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9D Sense research project: Developing new applications in the fields of pedestrian navigation and orthopedics technology Energy-autonomous, multi-sensor systems

  • The goal is to develop a compact, cost-efficient, and autonomous multi-sensor system
  • The system will offer precise determination of position and orientation
  • 11 project partners from 4 countries
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  • April 05, 2013
  • Research
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press release

Stuttgart – Micro-electromechanical sensors (MEMS) are becoming increasingly common in everyday applications, enabling us to use electronic devices in significantly smarter, simpler, and more versatile ways. Numerous new applications for smart sensor systems are emerging in the fields of consumer electronics, medical devices, and security technology. These are typically characterized by increasingly challenging requirements regarding cost, size, quality, and energy efficiency. The “9D Sense” collaborative project, which is funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by Robert Bosch GmbH, aims to address this challenge by developing a compact, cost-efficient, and autonomous multi-sensor system.

The new multi-sensor system will combine a three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, and three-axis magnetometer to offer nine degrees of freedom. It will also include a power supply unit with a thin-film battery and an energy harvester, along with a secure wireless data transmitter. The system will be capable of precisely determining its position and orientation by evaluating the Earth's magnetic field and movement patterns. This method is necessary in situations where no GPS or Galileo signal is available for absolute positioning, for example inside buildings.

Eleven partners from four countries working together
The 9D Sense project involves the collaboration of eleven partners from four countries. Four of these partners – Robert Bosch GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT, the Institute of Micro and Information Technology of the Hahn-Schickard Society, and the Austrian company austriamicrosystems AG – are developing technologies for the sensor system. As part of its work on the power supply aspects, Robert Bosch GmbH is working on a thin-film battery in collaboration with Darmstadt University of Technology, the University of Helsinki in Finland, and the French company Air Liquide. Micropelt and the Institute of Micro and Information Technology of the Hahn-Schickard Society are carrying out research into a suitable power supply unit geared towards a special demonstrator. In their role as end users, Gemalto (France), Otto Bock Healthcare, and Bosch Sensortec GmbH are all contributing demonstrators focused on the fields of security technology, medical devices, and navigation.

Project due to run until November 2014
The project, which is scheduled for completion in November 2014, has received some six million euros of funding from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the IKT 2020 research program. By promoting research into an innovative, autonomous sensor system and its uses in medical, navigation, and security applications, the BMBF is helping to reinforce and expand German technology companies' leading position in Europe in the field of information and communication technologies.

Background to MEMS technology
Bosch has been at the forefront of MEMS technology since it first emerged. Its product portfolio comprises pressure sensors, acceleration sensors, yaw-rate sensors, and inertial sensors for a variety of automotive and consumer electronics applications. More information on Bosch sensors for automotive applications is available online at www.bosch-sensors.com.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI7837 - April 05, 2013

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