New Bosch smart-home system allows things such as heating and lighting to be controlled using just one app
Focus on data protection and data security
Stefan Hartung: “An important strategic step toward pooling and expanding our range of solutions for the smart home.”
Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch is strengthening its business in solutions for the smart home. From January 1, 2016 the newly founded subsidiary Robert Bosch Smart Home GmbH will bring together the company’s smart-home activities, including related software and sensor-system expertise. In the future, the new company will offer many products and services for connected homes from a single source: for example a new solution that can report break-ins and help control the heating to save energy. From January 2016, customers will be able to order the first Bosch products in this field online. These include the Bosch smart home controller, a smart thermostat, and a contact for doors or windows. The premiere will take place at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES, January 6-9, 2016) in Las Vegas. Bosch’s smart-home solutions are aimed at a giant market: according to market experts, by 2020 alone some 230 million homes worldwide – almost 15 percent of all households – will feature smart-home technologies.
Major business potential “Setting up the Bosch smart-home subsidiary is an important strategic step toward pooling and expanding on our range of solutions for the smart home. Smart homes facilitate new services that make their occupants’ lives easier, and they offer major business potential,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, the member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector.
“The Bosch smart-home system is easy to install and operate: one system, one app, one user experience. Our solutions relieve users of tiresome routine tasks while offering them more convenience and safety,” adds Dr. Peter Schnäbele, the future managing director of the Stuttgart-based Robert Bosch Smart Home GmbH.
Data protection and data security given top priority Bosch smart-home solutions meet the highest standards of data protection and data security. These standards are taken into account right from the start of the product development process. To this end, Bosch has also set up a center of competence for product security. Customers and users have full transparency and decide for themselves how their data are used.
New services and an app make life easier Bosch smart-home system solutions mean that a single platform is sufficient to interconnect the heating, lighting, smoke alarms, and appliances in a home. All these can then be operated simply using a smartphone or tablet. The core of the system is the Bosch smart-home controller, a central control unit that connects the components with each other and to the internet. In the future, users will be able to use the Bosch smart-home app to combine the basic functions of unrelated devices. For example, the door and window contact solution reports whether a window is open. When this happens, the system can automatically turn down the heating in the relevant room, in line with the user’s preference settings. What is more, users can check their smartphone anytime, anywhere to see whether doors and windows are open or closed. In future versions of the door and window contact solution, the system will sound the alarm if a window or door is broken open when the occupant is absent – meaning there will no longer be any need for a separate alarm system.
Compatible with other manufacturers’ devices When it comes to connectivity, Bosch believes open standards and open platforms will make the technology as user-friendly as possible. For this reason, the Bosch smart-home system is modular and expandable, and it is easy to connect compatible devices made by other manufacturers to it.
Simply.Connected. Visit Bosch at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, NV, USA:
Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 8 to 8:45 a.m. local time: press conference with Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, at Mandalay Bay Hotel, South Convention Center, Level 3, Banyan Rooms A-D.
Wednesday, January 6 through Saturday, January 9, 2016: Bosch booths showcasing solutions for smart homes, smart cities, and Industry 4.0 at the Smart Home Marketplace, Sands Expo Center, #71517, and showcasing connected mobility at North Hall, #2302.
Follow the Bosch CES 2016 highlights on Twitter: #BoschCES
Contact person for press inquiries: Christian Hoenicke, phone +49 711 811-6285
Schools should be supported with better technical equipment
Sensors enable valuable analysis of production data
Hundreds of millions of euros can be saved annually
Stuttgart/Berlin – Many German companies are not yet able to fully tap into the potential of Industry 4.0. The reason? There are thousands of jobs for experts in connected manufacturing, but not enough qualified people to do them. “We are in urgent need of specialists who are not only familiar with products and production lines but are also able to analyze huge quantities of data,” said Dr. Werner Struth, member of the Bosch board of management. Looking ahead to the upcoming National IT Summit in Berlin, he added that Industry 4.0 “requires experts who can look beyond the borders of their area of expertise.” Struth's responsibilities at Bosch include coordinating manufacturing at the company's more than 250 plants worldwide. One of the exhibits at the IT Summit will be an online map highlighting 100 examples of Industry 4.0 in Germany. Of these, 15 are Bosch projects. “They illustrate how Industry 4.0 improves efficiency and competitiveness,” said Struth. He also hailed the arrival of the current reference architecture model for Industry 4.0, as it provides a common footing for Germany to benefit from the potential of connected manufacturing. As he put it, “This is the basis upon which connected companies will become connected industry.”
Study: demand for experts still rising However, some areas still lack skilled workers. A study conducted by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) suggests that this is a major hurdle to developing new information and automation technology. Viewing the sector as a whole, the study calculates that more than 4,000 jobs need to be filled. And demand is predicted to continue rising considerably through 2018.
Education offensive for the connected world A broad-based education offensive aimed at children could help in overcoming this challenge, said Struth. “We have to lay the groundwork for confidently navigating the digital world at a young age. Young people have to be capable of doing more than just using the apps on their smartphones. They should also know a programming language, because that's the only tool that will allow them to make their ideas reality.”
“Connectivity is a universal trend” To be able to teach these fundamental skills, schools and teachers need to be equipped with the necessary know-how and the right technical infrastructure. This would also help raise general awareness of the importance of data protection, added Struth. “Clear rules for data protection and for handling production information are essential if companies are to work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust.”
Changes to education are needed at the university level as well, Struth said. “Students should be in a position to network and share their knowledge with each other. There's no need for everyone to be an expert in a given subject. Most of the time, it's enough to be able to clearly formulate and communicate the requirements to an expert. This means engineers need to be increasingly IT savvy – so that they can, for example, get the most out of evaluating the data streams that sensors send from production lines,” he added.
15 Bosch projects on Germany's online Industry 4.0 map When it comes to Industry 4.0, Bosch is both a leading provider and leading exponent. The company has already made connected manufacturing a reality in many different ways. Of the 100 applications of Industry 4.0 in Germany on the online map, which will be presented at the summit, 15 of them are at Bosch locations. One of these is the plant in Nuremberg, where automatic transport robots streamline the plant's material flow thanks to their collective, connected intelligence. Another is the Homburg plant: on the connected production line there, Bosch manufactures 200 different hydraulic valves out of some 2,000 components – an excellent example of efficient production for batch sizes of one.
Saving hundreds of millions of euros Looking at Bosch's more than 250 plants worldwide, Struth expects Industry 4.0 to save the company hundreds of millions of euros annually in the years leading up to 2020. “Every bit of time and money we save strengthens the competitiveness, and thus the appeal, of the products we manufacture.”
Common understanding of standards The summit in Berlin will be looking at several issues, including cross-sector solutions in the area of Industry 4.0. To make these solutions possible, the “Industrie 4.0” alliance has introduced a comprehensive concept, the reference architecture model for Industry 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). This model charts the gradual shift from today's manufacturing to Industry 4.0 and promotes a common understanding of standards. Bosch was heavily involved in drawing up the reference architecture. “RAMI 4.0 provides a good deal of guidance as we seek to precisely define what Industry 4.0 is and how to develop it further. It helps us identify overlaps and gaps in the standards we need for this effort so we can rectify those problems,” said Struth. He emphasized that Germany was well on its way to benefiting from the opportunities offered by connected industry.
Contact person for press inquiries: Thilo Resenhoeft, phone: +49 711 811-7088
About the “Industrie 4.0” platform According to its founders, the “Industrie 4.0” platform is the leading alliance for guiding the digital structural transformation of industry in Germany. It unites all entities that are shaping Industry 4.0 and pools the strengths and knowledge of a wide range of players – from companies, associations, unions and the worlds of industry and politics. The platform is managed and led by Sigmar Gabriel, the German federal minister for economic affairs and energy, and Dr. Johanna Wanka, German federal minister for education and research, and includes high-ranking representatives from business, academia, and trade unions.
About the National IT Summit The National IT Summit brings together players from the areas of politics, business, academia, and society to help shape the digital transformation in Germany. Their efforts are based on the federal government's Digital Agenda. The idea is to make full use of the opportunities offered by digitalization in business and society.
Agricultural robot gets rid of weeds automatically and without herbicides
Sensors and an app improve asparagus yield
Market launch of the Bosch startup Deepfield Robotics
Stuttgart, Germany – Dual premiere at Agritechnica, the world's largest agricultural technology trade fair in Hannover: the Bosch startup Deepfield Robotics is presenting connected sensors for improved asparagus yields, as well as its Bonirob agricultural robot (hall 9, booth F02). Both innovations are designed to improve agricultural quality and yield. To achieve this, Bosch has combined its expertise in sensor technology, automated navigation, algorithms, and image-recognition software. The advances in plant breeding made possible by these Bosch solutions will play an important part in helping to feed the constantly growing global population. Agricultural yields need to increase by roughly 3 percent a year to keep up with population growth.
The Bonirob agricultural robot By automatically analyzing plants, the flexible Bonirob agricultural robot can also contribute to this progress. The robot is the same size as a compact car. It uses video- and laser-based positioning as well as satellite navigation to find its way around the fields. It knows its position to the nearest centimeter. With the help of cameras and computer-based image analysis, it recognizes and classifies plants. The is especially useful for plant breeders, who have to painstakingly analyze thousands of plants for plant size and color, fruit size and form, and insect damage. Based on these findings, they then decide which plant strains are worth pursuing further. The Bonirob is named after this plant appraisal process, which is known in German as Bonitur. “This automatic screening saves a lot of time and effort,” says Professor Amos Albert, the director of Deepfield Robotics.
Weed control with minimum environmental impact However, Bonirob does not only speed up the plant-breeding process. On the basis of leaf shape, it can distinguish between crops and weeds. With the help of a precisely controlled rod, it gets rid of weeds mechanically, rather than with weed killer. Undesired plants are swiftly rammed into the ground. At the 2015 European Robotics Forum in Vienna this spring, Bonirob was singled out for a 2015 euRobotics Technology Transfer Award. The judges praised the idea of equipping the robot with modules for different tasks. Such modules, or “apps,” are available for tasks such as measuring soil density, mechanical weed removal, and plant breeding. In September, the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt presented the agricultural robot with the Deutscher Innovationspreis Gartenbau, a national award for innovation in horticulture.
Connected asparagus sensor In Hannover, the Bosch startup is also presenting a radio sensor for better asparagus yields. Under the name “Deepfield Connect – Asparagus Monitoring,” the sensor measures the temperature in the beds where the vegetable is grown and transmits it to farmers' smartphones. Farmers can use this data to track the temperature changes of their crops in detail and optimize the growing conditions. In September, the Agritechnica innovation committee awarded this solution its silver medal. In explaining its decision, it stated that the wireless sensor increases the share of marketable produce and therefore boosts farmers' incomes. The system also saves time and money, as farmers need to visit their fields less frequently.
Sensors help set the optimum temperature Asparagus grows especially well between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. One way farmers maintain this temperature is by covering the mounds with strips of two-sided foil: one side is black, the other white. To heat the mounds using sunlight, the foil is laid with the black side facing up. To cool them when it gets too warm, the foil is laid with the white side facing up. The Bosch solution consists of several sensors embedded at various depths in the ground to measure the temperature. Cables send the temperature readings to a small box, which transmits the data via radio to a cloud that is based on the Bosch IoT Suite. From there the data is routed to an app on the farmer's smartphone. The Bosch IoT Suite is a comprehensive software solution that can be used to develop, provide, and operate applications in the internet of things.
Other Bosch innovations At Agritechnica, Bosch Rexroth is presenting many innovations related to hydraulics, electronics, electrics, and software. They include a flexible mobile hydraulics valve platform for tractors. One of the highlights of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division's exhibition is the Bosch Surround View System, which gives the tractor driver a bird's eye view of the vehicle's surroundings and serves as an aid when maneuvering. A hybrid system for the off-highway segment is also on display (hall 17, booth G08).
Agritechnica trade fair In Hannover from November 10 to 14, the Agritechnica trade fair is presenting the future of agricultural technology. At the world's largest trade fair of its kind, exhibitors from some 50 countries are presenting innovations for professional crop production.