Smart firefighter suit, Free-form electronics, SmartCity and IoT

Smart firefighter suit

The smartPRO suit is based on a certified three-layer protective suit for firefighters, which is designed mainly for extinguishing interior fires under extreme conditions for temperature, fumes and/or orientation in space. The suit is equipped with a sophisticated electronics system consisting of sensors, an alarm and a so-called Suit Control Unit (or SCU). The system can continually monitor and evaluate the safety of the environment in which a firefighter is operating: temperature inside and outside the garment, moisture, humidity, detection of toxic and combustible gases. The suit also provides information about the physiological functions of the person inside as well as on the exact location of the person on a map. Apart from the above, the suit is also equipped with 6 active LED lights that are fixed on the main reflective tape.

SmartPRO suit can also be equipped with special Holík smart gloves. The right glove employs two temperature sensors which enable to measure not only the temperature on the glove surface but also the temperature of distant objects. The firefighter can check the measured values using a simple traffic light method (green-amber-red) directly on the glove.

Free-form electronics

Free-form electronics in the sense of physically thin, lightweight, flexible and stretchable electronic devices opens the whole new world of application possibilities which are not fully explored today and goes well beyond the limitations of the rigid, bulky and brittle conventional electronics. The tremendous advancement in the research of new materials and their unique features at the nanoscopic scale enabled a combination of mechanical flexibility, electrical conductivity, easy processability and even a number of other functional features like photosensitivity or electroluminescence. These qualities do not just differentiate but create new markets and product categories, as well as contributing to the development of innovative concepts of ubiquitous electronics naturally integrated into objects of everyday use such as smart textiles and wearable electronics, smart electronic surfaces, human-machine interfaces, electronic medical patches or Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The implementation of these innovative concepts also depends on new approaches to the manufacturing of electronics. One of the most appealing is based on fully additive manufacturing using soluble functional materials directly printed on large scale flexible foils. The so-called printed electronics possesses a number of attractive features like an energy and material-saving production at high speed resulting in a large area, yet very thin form factors of the final electronic products.

The material research team at RICE (University of West Bohemia, Pilsen) has long been addressing this topic in a number of related applied research projects and some of the practical results and demonstrators will be presented at our booth.

Smart Campus – test polygon for IoT

The idea of the SmartCAMPUS project is a scaled model of the city, a living testbed, allowing for testing the cutting-edge smart and IoT technologies in a reduced scale to thoroughly test “pre-pilot” operation for final deployment to larger units, such as cities, regions etc. From the point of view of the modern communication networks for the Internet of Things, the university campus is covered by its own LoRaWAN network and also uses the Sigfox commercial network. SmartCAMPUS is thus an ideal place for testing your IoT and smart technologies. We are ready to provide you with our infrastructure and help implement your solution into our SmartCAMPUS. Of course, we also offer professional training and consultations in IoT and Smart City.

KETCube – rapid development platform for IoT

The IoT (Internet of Things) devices continue to penetrate into new areas of our daily lives as well as industry. The evolution of IoT devices comes with the necessity of operation in heterogeneous environments. This evolution brings new challenges in the areas of R&D and education. We identify important features beneficial for R&D engineers as well as for educationalists and students and we propose a novel open platform for rapid development of IoT nodes. This platform is easy to employ in the educational process at the same time.

KETCube platform includes the main board, battery board, datasheet, three application notes, and firmware. All the mentioned project parts allow the out-of-the-box use of KETCube as a Relative Humidity and Temperature sensor node in LoRaWAN or proprietary network. Included documents serve for a quick start with prototyping while providing deep insight into released KETCube parts. Documentation is written in an industry-standard style and such a way serves as a handy guide for in-education deployment at the same time.

Nanomaterials digital printing

Aerosol Jet is a unique patented deposition technology developed in the 1990’s in the USA. This digital deposition technology is able to print a wide range of materials on nearly any kind of substrate. Aerosol Jet can process a very wide range of materials. Conductive materials (based on nanoparticles of Ni, Ag, Au, Pt, Cu, Al, carbon nanotubes, organic conductive materials such as PEDOT, resistive materials), semiconductive materials (based on organic semiconductors or carbon nanotubes), dielectric materials (based on polyimide, silicone, acrylates) and lot more special materials (resists, etchants, special nanoparticle materials, magnetic materials, biological materials such as enzymes, proteins or DNA or piezoelectric materials) are commercially available.

The aerosol stream enters the nozzle where it is ring-shaped focused by a nitrogen flow. This feature of aerodynamical focusing brings 3 advantages:

  • There is hardly any contact between aerosol and nozzle – nearly no clogging.
  • It is easy to control the line width by focusing the gas flow rate and it is possible to print lines from 10 µm in width and in thickness from 10 nm (depends on used ink).
  • Aerosol is well focused even 1 cm from the nozzle tip so even with 2D motion control machine, it is easy to print on wavy, convex, concave, stepped or even 3D substrates.

The big advantage of Aerosol Jet technology is a high-speed process from creating or changing the printed pattern to its physical realization. It is easy to print a very wide range of commercial or new developed advanced materials on nearly any kind of substrate. The technology uses materials in a very efficient way and its speed and easy toolpath generation make it one of the best tools for rapid prototyping.