Magazine topics NEULAND 2021

Tech Leap: 6G-mobile network in the wings

Not only the development of smartphones is in the fast lane, but also mobile networks are constantly improving: While the 5G network is still in the process of large-scale deployment in Germany, researchers at KIT have succeeded in developing a low-cost terahertz receiver for the sixth generation of mobile communications. With a data transmission rate of up to 115 gigabits per second, this receiver achieves top values in research. The "Open6GHub" project has been established for the development of a secure, fast, and cost-effective 6G technology. Here, KIT is conducting research together with 16 other partners on the implementation and development of future-oriented, AI-supported communication networks. Field studies are carried out in agriculture and rural areas, among others.

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How to: Intelligent production

The Karlsruhe Research Factory is a development site for "Intelligent Production". Here, real processes, supported by methods of digitalization and artificial intelligence, are tested and developed under practical conditions. The aim is to produce high-quality products in the early phase despite manufacturing processes that have not been fully verified. This new interface is intended to guarantee time-to-market, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as a more diverse production range. The interdisciplinary cooperation between the wbk - Institute for Production Technology of KIT and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Chemical Technology (ICT) and Optronics, System Technologies, and Image Exploitation (IOSB) creates a good basis for the successful progress of the research factory. This cooperation is supplemented by funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing, and the European Regional Development Fund. Cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises in Baden-Württemberg is also intended to further expand the advantages in global competition.

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Smart East - The pioneering district in Karlsruhe

Launched at the beginning of 2021, the project "Transforming Smart into a smart, climate-friendly neighborhood with the help of digitization concepts. To this end, the neighborhood will be equipped with information and communication technologies and cross-neighborhood energy management to enable effective solutions for consumers and energy producers. To fulfill this promise, for example, fluctuations in the supply and demand of renewable energy sources will be regulated with the help of smart grids. Thanks to its innovative design, Smart East is to become a model for future neighborhoods and help potential users establish the new models. Collaborative partners in this three-year project are the Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI), Stadtwerke Karlsruhe GmbH, KIT, and the IT company Seven2one Informationssysteme GmbH.

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Goodbye language barriers

"The Dream of a World Without Language Barriers. Realized." With this slogan, the spin-off company kites GmbH promotes its product portfolio for real-time machine language translation. Founded in 2015 by KIT computer scientists, the company was acquired by the software company Zoom Video Communications in 2021. In the future, kites researchers will support Zoom's engineering team in its development. The goal of the cooperation is to provide solutions of multilingual translation capabilities and to integrate them into Zoom meetings for barrier-free communication.

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Fire prevention: Fire protection for lithium-ion batteries

influences or production defects. Explosions and the emission of toxic fumes are the result. Injuries can occur when detonated in public places. Together with Planex GmbH, a manufacturer of technical textiles, the Engler-Bunte Institute at KIT has developed a mobile textile fire protection system that will contain this danger in the future. For small appliances, the concept provides for a fire protection bag that also protects against the escape of toxic smoke gases. For electric vehicles, a special protective blanket is to be used for containment, which will be pulled over burning vehicles to prevent major damage in hard-to-reach places such as parking garages.

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Fast charging systems for e-bikes

The Electrotechnical Institute (ETI) of KIT and the industrial partner Coboc GmbH & Co. KG cooperate in the development of an e-bike fast charging system. In order to reduce the charging time from currently about two to four hours to less than one hour and to minimize aging effects in the meantime, special charging algorithms are to be used in the fast charging system. The charging system has a comparatively strong charging current of up to ten amps, which means that the battery can be charged at a normal 230-volt socket. The batteries will be equipped with a management system that monitors the "State of Charge" and the "State of Health" of the battery via the Coboc Cloud for analysis.

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Machine learning to boost productivity

"Machine learning systems" are not only firmly integrated into our everyday lives these days, they are also proving to be reliable helpers in the business sector, especially in real business scenarios. Put simply, machine learning means training technical devices to use existing data in the form of computational models. In order to further disseminate the value of this computer-based intelligence, the Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV) has developed a German-language "Massive Open Online Course" (MOOC) on the topic of "Applied Machine Learning Algorithms" in cooperation with the Center for Media Learning (ZML) at KIT. The goal of the course is to impart knowledge of machine learning on the basis of concrete applications in order to identify problems independently and to develop approaches that can be solved with learning systems.

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The use of biocatalysts is increasingly regarded as a key technology for the development of a more sustainable and future-oriented chemistry. The KIT spin-off Catavis has set itself the task of making biocatalysts more accessible for industrial processes and making their application more efficient and cost-effective. With the help of CataGel technology, the Catavis team is developing innovative, catalytic biomaterials. The technology for immobilizing enzymes without carriers transforms free enzymes into a gel-like, catalytically active material - said CataGel. The technology unlocks the full potential of enzymes for reliable and efficient use in chemical synthesis and is compatible with a wide range of enzyme families. This makes it applicable in both research and production processes. The biomaterials developed using CataGel are characterized above all by improved stability combined with enhanced performance, thus enabling the cost-effective production of value-added chemicals.

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