Trends of the Week 2018 – CW 22

Trends of the Week 2018 – CW 22


Beijing-based company Hanergy, a renewable energy provider, is now generating solar energy using a parasol. The "Humbrella" developed for this purpose is coated with a solar film and thus also functional on cloudy days. With the integrated 40,000 mAh battery, it serves as a light source for up to ten hours at night and can also be used to charge mobile devices. As part of the "Lighting Africa" project, the umbrella will be delivered to remote regions on the African continent to supply rural communities there with off-grid energy.


The US company ChargePoint has developed a high-performance charging connector for air taxis. Each circuit, which has up to four interfaces, should have a voltage of 200 to 1000 volts. A motorized system is to be used to reach the aircraft and plug it in. It would also be conceivable to use a robot in the tank process. The connector will also be supplemented by high-speed data transmission and will also be used by the Uber taxi service, which would like to offer air taxis from 2020.


Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA have developed a robot that can put on people's sleeves in hospital shirts. He proceeds very carefully and pays attention to the forces that act during the process, so that he recognizes when the sleeve is stuck. This prevents excessive and possibly dangerous tightening. With around 11,000 simulated examples, the robot has not only learned the technique, but also what a person feels physically when dressing. The results could contribute to the development of a robot suitable for use in care services.


Stanford University researchers have developed implantable sensors that decompose when their usefulness ends. For this purpose, one pressure and one strain sensor are superimposed. They consist of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers and magnesium electrodes and can be used after orthopaedic operations, for example to measure existing loads on joints. Thanks to their self-dissolution, no second operation is necessary to remove the sensors. The time to decomposition can be varied at will by the composition of the sensor components.


The US start-up Wellnite has developed the app of the same name, which notifies the user's family and friends when the user is stressed. The app takes into account factors such as sleep duration, stress level, eating habits, mood and physical activity of the user. Based on this data, the app generates a health report and gives the user personalized tips for the best possible lifestyle. The app also informs relatives if the user is not sleeping enough, for example, so that they can send them encouraging messages or check on them.