Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Schwesinger
Technische Universität München, Germany

Norbert Schwesinger studied Electrical Engineering from 1973-1977 and got his
Dr.-Ing. in 1983 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the TH Ilmenau. Then he was working as a development engineer, first at Relay Technique Grossbreitenbach and second at Robotron Sömmerda. In 1992, he became director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories at the Technical University of Ilmenau. He has made sustained contributions to engineering research in the field of microfluidics. In this field, he developed silicon based ink jet print heads and several microreaction components. He developed one of the first microreactoion construction kits. For the French cosmetic company Ch. Dior, he successfully designed and developed microstructured components for a sophisticated distribution of certain beauty products on human skin. Since 2001, he is professor at the Technical University of Munich, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Department of Microstructured Mechatronic Systems.He focused his research activities to piezoelectric materials and their possible use in microstructured elements. Besides microactuators as driving elements for microvalves, he deepened his activities on the development of piezoelectric micro energy harvesting devices. In his focus are periodic and discontinuous impulses that trigger oscillations of an active element by means of a suitable constructive design. Sensors for the detection of mechanical parameters are another focus of his research. Instead of the known sensors, which can be replaced easily, his research is oriented on individualized sensors delivering individual signalsfor similar excitements. This characteristic supports the Physical Unclonable Functionality (PUF) of modern electronic devices. As member, he acts actively in several national and international Technical Committees. He is author of numerous papers and the textbook “Mikrosystemtechnik”.

Title: Energy Harvesting as One Perspective Power Supply for Smart Sensors

This lecture provides a snapshot of the current state of energy harvesting (EH). Although not complete, it describes several problems of EH based on selected examples. However, criteria were elaborated, allowing for a meaningful use of energy harvesters. EH is still a controversial area in engineering. Funding programs in many industrialized countries have taken EH-projects very well into account. Nevertheless, it is hard to find many results showing EHs as products. Only a few companies operate in this field. Their EHsprovide typically a very low output of electrical energy. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze what energy harvesting can do at all. EHtry to turn inevitable losses of energy from artificial processes or free environmental energy into electrical energy. This can be realized using corresponding energy transducers. While free environmental energy is largely inexhaustible, available energy sources of technical processes are exhaustible. Engineers constantly strive to reduceinevitablelosses inindustrial processes. Processes with high efficiency show low losses.Therefore, they are not suited for EH. Processes with correspondingly high losses are suitable in principle for EH. EH obviously targets circumstancesin opposition to the trend of technical developments. Energy losses in artificial processes are heat, vibration, radiation, scattering,pressure drops and…. Over 80% EH- publications deal with the conversion of vibration into electrical energy by the piezoelectric effect. Despite of the use of the high performance ceramic PZT (“Lead-Zirconate-Titanate”), the power density of piezoelectric transducers is only in the range of µWs /cm3. Numerous designs and circuits developed show a minimal rise of effectiveness but an increase in complexity and fabrication costs. Despite the need for repeated maintenance, batteries are much cheaper than EHs are. This lecture describes that the appropriate use of EHs is only given when certain conditions are met. A use of EH is described using two examples. EHs are of flexible piezoelectric PVDF (Poly-Vinylidene–Di-Fluoride) films. Two layers were stacked alternating on each other and wound to a spool. The EHs have been arranged either in the floor or in a pipe. In both cases, the EHS are inaccessible and not in contact with the power net. They can be forced to stretch or to oscillate. This lead in both cases to a polarization and a separation of electrical charges. Experiments carried out with EHs in a wind channel and in a water pipe as well as in the floor indicatedthat the generated electrical energy is sufficient to supply sensors and a corresponding radio electronic. If power is stored in a capacitor and the data transmission consumes about 0.2 mWs during one operation, duty cycles of less than 10 minutes are possible. This is enough for a continuous monitoring of certain processes by independent smart sensors.


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Ferrein
FH Aachen, Germany

Alexander Ferrein received his MSc in Computer Science (Dipl.-Inform.) and his PhD (Dr. rer. nat) from Aachen University in 2001 and 2007, resp. Between 2009-2011 he joined the Robotics and Agents Research Lab, University of Cape Town, as a postdoctoral research fellow with Feodor-Lynen scholarship granted by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. He then re-joined the Knowledge-Based Systems Group at Aachen University before he became a professor for Robotics and Computer Science at FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences. He is a founding member and director of the Mobile Autonomous Systems & Cognitive Robotics Insitute at Aachen Applied Science University. His research focusses on the field of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Robotics.

Title: Challenges for Intra-logistic Robots in the RoboCup Logistics League and beyond

The field of Industry 4.0 and cyber-physical systems is broad and comes with many applications. One of them is the field of intra-logistics robots. In the spirit of I4.0, intra factory transportation systems become more intelligent and more flexible by moving away from navigating with induction stripes taped to the ground to using more flexible approaches known in mobile robotics. Conveyor belts are already or may well be superseded in future flexible production settings. A playful approach to the field of intra-logistic robotics is the RoboCup Logistics League. Here, two teams of robots have to fulfil dynamic production plans, feed materials into production machines, deal with junk products and failing machines in order to fulfil customers’ orders in time. In my talk, I will introduce the RoboCup Logistic League and present the challenges to be faced for low-level robotics as well as for high-level decision making in a dynamic production environment. Our team “Carologistics” is reigning three times world champion in this competition and I will present the team’s approach. Further, I will present ideas and possibilities how the RCLL can be used as a benchmark scenario for intra-logistic robots, which are of interest beyond the RoboCup scenario.