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Fraunhofer

The AutoTram Extra Grand (Photo: Fraunhofer IVI)

Love them or hate them, bendy buses are impressive. You see one coming around a corner looking like an ordinary bus, then comes the articulated bit and then more bus. Now the unveiling in Dresden, Germany of the AutoTram Extra Grand raises the bar with a bendy bus that’s more like a bendy train. With three sections, measuring over 30 meters (100 ft) long and a passenger capacity of 256, it’s the world’s longest bus.  Read More

A prototype of the Fraunhofer system, with the RF node at left, and the sensor housing at ...

If a storm rolls in while you’re at work, and you’re wondering if you left your bedroom window open, you can tell via an internet connection – if that window is equipped with a contact sensor. Ordinarily, such sensors require electrical wiring, and a battery or mains power. A new window system developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, however, works without wires, and draws its power from the environment around it.  Read More

The tiny biosensor can calculate a person's glucose levels from tears or sweat

Despite promising developments in recent years, millions of type-1 diabetes sufferers worldwide still face the often-painful daily burden of finger sticks to test their blood glucose levels. Now researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS) have developed a biosensor that provides a non-invasive way to measure blood glucose levels and can transmit its readings wirelessly to a mobile device.  Read More

The personal climate control seats were tested in the front end of an Airbus A310 (Image: ...

These days, jet air travel is less of a glamorous Don Draper adventure and often more of a tedious ordeal. The cabin air doesn’t help as passengers suffer sinus troubles and can’t stay warm or cool enough for comfort. At the ILA Berlin Air Show running September 11 - 16, the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) of Valley, Germany will reveal to the public a new airline seat that provides air passengers with individual climate control that may make even travelling Coach a bit more pleasant.  Read More

New technology will provide living-room friendly viewing on your existing 3D Blu-rays (Pho...

Wide-angle autostereoscopic displays provide the opportunity for practical glasses-free 3D viewing, but the incompatibility of current 3D-media has hindered the further development and implementation of the technology. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications have been working to provide a solution to this issue, producing a technology capable of converting conventional 3D Blu-rays for use with the new display technology.  Read More

Lenses made of amorphous chalcogenide glass

Driving a car in the country at night can be a scary. The combination of poor visibility and animals or other hard to spot obstacles on the road poses an obvious threat to both the car and its occupants. Some luxury models now have the option of forward looking infrared (FLIR) night vision systems, so you can see the animal in time to swerve. Unfortunately these systems are pricey, even as an aftermarket add-on, but that may soon change through the work of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM) in Freiburg, Germany. The researchers have invented a way of bringing down the cost of the infrared lenses in FLIR systems down by 70 percent - opening the way to cheap FLIR cameras for the mass market.  Read More

The iameco v3 touchscreen computer (Photo: MicroPro Computers)

We have seen wooden-framed computers before, although those have generally been off-the-shelf machines that have simply received a steampunk makeover. A team of engineers from Ireland’s MicroPro Computers and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration have gone considerably farther, however. Their wood-bodied iameco (“I am eco”) v3 touchscreen computer reportedly has 70 percent less carbon footprint than a regular desktop PC with a monitor.  Read More

Using a wireless smart socket to control the lights in your home may not be not far off

A common theme in any form of entertainment depicting the future is the use of a remote to control everything – futuristic houses are often shown with the owner turning the lights on before they even arrive. Turns out, using the internet to control our houses is not too far away. A group of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems ESK in Munich, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, have developed a new power outlet that supports the brand-new IPv6 Internet protocol. These new outlets, known as the wireless smart socket, could very well revolutionize the way we turn things on and off in our homes.  Read More

A plastic garden furniture armrest without (left) and with (right) a self-cleaning photoca...

For many people, the onset of warmer weather can mean pulling out the ol' scrubbing brush and getting to work on the slimy film of moss, algae, fungi and bacteria that has built up on the garden furniture over the colder months. But we may soon be able to say goodbye to this tiresome chore thanks to researchers at Fraunhofer who are developing coatings that would be activated by the sun’s rays to destroy organic substances attaching themselves to various surfaces.  Read More

A sample of Fraunhofer's CryoSolplus phase-change battery coolant

One of the big enemies of electric vehicle batteries is heat. Batteries already warm up under normal use, but when hot summer temperatures or high workloads are thrown in, overheating becomes a real possibility. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, running a battery at ten degrees over its maximum “comfort level” of about 35ºC (95ºF) can deplete its service life by half. That’s why researchers there have developed a battery coolant known as CryoSolplus, which is said to offer three times the cooling capacity of plain water.  Read More

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