ENGIBEX went this year to the TU Delft Research Exhibition to discover the cutting edge technology that is developed by the researchers. TU Delft has always been ahead of its time by discovering new principles and technologies like the ring analysis of petroleum, the Burger’s equations, optical fiber cladding, etc.
We selected for you some of the research topics which caught our attention and could make a difference in the future. We here at ENGIBEX strongly encourage innovation and entrepreneurship from our engineers which is resumed in our motto: “Think as an engineer, act as an entrepreneur”. An exhibition in Delft allows us to be aware of the next technologies, share them to our engineers and meet interesting partners.
Autonomous Pocket Drones
The drone industry is ever expanding and so are the different types of drones. A research group at the University of Delft is currently conceiving drones that weight no more than 40 grams and that can fly autonomously. The complete system includes a stereovision, autopilot, processors and a power source. In order to reach these characteristics biomimetics is often of application.
Different applications are thought for these drones. One of them is the study of the plant health in Dutch green houses. The drones would be able to fly over them and communicate whether these plants needs a special care. A further step that could be imagined is the pollination of flowers. A second application thought is for the storage inventory. These small scale drones could fly over in the storehouse without the risk of hurting anyone and execute more interesting tasks than a fixed camera.
Expected release date: 2022
Figure 1 – Prototype of the pocket drone that holds in the palm of your hand
Solar-powered bidirectional electric vehicle charging station
Electric vehicles gained some importance these last years. These are often labelled as green. However this depends on the source of the electricity production. EV’s charged from PV panels can be a solution to reach a status of “green vehicle”.
At the University of Delft of group engineers developed a bidirectional charger so that you can use your battery car to store energy and retrieve energy from the battery to power up your house. They are already at an advanced development stage and they expect to have a full market production by the end of the year.
3D-printed soft robots
Soft materials in robotics enable to have an improved human robot interaction. These materials can nowadays often be produced with 3D printers.
The innovation here is that form and function are combined: actuators and sensors can be printed by additive technology and their behavior can be customized by their form and material distribution. Application can be numerous such as the complementary help for elderly people, army applications or for physical re-education programs.
The biggest challenge for release is the design of the grippers to reach the desired behavior. Industrial applications are expected in a couple of years.