There are still over six months to go until the next US Solar Decathlon
, but competitors are already hard at work building their prototype sustainable home entries. The first to come to our attention is NexusHaus, a collaborative effort between the University of Texas at Austin and Munich's Technische Universität München that will run solely on solar power and focuses on water efficiency.
Three years ago, we first heard about the Mute
electric concept car. Created via a collaboration between 20 departments at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), it was designed chiefly to be efficient, inexpensive and safe. A project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research followed, in which a consortium of over a dozen companies (including TUM, Daimler and BMW) set about designing a Mute-based city car known as the Visio.M
. That two-seater car is now complete, and is being revealed to the public for the first time this week.
On June 12th, the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be kicked off by a paralyzed person using a highly innovative brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. This feat is being carried out as a demonstration of the current state-of-the art in assisted mobility technology, as the researchers involved – part of the "Walk Again Project" – work toward refining their invention.
Flying is most definitely a hands-on (and feet-on) job, but it may not always be that way. Turning science fiction into fact, researchers at the Institute for Flight System Dynamics of the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the TU Berlin are developing a way for pilots to control aircraft with their minds alone. According to the team, they have not only demonstrated that it’s possible, but that it can be done with a surprising degree of accuracy.
As some readers may already know, Volvo recently developed a system that uses an in-vehicle radar system
to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists on the road in front of them. Now, Germany's Technische Universitaet Muenchen has come up with a system of its own, that can even detect pedestrians that aren't within line of sight of the car.
Given how many miles taxis put in per day, the concept of electric taxis
is certainly appealing. That said, one problem is the amount of time that their batteries can take to recharge – most cabbies won't want to shorten their work day or do a split shift, in order to juice up their cars. With the EVA taxi, however, they wouldn't have to. The prototype vehicle can reportedly get enough of a charge in 15 minutes to travel 200 km (124 mi).
Thanks to efforts of groups such as Google
, Oxford University
, BMW and Continental
, we’re getting closer and closer to the advent of autonomous cars – vehicles that drive themselves, with the human “driver” pretty much just along as a passenger. Researchers at Germany’s Technische Universität München (TUM), however, are looking at taking things a step further. They’re developing remote-control cars that could travel along city streets with no one in them at all, their operator located somewhere far away.
What do you do if you’re a businessman who needs to quickly get from one meeting to another, via the taxi-thwarting congested roads of a “megacity”? You could try a scooter, but what if it’s raining? That’s where the rickshaw-like VOI electric scooter prototype enters the picture. It protects the passenger in an enclosed front compartment, while the driver sits exposed to the elements in the back.
While we’ve pretty much got to the point where we take GPS-enabled navigation systems for granted, there’s one rather prominent place where they can’t access the necessary satellites – indoors. A number of projects have taken on the challenge of indoor navigation, incorporating things like accelerometers
, “invisible” landmarks
, rapidly flickering lights
, and magnetic fields
. The experimental new NAVVIS system, however, utilizes a database of photographs.
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and BMW are typically seen facing off against each other to win the hearts, minds and wallets of luxury car buyers. However, the challenges of developing a mass-produced electric car have inspired the two pillars of German luxury to put aside their rivalry and team up on a city car project.