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DLR Technology portfolio
Success stories 2016 - Today
Surgical robot with DLR technology on the market
Successful technology transfer with happy ending for patients and surgeons - after several years of development work, Medtronic's robot-assisted surgery system, named Hugo™ RAS system, received CE certification and thus approval for the European market. The new Hugo™ RAS (robotic-assisted surgery) system incorporates technological principles of the MiroSurge® telesurgery system developed by the German Aerospace Center. The MiroSurge® system consists of two or more MIRO robot arms – depending on requirements. MIRO is a lightweight robot arm optimised for medical applications, kinematically redundant and fully torque-controlled. In terms of design, size and mobility, it is modelled on the human arm so that it can be operated intuitively, sensitively and safely.
Innovative heating method for repair of fibre composite materials
FlexIn Heat® is an innovative heating method that allows heat to be applied flexibly, fast, effectively and precisely to a surface. The technology developed includes an air-cooled induction coil that generates a uniform electromagnetic field, allowing an electrically conductive counterpart to be heated. The special production method makes it possible to create reproducible coils that can be scaled to any size.
Reliable navigation without GPS
IPS (Integrated Positioning System) is an optical navigation and inspection system for use in environments that do not allow positioning via a GPS - for example, in tunnels, mines, forests or industrial plants. The innovative IPS technology is based on a multi-sensor approach: different measurement techniques are combined in such a way that it is possible to minimize the errors of the other system and significantly reduce measurement errors. This enables high accuracy in GPS-free navigation.
Drone-based monitoring of solar power plants
QFly is a system for quality control of solar thermal power plants from the air. A drone independently flies over the square kilometer solar field and takes aerial photos of the collectors. At the heart of the system is analysis software, which uses the images to calculate the shape of the mirrors and determine the accuracy of the sun-tracking system. In this way, design or operating errors can be detected at a glance and the maintenance requirements of the collectors can be determined.
DESIS – DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer
The DESIS hyperspectral camera is capable of imaging land, forests, oceans and the atmosphere with a high degree of accuracy and analyzing them for their constituents. DESIS has been mounted aboard the International Space Station (ISS) since June 2018 and will provide great benefits for resource and environmental monitoring and the development of new satellite systems as part of the science-commercial transatlantic cooperation.
COPRO Technology – Roll forming technology for fiber composite profiles
Using the patented COPRO technology, complex, 3D profile geometries can be produced in a high-quality, efficient and significantly more cost-effective manner than before. The roll forming technology for profiles made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) is used in various lightweight construction applications, primarily in the automotive and aerospace industries. The technology is also ideally suited to the bicycle market and enables the highest-quality carbon rims to be produced automatically.
Medical Robot MIRO
Intricate surgeries can be performed more easily and safely with the space technology-engineered medical robot. These advantages are achieved by filtering out the slight irregularities of human hand movements and performing the surgeon’s movements with high precision. Numerous sensors ensure that any physical contact of the robot arm withits environment is relayed by force feedback to the input device of the operator.
2011 - 2015
Laser Communication Terminal
The mobile and compact laser communication terminal provides high data rates of 10 Gbit/s for visual connections of 50 km for air-to-ground links, but up to 1000 km in space. The receiving station can be adaptively tracked and is therefore suitable for data connections by air (air-to-air and air-to-ground). The laser free-space communication is, in contrast to microwave radio links, interference-free and eavesdropping-proof.
Vibro-tactile feedback device for visually impaired people
VibroTac® is a bracelet, in which six vibratory motors are integrated. It can guide the visually impaired or blind user with haptic pulses to the target. The integrated ultrasonic sensor detects obstacles in the environment precisely, warns the user and also supports navigation tasks within enclosed rooms. Vibrotac is a useful supplement for the blindman's stick and keeps the acoustic sensory channel free.
3D Design optimization of industrial fans
Selected mathematical methods and algorithms with their origins in the design process of fans and compressors for large turbines and aircraft engines, have been adapted and transferred to industrial fans and other turbomachinery. These can be customized and designed aerodynamically to achieve high efficiency and reduce noise emissions.
Near-term thunderstorm prediction for aviation
The product solution determines the generation and propagation of thunderstorm cells reliably using global satellite information (EUMETSAT). The data is updated at frequent intervals. An intelligent algorithm calculates a prediction of the spatial position and the state of thunderstorm cells up to an hour in advance. This leads to an increase of safety and efficiency in air traffic.
High-temperature resistant ceramic fibers
The material Whipox® combines the advantages of metals, ceramics and composite materials. It is reistant to temperatures of up to 1,200 °C, lightweight, electrically non-conductive and non-brittle. Thus, it is ideal for industrial furnaces, the hardening and casting industry but also for components of high temperature gas turbines.
Modelica AlternativeVehicles library
Based on the object-oriented Modelica programming language, the AlternativeVehicles software library contains a multitude of component models and vehicle architectures for simulating alternative drive technologies in ground-based vehicles. The software is useful in drive technology design and cost optimisation.
Train collision avoidance system
The Railway Collision Avoidance System (RCAS®) operates independently of existing rail safety installations. The latest sensors in conjunction with direct train-to-train communication ensure that drivers are warned of impending collisions.
Flexible piezoelectric converter
These compact piezoelectric energy converters are bendable and can be cost-efficiently mass-produced in any size. They can be used in noise abatement, vibration control, energy harvesting, dynamic actuator elements, and component health monitoring.
2006 - 2010
Compared to conventional industrial robots, this type not only features lightweight materials. More importantly, it has cognitive skills which make it versatile enough to assemble increasingly complex products. The robot can yield to external forces and adapt to changing working conditions.
The departure manager supports air traffic controllers in optimising departure sequences in airports. In this way, bottlenecks and delays can be avoided.
The potential-Seebeck microprobe serves to measure the homogeneity of various materials. It is particularly suitable for semiconductor quality inspections.
Real-time traffic information for satnavs
A method developed by DLR uses anonymised position data from road users moving with the traffic. Supplied by mobile phones and tracking systems, these vehicle data are processed centrally to determine the fastest routes and communicated to satnav systems in real time.
In real time, this position-based SMS and Web polling service determines the time it takes to develop sunburn, taking into account the local UV concentration, cloud cover, and skin type.
2001 - 2005
Smart farming sensor
A laser-based sensor attached to a tractor figures out the nutrient and fertiliser requirements of crops in real time.
Asuro robot kit
The Asuro® robot kit enables hobbyists to build their own wireless-programmable home robot for a small sum.
Door edge sensor
A pressure sensor based on polymer fibre-optic cables prevents passengers from being caught in the automatic doors of buses and trains.
Early warning system for forest fires
Mounted on towers, the sensor of this automated early warning system for forest fires reliably detects smoke in an area of 700km², day or night. Images are processed locally. When smoke is detected, direction and distance data together with relevant images are transmitted to a control centre, where further steps will be initiated.
Laser-based pipeline monitor
Mounted in a helicopter, this laser-based surveillance system detects even extremely small leakages in natural-gas pipelines from the air. Labour- and cost-intensive patrols are no longer needed.
Fast-switching ball valve
Originally developed as a highly sensitive control nozzle for satellites, this electromagnetically actuated ball valve meters infinitesimal quantities of fluids and switches within milliseconds.
Digital aerial camera
When digital aerial cameras were launched on the market, flight times shrank by 75 to 85% compared to those required by analog cameras because all relevant spectral channels could be recorded simultaneously. Moreover, these cameras permit combining digital stereo and colour image information with local position data.
Crash absorber element
Made of CFC, this crash tube is installed in car steering columns. In case of a crash, it prevents the steering column from penetrating into the interior and progressively absorbs the impact energy.
Ceramic brake liners
Fibre-ceramic brake systems for high-speed elevators in high-rise buildings. Their outstanding characteristic is longevity.
The space mouse is a computer input device for controlling robots and objects in virtual spaces and three dimensions. Today, it is most frequently used in CAD applications and 3-D computer games.
Ceramic brake disc
Originally, silicon carbide was used to make thermal-protection tiles for spare capsules. Developed into brake discs for sports cars, the material is 70% lighter than a steel brake disc. At up to 1600°C, its heat resistance is twice as high as that of steel, and its braking performance and service life are clearly superior.
Production line for CFRP series components
This fully automated process chain for manufacturing of complex CFRP components in high volume, which are shaped close to final contour, demonstrates all interlinked sub-processes from textile cutting to the preforming to the resin injection and curing. The integrated sensors and process simulation creates a transparent process for quality and economic efficiency.
Contact strip for current collectors
This low-vibration contact strip minimises material wear in current collectors and catenaries. It was developed especially for high-speed trains.
1995 - 2000
Rocket burner for oil-fired boilers
Rocket technology for the home – the non-luminous burner technology developed by DLR enabled us to develop highly energy-efficient fuel-oil burners that are soot-free and particularly low-polluting.
More power output thanks to the improved cooling afforded by the disc geometry. Lasers of this kind combine the advantages of CO2 and solid-state lasers. They may reach a power output of up to 16kW.
The game rescuer detects animals hidden in tall grass and thus saves them from deadly mower injuries. Using microwave as well as infrared sensor technology, the platform can be mounted on combine harvesters.
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