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HANNOVER MESSE 2018, 23 - 27 April
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Industrie 4.0

Cobots, Grippers, and Glasses: Highlights from HANNOVER MESSE 2017

Highly efficient energy systems, new solutions for Industry 4.0, clever cobots: this year's HANNOVER MESSE certainly isn't short of highlights.

24 Apr. 2017
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Almost 90% of our thermal energy comes from fossil fuels. However, waste heat from biogas plants could hold the key to more environmentally friendly production. GP Joule (Hall 27, Stand L67) is working on a large-scale project to make this surplus heat reusable. The company is planning a heating network to share the optimal amount of waste heat among rural households. It doesn't get much more energy efficient than that.

A Cool Solution for Energy Production

Clothing and accessories that produce energy? Sounds too good to be true. Yet the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) (Hall 2, Stand B16) have made it a reality. At HANNOVER MESSE, the company is showing off a pair of sunglasses that double up as solar panels.

They're made out of organic solar cells that are flexible in shape, color, and transparency. This makes them versatile; they can be used in glass facades as well as shades.

Smart Maintenance and Production

Symmedia 's (Hall 16, Stand A10) glasses are intelligent in another way: the smart specs support maintenance. Workers record live video images of faulty machines and transmit them directly to the technician, who provides remote assistance. The worker sees the steps he or she must carry out on the glasses' smart display.

FESTO (Hall 15, Stand D11) has brought a number of innovative, nature-inspired robots to HANNOVER MESSE. Its BionicCobot is based on a human arm, functions according to the agonist–antagonist principle, and is remarkably deft.

The OctopusGripper is another FESTO innovation with its roots in nature. This lightweight robot possesses suction cups and a soft silicone structure that can be controlled pneumatically. It provides its human colleagues with safe assistance in challenging tasks.

Robots for Everyone

Robots are far too expensive and difficult to program for the average person. But if FRANK EMIKA (Hall 17, Stand E17) has anything to do with it, this could be about to change. At HANNOVER MESSE, the Munich-based company is presenting a cobot that is impressively cheap to manufacture and easy to operate. All those who dream of owning their own robot could soon see their wishes come true.

Industry 4.0 and Its Ancestors

Bosch (Hall 7, Stand C26) is creating a link between its history and future. The company has brought along a lathe that dates back to 1887 – and equipped it with sensors to make it fit for the digital age. The machine data appears live on a display screen. This example proves that with a little modification, even antique machines and tools have a place in the industrial future.

Schunk 's (Hall 17, Stand B26) Co-Act Gripper JL1 provides an insight into how robots and people will work side by side in the future. It recognizes when a human colleague is approaching and reacts according to the situation. This promises not only to optimize robot–human collaboration, but also to prevent accidents on the factory floor. Schunk received the 2017 Hermes Award for this innovation.

Experience the Highlights of Hannover Messe

These and other innovations will be on display at HANNOVER MESSE until Friday, 28 April. Leading trade fairs offer an overview of specific areas of interest, such as Industrial Automation and Integrated Energy .

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