Information and communication technology (ICT) is the key to future success in many industries such as logistics, engineering, automotive, medical technology, or aerospace. In these areas, communication systems increasingly need to be “adaptive” – they must be able to cope with many different forms of data transmission. Only if they can always guarantee the same high quality, regardless of time and location, they are capable of the efficiency and flexibility that are required for the “Internet of Things” and “Industry 4.0”.
The TZI research area Adaptive Communication conducts world-class research at the intersection of Industry 4.0 and 5G mobile technology. It brings together the fields of electrical engineering, information technology, and informatics in interdisciplinary research and development, often in cooperation with major international industrial partners, but also with SMEs. For example, the EU project “Fantastic 5G” strengthens the communication between machines or between individual components of a system. Within the scope of the project “TACNET 4.0”, TZI researchers develop machine learning methods and procedures for information processing in communication networks.
Multiple application areas
Sensors and sensor networks are one major research focus in this area. The results are used in various industries, including clinical diagnostics. In the fields of manufacturing and logistics, TZI scientists develop wireless communication systems that can be used safely in unfavorable environments, e.g. for the steering of machinery in factory halls. A major challenge in this research concerns “massive communication”: A growing amount of data is generated in shorter and shorter timespans, and it needs to be processed immediately.
Even though machines will communicate directly with one another more often in the future, humans will – on the whole – be integrated more in the processes as well. This will, for example, be facilitated by tactile technologies – humans use a machine to feel, which allows them to operate delicate machinery very precisely from afar. These applications, too, require new technologies that are being developed in the research area Adaptive Communication.