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 Universit├Ąt 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