The Living Habitat (2021 - 2024)
mAInZaun (2021 - 2024)
The project mAInZaun (https://www.intelligenter-herdenschutz.de) is developing a new type of fences to protect farm animals like sheep and horses from predators like wolfs. In contrast to classical protection solution, the protection will not be implemented in building tall, strong and expensive classical fences. Instead, cameras, artificial intelligence and advanced deterring technologies are used to reduce the attacks on the farm animals ideally to zero.
The system basically consists of two parts: The sensing part uses cameras and additional sensors to detect an intruder. Artificial intelligence evaluates the data and calculates the risk of a possible attack. In case of an attack, the persons or institutions in charge are notified. Additionally, the second part of the system gets active: Special devices are build to deter the predators using several technologies and approaches. These technologies focus on the main senses of the predators, i.e. sound, light and tactile, to chase them away from the farm animals.
The challenges in the mAInZaun project are manifold. First of all, the system is focussed on mobile fences. Therefore, all components have to be light and easy to transport. They should also be as self-sustaining as possible with a long battery lifetime and not depend on an external power supply. This holds for both, i.e. the sensor and the actor elements.
The second challenge is the reliable detection of intruders and at the same time a low number of false alarms. On one hand, wolves should be detected at all possible light and weather conditions. On the other one, the repellent actions should not be triggered by a normal dog and its owner. Thirdly, the system has to communicate between the devices and also to a central point for status updates and alarm messages. Depending on the area, classical cellular connection cannot be guaranteed.
Our department of sustainable communication networks is responsible for developing, building and optimising the above mentioned devices. Together with the department of Animal Husbandry, Behaviour and Welfare from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen and the fence maker RoFlexs, the developed system is evaluated and tested.
mAInZaun is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
NAVEL (2020 - 2022)
Any country requires home grown solutions to solve problems faced by different stake holders of the society of those countries. One such area is in finding solutions to problems in ensuring the safety of food during transporting. The ideas and easy-to-use technology that is associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) enable developing cost-effective solutions to many such problems. NAVEL is a project funded by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to build a Logistics Innovation Centre in Cameroon. The aim of the project is to build a "Fab Lab" with computing hardware and the know-how, available to entrepreneurs to try out new ideas and technological solutions required in their businesses.
To demonstrate the possibilities of the Fab Lab, we have developed a meat and milk monitoring device to be used in transportation, using the computing hardware available in the Fab Lab. The picture shows the prototype developed. For more information about the prototype and other material, see the link at <https://github.com/ComNets-Bremen/NAVEL.git>.
ESA WHISKIES (2020 - 2023)
WHISKIES - Wound Healing In Space: Key challenges towards Intelligent and Enabling Sensing platforms - is a project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The project focuses on the monitoring of human wound healing in remote locations such as future manned space habitats e.g. on Mars. Since medical treatment is restricted at such location, great care has to be taken that a wound heals properly in order to avoid e.g. infections. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the details of the wound healing process and the effect on vital parameters such as the body temperature. Furthermore, sensors needed to be developed which measure the vital parameters. With this knowledge at hand, a monitoring system then needs to be designed which is worn by the injured person. The system continously observes the body parameters and gives an alarm if they deviate from the expected values, e.g. in case of an upcoming wound infection. For logging purposes, the measurements and inferences the monitoring system takes should be sent to a server by the wireless on-board network of the space habitat.
WHISKIES is an interdiscipinary project with the participation of a number of research departments and specialized companies across Europe. ComNets Bremen contributes to the project by designing the wearable monitoring hardware and the wireless communication. A major challenge for the design of wearable devices that they should disturb the user as little as possible. Therefore, they need to be easy to wear, so the device should be small and not be a rigid box, but be designed as a mechanically flexible unit. Furthermore, in order to avoid large batteries or frequent battery changes, minimum power consumption is another design goal. An attractive option to reduce battery consumption or even fully avoid the need for a battery is energy harvesting, i.e. generating electric power using energy available in the environment such as body heat. Since the output of such energy harvesting devices is small, i.e. below the power intake of the microcontroller and wireless communication circuit, the full circuit should not run continuously. Instead, it has to sleep most of the time so that the power generated by the harvesting device can be buffered. Once the main circuit runs, the required power is then provided by the buffer.