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Fraunhofer

Fraunhofer's OLED data glasses

Imagine that you’re a mechanic whose hands are covered in grease, and you’re trying to follow repair instructions. Every time you need to turn the page or advance the screen, you have to put down your tools and wipe your hands. That’s why scientists from the Fraunhofer Center for Organics, Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden (COMEDD) have developed glasses that allow the wearer to flip pages on a digital document using nothing but their eyes.  Read More

A kite makes its maiden voyage at the test site in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (Photo: © Fr...

Despite offering numerous advantages over its rotating brethren, most notably the ability to reach the high-speed winds found at higher altitudes, kite-based energy systems are yet to really get off the ground in a meaningful way. But things are looking up. Earlier this year, NASA revealed it is investigating ways to improve the aerodynamics and autonomous flight control of kites for power generation applications, and now Berlin-based wind energy developer NTS GmbH has teamed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) to make their own kite energy system concept a reality.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Freiburg have developed a technique for making foam from ...

Germany is known for its cutting-edge policies on green issues, and its drive towards a clean economy. One of its latest eco-breakthroughs comes from the University of Freiburg's Biofoambark project. Researchers there are trying to green up the insulation foam used in construction, by replacing its petroleum-based ingredients with a naturally-occurring compound that ordinarily goes to waste in the lumber industry.  Read More

Schematic of titanium pipes being formed

Titanium is a tremendously useful metal and very abundant, yet only 186,000 tonnes (205,030 tons) of it are produced a year and it’s not used very much outside of the aerospace field because it’s so expensive and difficult to forge. To correct this, a team led by André Albert at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering in partnership with Thin Films (IST) in Braunschweig, Germany have developed a new process for hydroforming titanium at high temperatures in a single step that promises to make titanium more of an everyday material.  Read More

Fraunhofer's cylinder bore hole honing tool

You may think that the pistons in your car’s engine slide in and out of the cylinder bore holes smooth as silk, but according to researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology, the process could be smoother. If it was, your car would burn less gasoline, and require less oil for lubrication. Well, those researchers have developed an engine-building tool, designed to minimize engine cylinder friction.  Read More

Fraunhofer's polymer-copper desalination pipes

In a typical desalination plant, pipes made from titanium or other expensive types of metal are an integral part of the process. Now, however, scientists have created a new type of piping material that is much cheaper to produce – potentially making desalination possible in countries that previously couldn’t afford it.  Read More

Ergon's CF3 Pro Carbon suspension seatpost

Nobody likes getting a sore butt (or numb “other areas”) while cycling, yet a lot of cyclists also don’t want the added weight of a suspension seatpost – even a snazzy one like the BodyFloat. Well, those individuals may well be interested in Ergon Bike Ergonomics’ forthcoming CF3 Pro Carbon seatpost. Made from two parallel carbon fiber leaf springs, it actually weighs less than some conventional carbon seatposts.  Read More

Dark silicon could improve efficiency in traditional solar cells by harvesting energy in t...

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications have developed a system that allows solar cells to effectively harvest energy from the infrared spectrum, tapping into a source of energy that in the past has mostly been out of reach. The new technology, which promises to work well with commercially available solar cells, has the potential of becoming a standard in the solar panels of tomorrow.  Read More

The infrared wireless communication module developed at Fraunhofer can transfer data wirel...

Back around the turn of the century, infrared ports for wireless data transfer over short distances were commonplace on many mobile devices. But it wasn't long before infrared communication technology was kicked to the curb in favor of the more versatile radio-based Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. Fraunhofer researchers are looking to resurrect infrared wireless data transfer technology with the development of a “multi-gigabit communication module” that can wirelessly transfer data 46 times faster than Wi-Fi and 1,430 times faster than Bluetooth.  Read More

The smart fabric incorporates a web of conductive threads, wired into a microcontroller

If you’re a burglar, and all that separates you from your quarry is what appears to be a simple sheet of fabric, you might not want to cut it. That’s because it could be a new smart fabric, that will set off an alarm if it’s breached. Created by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, the fabric incorporates a web of silver-coated conductive threads that are connected to a microcontroller. If that controller detects a break in the weak electric current that travels through the fibers, it’ll be sure to let the right people know.  Read More

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