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Autonomous Flight Systems — how technology gets airborne
Flight has fascinated mankind for centuries. Already Leonardo da Vinci attempted to comprehend the dynamics of flight and construct the first flying machines. Today we transport enormously heavy loads through the air, as well as tiny unmanned flying objects. In the experiment "Autonomous Flight Systems — how technology gets airborne" students investigate how complex control strategies are derived so that flight systems remain stable when controlled by simple human commands. The focus is on the man-machine interface: how can controlling be designed to be as "intuitive" as possible, and what is intuition, anyway?
A Walk on Mars - experiencing remote worlds locally
Our mysterious neighbouring planet Mars is the goal of many space missions. People have not yet managed to put down a foot on the "Red Planet". But in the futuristic-looking holodeck at DLR_School_Lab RWTH Aachen students have a chance to pay Mars a virtual visit. Like the Mars rover Curiosity, they explore the area around the landing place. How can one search for traces of water there? Are there maybe even indications of simple life forms? And how is all that being investigated with the latest robot technology?
Renewable Energy — where will tomorrow’s energy come from?
The discussion is over 50 years old: fossil energy will not last forever and it also pollutes the environment. Nuclear energy is risky and the problem of nuclear waste disposal is unsolved. So renewable energy resources are playing an ever more important role. In the experiment "Renewable Energy - where will tomorrow’s energy come from?" participants can have a look into the future. Using the SmartCity demonstrator students investigate the self-regulating strategies of an "intelligent city". They predict its energy requirements and devise methods for meeting them in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.
Transport — real phenomena in virtual worlds
The "intelligent car" is one of the major research topics of our time. Already today, we are supported by technical systems like ABS, ESP and Co. In the experiment "Transport - real phenomena in virtual worlds" participants learn how autonomous vehicles perceive their highly dynamic environment and about the potential of driver assistance systems to increase traffic safety. In a driving simulator the students cope with dynamic driving situations. They investigate how autonomous vehicles extract the necessary data from a flood of incoming environmental information.
Industrial Robots - musclemen who lend a hand
Machines and robots have long replaced human muscles in many industrial processes. But what is for us a simple movement requires highly complex programming and control of several axes in the case of a robot. At the heart of the experiment "Industrial Robots - musclemen who lend a hand" are the geometric restrictions of a six-axis industrial robot. Using a robot arm modelled after a human arm it becomes evident that just a simple wave of the hand is a combination of complex shoulder, upper and lower arm muscular movement. The students are challenged to program the robot using a so-called teach-in procedure.
Humanoid Robot - using humans as the model
The experiment "Humanoid Robot - using humans as the model" deals with the complexities of human gait. Stabilizing our centre of mass and purposefully "falling" into a step is a habit we gradually learn to master as toddlers. But how to teach a robot to stand erect or even walk on two legs? The students learn how to stabilize the centre of mass of a multi-body system by clever control of the mechanics. Their task is to teach a humanoid robot to walk and dance.
Autonomous flight systems
A Walk on Mars
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