Ambient Assisted Living
Research into Ambient Assisted Living aims primarily to enable the elderly to lead independent lives in their own homes, and to assist people with special needs. Solutions are based on intelligent environments that adapt autonomously, proactively and context-sensitively to the users’ needs and the tasks they wish to perform, helping them to carry out the necessary actions.
The Fraunhofer Network »Ambient Assisted Living« was set up by a group of six Fraunhofer Institutes to market complete solutions in this area. The solutions offered include a variety of functions to improve the user’s comfort at home and work, or to facilitate social care at home and in nursing homes, and the provision of mobile services.
Another focus is that of rehabilitation, preventive healthcare, and solutions to preserve the independence of persons requiring medical care, daily assistance, or help to overcome physical disabilities.
The Network pursues an approach based on a common system platform which permits seamless integration of diverse solutions and accommodates the evolution of ambient intelligence (AmI) technologies such as communications, power supplies, sensors and actuators. This approach results in smart products that are mutually compatible, suitable for mobile applications, and can be integrated in other types of network on an ad-hoc basis.
Complex technological products generally contain embedded systems: computers that monitor, regulate and control various functions. Embedded systems are very much at the heart of high-tech devices in the automotive industry, in mechanical and plant engineering, in medical technology or in home electronics.
The complexity and capabilities of these systems have grown to such an extent in the course of their technological development that they are now beyond the competencies of any one field. In response, Fraunhofer has created the Embedded Systems Alliance, bringing together the expertise of those Fraunhofer Institutes whose combined competencies in the fields of information technology, electronics and engineering cover the entire spectrum of embedded systems.
Numerical Simulation of Products, Processes
In the Fraunhofer Alliance for Numerical Simulation of Products and Processes, twenty institutes pool their expertise in the development and improvement of simulation techniques.
The simulation of products and processes today plays a decisive role in all phases of the product life cycle, from model-based materials development and simulation of manufacturing processes to operating characteristics and product placement on the market.
The object of the alliance is to address institute-overarching issues and to represent the interests of the member institutes as a central point of contact for public-sector and industrial customers. In particular, the pooling of expertise from the I&C sector with materials and components know-how as well as with surface technology and production engineering promises to yield innovative results.