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Confidently into the Future with Reliable Technology

Technical devices, machinery and plants are increasingly being filled with computer technology. Where levers were once engaged, processors hidden inside devices now activate desired functions.

Newer and newer models with more and more sophisticated technology are entering the market. Yet, these lovely new devices often just don't function as reliably as they ought to.

Germany is a recognized center of technology. German cars are top worldwide. We are the world's market leader in eighteen of thirty-eight technical branches of machinery and plant manufacturing. If this is to remain so, technical products must be one hundred percent safe and reliable.

So that complicated software functions correctly, researchers from Magdeburg and Kaiserslautern are jointly working on concepts intended to help manufacturers perfect their products. There is tremendous need for research especially for developments in motor vehicle, medical, power and material handling engineering. The researchers intend to take advantage of virtual reality.

Things that are normally invisible shall take on form in cyberspace where software integrated in machinery and devices precisely demonstrates how it performs. Moreover, the vividness of virtual reality helps it eliminate reservations against modern technology. Findings directly enter into the development process and make DVD recorders, cars or entire power stations safer and more reliable. Ultimately, machinery and plants should function faultlessly all the time.

"Virtual reality is perfectly suited for this and will be instrumental in bringing us closer to this goal. Our Virtual Development and Training Centre VDTC in Magdeburg has made us a nationwide leader in this field," says Prof. Michael Schenk, Director of Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg. Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director of the Fraunhofer IESE adds, "This is an extensive topic of research. Ultimately, technology ought to make people's lives easier. Since this is not always the case, we have to address these issues, in particular whenever we fully rely on machinery and devices and often even trust them with our lives, for instance in traffic on the road or in the hospital."

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the project with 9.2 million euros as part of its initiative Advanced Research and Innovation in the New States. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern are involved.

Anna-Kristina Wassilew | idw
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