A colleague at EFS, learnt from his Father-In-Law a beekeeper by profession, about the Varroa Mite being the main reason of bee colony collapse. These mites were introduced to Europe from their indigenous environments and do not have any natural enemies here. The European bees are incapable of fighting these mites and that is why these parasites multiply here exponentially. The bees however, are capable of surviving in extreme temperatures, whereas a Varrao Mite dies above a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius. EFS plans to help the beekeepers solve this problem, using its engineering perspective.
EFS occupies itself typically with safety-critical software used to secure critical situations and with the integration of autonomous controlled systems. This knowledge can also be used for the Mite problem and enables us to find an elegant technical solution. EFS has amassed expertise over several important components, in order to bring newly developed technologies like a safety-critical software onto a car. This project requires just a simple yet efficient technology to be implemented for a beehive.
We plan to use the increase of temperature in the form of a Bee-Sauna. In the circle of experts, the process is called “Hyperthermia”. For the implementation of this Bee-Sauna, we need knowledge from all the different fields like Software Development for Control Systems, Data Analysis, Data Management and also, Security components.
In the year 2014, EFS started a cooperation project with Audi and Volkswagen, to develop a modular platform model set for innovative E-Bikes with never before seen features, which would be common to everyone under the VW-Group. Besides implementing a number of unique features, the focus lied in the transfer of our well established competence in modern car development to the branch of E-Bikes development and to create a completely new driving and safety experience. Another important aspect of this project was to generate interest in the public and introducing them to this new and alternative concept of mobility with the help of comprehensively designed simulators.
In this project, EFS was responsible for the concept, architecture and development of a comprehensive electrical and electronic network for a bicycle system, including their respective software building blocks. Together with a team of 26 partners, we determined the construction and network parameters of individual components, sensors/actuators and ECU’s and also built a prototype, with all these components on an electrical wire harness.
In order to get a realistic picture of the realization and perspective aspects of such a bicycle building system, the development of the prototype was performed as close as possible to the series development of such bikes. Thanks to EFS’s years of experience in the field of automotive hardware and software development ranging from pre-development to series production, and in accordance with the standards of the automotive industry, we were able to design and develop an ECU for the bike, within a very short period of time.
The usage of multicore processors, production OS and AUTOSAR conform SW development led to a solid fundamental for this product, which also helped in the realization of never before seen safety related key features, besides the connectivity services like display and smartphone connectivity. In addition to this, with the help of our cooperation partners in the already established branch of automatic gear mechanism in the automobile Industry, where gear changing strategies can be tuned with the help of certain parameters, a customized dynamic shock absorber control and world’s first bicycle-ABS for target domains was developed. Both these systems were integrated in the system by EFS. The safety and stability of the system could be increased multifold, by detecting the blocking of front and rear tires which helped in the detection of a threatening increase in the Rollover and its control. Another unique safety feature of the system which was developed and patented is the strategy of calculation of wheel speed for bicycles in extreme situations. The use of magnetorheological shock absorbers leads to an increase in the comfort factor. The required damping factor can be calculated based on the driving state, ground conditions and the selected driving program applied in a matter of milliseconds.
EFS’s expertise in the development of control systems and strategies could be applied in all the above mentioned fields.
Three different ready to drive prototypes were successfully developed by the end of this project with different branding, on which one can experience all the above mentioned as well as many other innovative features.