EU-funded researchers and industrialists are developing monitoring tools for the production line that can prevent and correct defects faster. This innovation will reduce costs, downtime and wastage, and lead to better, safer products.
The promise of 3D printing has many of us spellbound, and indeed the ability to conjure up objects on demand could completely change our lives. In homes, offices and workshops around the world, this revolution is only just beginning – mainly with equipment designed for small-scale production at a leisurely pace.
Just think what could be achieved with fast, high-precision printers built for large-scale manufacturing, such as those developed by the EU-funded PHOCAM project.
Maintenance and repair work in the aeronautics and construction industries can be both time-consuming and dangerous, which is why an EU project is developing robots that are a cost-effective way to get the job done without exposing workers to potential harm.
What's harder: heating your home in winter or keeping it cool in summer? In Europe's sunnier parts, stopping buildings from soaking up the rays is usually the bigger challenge. Traditional architecture in these areas has come up with a number of ways of coping with the heat, and research and development are taking this skill to the next level.
The EU-funded COOL-Coverings project, for example, has applied cutting-edge technology to create innovative tiles, paints and membranes.
A major challenge facing the European manufacturing sector is how to reduce shaking and vibration in production lines so consumers get better quality end-products. But it is complex and costly to adapt operations already in place.
An EU-funded project has developed a smart “plug-and-produce” solution for industry to transform existing machinery into more accurate tools for today’s modern production lines
Francesco Lollini is 19 years old and just finished high school. He collaborates with the research team from Bologna that runs the TOBI project (TOols for Brain computer Interaction). With the input of potential users such as Francesco, this project aims to develop practical technology for brain-computer interaction (BCI) that will improve the quality of life of disabled people and the effectiveness of rehabilitation.
Millions of Europeans undergo abdominal surgery each year to treat a range of different disorders, from cancer and heart disease to obesity. EU-funded researchers are developing innovative micro-robotics and micro-system technologies to make such surgeries less complicated, invasive and costly.
Surgical procedures have improved rapidly in recent years aided by technology that is gradually making the surgeon's scalpel a thing of the past - increasingly replaced by robotics, miniature devices and innovative procedures that have fewer health risks, speed patient recovery and leave less scarring. But there is always room for further improvement.
Remember high school physics class? Trawling through text books, grappling with complex theories and little, if any, hands-on experimentation. Many students across Europe could be forgiven for describing physics as a boring subject. But that is now set to change thanks to an EU-funded project that is bringing 'inquiry-based learning' (IBL) to the physics classroom.
The "Human Brain Project" will create the world's largest experimental facility for developing the most detailed model of the brain, for studying how the human brain works and ultimately to develop personalised treatment of neurological and related diseases. This research lays the scientific and technical foundations for medical progress that has the potential to will dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of Europeans.
You might think that such a new 'wonder material' would lie outside your everyday experience, but graphene is the exception. When you write or draw with a pencil, the graphite (the 'lead' of the pencil) slides off in thin layers to leave a trail - the line on the paper. Carbon's ability to form a thin layer of molecules is what makes graphene special - and scientists are starting to explore the possibilities for electronics and computing of carbon grids that are just one molecule thick.