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More and more machines are being controlled and operated via mobile devices. However, since conventional consumer devices do not meet the safety requirements of the DIN EN ISO 13849 standard, special industrial tablets, equipped with release and confirmation buttons and emergency switches, for example, are used. So far, it has been possible to use consumer models only for exchanging data.

The research project ‘Making smart devices functionally safe’ (SDeFS) now wants to change this. The devices are to be equipped with additional security functions in a case that can be simply slipped over consumer smartphones and tablets. This could allow machines to be operated via relatively inexpensive standard devices in the future, while at the same time enabling companies to provide their employees with technical apps. The project is based at the Faculty of Process Engineering, Energy and Mechanical Systems at the Technical University of Cologne and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with €167,000. It is based on a concept developed by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) and brehmermechatronics , a company which is collaborating on the project together with the Technical University of Cologne.