systems. The grey nylon S-plugs are known all over the world.
When a creative employee assembled some kind of small vehicle from nylon gate remains in the year 1965, the company decided to send it as a nice Christmas present to all customers in the construction industry. The feedback was very positive and the people seemed to like it so much that there was a high demand for it. It was decided to set up a separate department. Since 1966 fischertechnik has been manufactured and sold in modest quantities.
There is no large advertising budget. The motto is "quality sells itself". The fischertechnik product group continues to yield only 10% of the total turnover

Goethe Universität in Frankfurt also 'plays' with the system:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Searching for a good purpose

In early 2010 there were reports that two search enquiries at Google consume as much energy as is used for heating up a cup of water. With the respective CO2 emission.

"We have found out that visiting a website causes an emission of about 20 mg of carbon dioxide per second", says US American physicist Alex Wissner-Gross who creates ecological balances of websites.

© Ecosia

Parallel to the Climate Chance Conference in Copenhagen a second search engine went online with which almost two square metres of rain forest are saved with each search enquiry. According to their own statements, Ecosia works with climate-friendly green electricity. They say that the "green electricity" for the web servers are provided by an EnBW subsidiary.

Image source:

It works like this:
How Does Ecosia Generate Income?

Yahoo and Bing not only help us to provide excellent search results; they also supply us with the sponsored links that we need to generate advertising revenue. Sponsored links are short, relevant text ads, which are placed by companies aiming to sell their products and services to users of the search engine. Companies pay for each click on their sponsored link and every click on these ads generates a few cents of revenue for the search engine.

About 2% of Ecosia searches lead to a click on a sponsored link. Doing a mixed calculation of normal clicks and clicks on sponsored links, Ecosia earns about 0.13 Euro cents per search. We donate at least 80% of this income to the WWF. Thanks to these donations, we can save about two square meters with every search.

How Does Ecosia Save The Rainforest?

Ecosia does not conduct the rainforest protection scheme itself; instead we donate to a rainforest protection program run by the WWF. The current WWF project is located in Juruena National Park in the Amazon region of Brazil. Click here to learn more about the current rainforest protection project.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2000 passengers and a 600-member crew

The Aida Diva – so it is imperative for technology to be absolutely reliable.

Image source: Wikipedia

The same goes for the propulsion and control technology:

The AIDAdiva is equipped with a diesel-electrical machinery with four diesel generators as power station that supply the entire ship with electrical energy. All electrical system, the propulsion system and the monitoring equipment were developed and built by Siemens. To ensure highest possible operational reliability the machinery and propulsion systems are technically and spatially separated into two independent groups and equipped with extensive monitoring equipment (ship automation system "SISHIPCIS PAX").

Image source: Siemens AG


The AIDAdiva is equipped with a conventional propulsion system. The two propeller motors are 3-phase synchronisation machines of type Siemens 1DM5650-8DS06-Z transferring a capacity of 12,400 kW each (approx. 16,900 PS) to fixed 5-blade propellers via a shaft system. Each propeller has a diameter of 5.20 m and a mass of approx. 13.2 t. At a max. rpm of 130/min the ship reaches a max. speed of 21 knots.

For manoeuvring in ports and at low speeds two bow thruster motors with a capacity of 2,300 kW each (approx. 3,100 HP) and two stern thrust motors of 1,500 kW each (approx. 2,040 HP) are installed. Via a "dynamic positioning system" the ship can precisely keep to a predefined position.

Here some more information about the ship and the engines:


Monday, August 16, 2010

Makes a standing start in any direction

Omnidirectional robot with radio localisation

The Fachhochschule Dortmund presents an omnidirectional robot that can be used for transporting loads in intralogistics. To meet the requirements of modern production and distribution systems for smaller transport units, the robot has been designed for transporting Euro pallets.

It is located and navigated via an innovative radio localisation system in real time which was developed at the Fachhochschule. The localisation system uses technologies that are necessary for operating a mobile robot anyway, thus saving costs. Core element of localisation is a radio technology which can be used for locating the robot besides the communication necessary for drive commands and status messages.

So the FH was represented several times at Hannover Messe Industrie 2010:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cord drive allows robot's hands to act vigorously

Image source: University of the Saarland

In future robots shall rescue earthquake victims from destroyed houses or help old-aged people at home. To make it possible that robots perform the tasks of human helpers they need hands that can grab heavy objects and can put them down again very carefully. Researchers at the university of the Saarland have now developed a cord drive for robotic hands that can transmit enormous powers in a simple and space-saving manner.

The catapult of the old Romans served as an example for the artificial muscles. The engineers presented this innovative miniature drive on the research stand at Hannover Messe from 17 to 24 April 2010. The project is a part of the EU project Dexmart. The project started two years ago with the goal to develop better robotic hands. Eight universities and research institutes in Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain participate. The university in Naples is responsible for the coordination.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Velaro with 300 km/h

The 'Velaro' train in direction to Madrid with 300 km/h, seen on a bridge nearby Parla:

High speed train Siemens Velaro:

Monday, August 9, 2010

New miracle train for Germany

High tech on rails

Image source:

Siemens is building the new high-tech train Velaro D in Krefeld Uerdingen. It is planned to run also in Germany by the end of 2011. Velaro E already has a top speed of 403 km/h - without any modifications - at much more than 500,000 km mileage and in addition it is 99% on time. This makes it the fastest serial train world-wide. For two years now Spain's Velaro E, for example, has taken its passengers reliably from Madrid to Barcelona. It makes the distance of 625 km in less than 2.5 hours. The 8-car, 200 m standard train configuration has a capacity of 8 MW.

Image Source:

The Velaro D tops this.

The Velaro family was developed for the global market. Its ongoing evolution is based on our experience in design, production, service and maintenance in day-to-day international service. You can experience the resulting successes firsthand – by traveling with the Velaro in Spain, for example, or Russia or China. You’re sure to be impressed by its technology, flexibility, comfort, and efficiency.

Image source:

»»» Further information see Wikipedia

Friday, August 6, 2010

Green Wheels: Shell Eco-Marathon

We'll travel to the U.S. Shell Eco-marathon. The challenge? High School and University students compete to see whose vehicle can go the furthest on the least amount of fuel -- winners take home $10,000. Top teams are gunning for up to 2000 miles per gallon. We'll check in with the key players and be there at the finish line to see the most fuel efficient eco-ride take home the prize. We'll also meet up with "hypermiler" Wayne Gerdes. Wayne can get eye-popping mpg numbers on just about any vehicle he drives. He'll take us for a ride and show us his tricks.

The 2010 edition of the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe will be held at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz track in Germany during 6th 7th May.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fuel Efficiency Challenge

Fuel Efficiency Challenge for Undergrads to Create Vehicles That Travel the Farthest Distance Using the Least Amount of Fuel Moves to the Energy Capital of the World

  • Innovative Vehicles Will Compete in Houston
  • Fuel Efficiency Challenge to Take Place in Spring 2010
  • Shell Eco-marathon Americas Registration Now Open
  • Takin It To the Streets: Event to be Open to the U.S. Public for the First Time
  • 09 Winning Prototype Team Achieved an Astonishing 2,757.1 MPG
  • Interviews with Marvin Odum, President, Shell Oil Company
  • Animations of Eco-marathon Course at Discovery Green

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Easy task?

There is a need to design, build and drive a car whose fuel consumption should also be highly efficient:

The Shell Eco-marathon challenges high school and college student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the winner is the team that goes the furthest distance using the least amount of energy. This event also affords an outstanding engagement opportunity for current and future leaders who are passionate about finding sustainable solutions to the world’s energy challenge.


Shell Eco-marathon vehicle and its driver combined generate less carbon dioxide than a world-class athlete, running around a circuit at 25 km/hr.

Image sources: Shell Eco-marathon Image Library