The AHEAD project (Autonomous Humanitarian Emergency Aid Devices), which deals with the safe transport of aid supplies through difficult terrain, will be taking part in the Greentech Festival in Berlin from 14-16 June 2023. The focus is on new technologies for a sustainable future. DLR will be presenting forward-looking technologies and current research projects in the fields of energy, mobility and robotics at a joint stand. The focus of the festival, which takes place on the grounds of the former Berlin-Tegel Airport, is on green and sustainable developments. At the DLR stand, visitors can experience innovative lime-based energy storage systems, the world's most environmentally friendly car in operation and a remote-controlled vehicle concept for humanitarian aid missions.
In the AHEAD project (Autonomous Humanitarian Emergency Aid Devices), scientists from the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics and a consortium of other DLR institutes and technology partners are investigating how remote-controlled trucks can be used to safely transport aid supplies to their destinations. Vehicles transporting relief supplies are often on the road in difficult terrain. They sometimes have to cross regions that also pose risks for the drivers. These can be diseases, animal attacks or even floods. Especially in areas that are rarely entered by humans, these risks are difficult to assess in advance. DLR collaborated with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on the project. The team developed a concept for how robotic, remote-controlled vehicles could traverse a regionally flooded stretch of road in South Sudan. The concept used SHERP vehicles, which the WFP already uses. These off-roaders can move in any terrain, even in water or swamps. They can overcome climbing obstacles of up to one metre. The researchers equipped the vehicles with several sensors to control them remotely. This was successfully tested at the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen at the end of 2022.
Other DLR projects are: 'Calogy' by the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, which is researching how to heat buildings in a climate-neutral way using a heat store made from burnt lime. The prototype vehicle ZEDU-1 (developed together with the automotive company HWA) demonstrates a completely emission-free road vehicle.