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safe@home detects seniors' falls, and contacts people who can help (Photo: Shutterstock)

For seniors in general, falls can result result in broken hips or other serious injuries. For seniors living alone, however, there's also a good chance that they could end up lying on the floor for up to several hours before anyone else knows what's happened. User-triggered radio devices such as Life Alert are helpful up to a point, although they're not much good if the user isn't carrying them at the time, or if they get knocked unconscious. That's why a group of German companies are developing the automatic safe@home system.  Read More

The Parasol system uses passive radar sensors and mathematical algorithms to determine if ...

With aspirations to claim 80 percent of its power from renewable sources by the 2050, it follows that Germany is taking a proactive approach to its clean energy transformation. Wind farms, while set to play an important part in achieving this goal, often meet impassioned opposition from disgruntled neighbors piqued by their perpetually blinking beacons. In an effort to address this issue, researchers have developed a sensor system for wind turbines which detects nearby aircraft, switching on a beacon warning system only as they approach.  Read More

The Galileo-SmartLVS hardware (prototype pictured) coupled with the LawinenFon app transfo...

In October of last year, the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) issued a warning about the dangers of relying on smartphone apps that were being marketed as economical alternatives to avalanche transceivers. But a new smartphone app and add-on hardware component could provide an alternative that is not only cheaper than dedicated avalanche transceivers, but also provides additional functionality.  Read More

The FitnessSHIRT and MENTORbike team up

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS is developing its wearable sports monitoring FitnessSHIRT with a 2014 launch in mind. It recently detailed a new application for the technology, pairing it with a pedelec bike powertrain and smartphone app to seamlessly manage motor output based upon the user's physiological data. In other words, when you show signs of being tired and winded, the motor automatically kicks in extra power.  Read More

An eTriage armband, that transmits a patient's location and condition

When emergency response crews have to deal with many casualties at once, such as at a disaster site, one of the first things they do is set up a triage system. This involves assessing the severity of each patient's injuries, so that the people who need help most urgently get it first. It's a system that works, but the EU-funded BRIDGE project is trying to make it better. The project partners are developing a new high-tech triage, that incorporates GPS and RFID technology.  Read More

Computer scientists have successfully transmitted data between laptop computers using only...

It could be assumed that the most effective way to safeguard your computer against the threat of cyber attacks would be to disconnect it from all networks: wireless, LAN, network cards or the internet. However, research from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) has demonstrated a malware prototype with the ability to jump the "air gap" – meaning even that once surefire security measure might not be enough to ensure the protection of your computer.  Read More

The Factory-in-a-Day project aims to integrate robots into small and medium enterprise fac...

Industrial robots have proven useful in reducing production costs in large factories, with major enterprises enlisting their services to execute repetitive tasks. The Factory-in-a-Day project, which kicked off in October, aims to also make robotic technology beneficial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by developing adaptable robots that can be integrated with workplace systems within 24 hours.  Read More

A high-tech running shoe being developed by Fraunhofer has the ability to evaluate a jogge...

Given its accessibility to anyone with two feet, jogging is one of the most popular forms of fitness activity around the world, with around 10 million people in Germany alone donning their running shoes and hitting the pavement on a regular basis, according to the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS). However, this popularity also translates into a large number of jogging-related injuries. In an effort to reduce the number of injuries, a research team from IPMS is developing a high-tech running shoe with the ability to evaluate a jogger's running form and technique in real-time.  Read More

A batch of grapes that passed the new system's inspection

Wine grapes may soon be joining oranges and strawberries, on the list of "Fruits That Are Now Inspected and Sorted by Machines." As part of the Grapesort project, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation has helped create an automated system that not only gives bum grapes the boot, but also divides up the good ones according to quality.  Read More

An asteroid impact has the potential to produce a mass extinction event (Image: NASA/Don D...

There are hundreds of near-Earth asteroids hurtling through space that are a potential danger to our planet. One way of dealing with the problem is to deflect them with a space probe deliberately set on a collision course. To see how effective such a collision would be, Frank Schäfer of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI in Freiburg, Germany is looking at what asteroids are made of and how this affects a deflection impact.  Read More

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