Goals and offers of the company network MoDiSeM


Differentiation from a current hype

In the field of mobility, two mega-topics are currently on everyone's lips:

  • Transition to electro mobility in private transport
  • Autonomous driving on roads and highways

Neither of these two mega topics is in the focus of the network.

Recommended reading:
Maurer, M.; Gerdes, J. Ch.; Lenz, B.; Winner, H (Hrsg.): Autonomous driving. Technical, legal and social aspects.
ISBN 978-3-662-45853-2 Springer Open. 2015

And two more limitations:

  • MoDiSeM will not get into the water, mobile services on water and underwater are not parts of the network activities.
  • The same applies to heights above the common UAV altitude.

Thematic focal points of the network

Far less attention than electro mobility and autonomous cars currently attract driverless transport and automated mobile services in non-public or semi-public areas.

There are examples in

  • industrial companies,
  • hospitals,
  • library rooms,
  • goods distribution,
  • airports.

Network MoDiSeM is devoted to such and other areas of application. This is not just about moving vehicles themselves, but (of course) also about the necessary infrastructure (including digital movement models).

In addition, the network will be open for the implementation of services and small transports by means of UAV (Unmanned Areal Vehicles). In the course of the work of the network it may be realized that a previously terrestrial service can be better carried out using UAVs. The work of MoDiSeM is focused here on the further automation of flight movements with regard to corresponding services. Optimization problems (in the mathematic sense) also play an important role here.

A great potential for innovation, which is still untapped, lies in the field of collaboration between (terrestrial) vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Here the network sees an interesting field for cross-innovation.

Another focus of networking will be closer to the human body. It is about supporting the mobility of people with mobility handicaps. Connections with the MoDiSeM topic "autonomous transport" really challenge cross innovation.

The thematic focuses summarized:

  • Driverless (autonomous) transport in non-public or semi-public areas
  • Mobile, non-public or semi-public automated services
  • Infrastructures for the use of electrically powered small vehicles in public and non-public areas
  • Automation of services using UAV
  • Supporting the mobility of people with disabilities

Long before the MoDiSeM network was established, two high-performance autonomous transport robots (Hare & Hedgehog) were put into operation in the University Library of the Humboldt University in Berlin in the Berlin-Adlershof Technology Park.
Courtesy:  University Library of the HUB

Copyright: University Library of the Humboldt University Berlin, Anja Herwig

Schematized illustration of the optimization of the routes of UAV or autonomous vehicles taking into account the narrow limitation of resources, especially energy.

a) In the case of a fixed (optimized) location of start / destination, due to the resource restrictions, a single optimized ("theoretical") round trip was decomposed in 6 practically realizable routes.
b) The operational activity of a UAV was distributed to two successive positions of start / destination. The number of required flight routes is reduced from 6 to 4 compared to the care in picture a, some of the remaining routes are considerably shorter.

Goals of the network

The thematic focuses or current challenges mentioned above demand a bundling of diverse competences. MoDiSeM is so broad-based that it can devote itself to corresponding research and development lines in cooperative projects with high chances of success. This includes

  • the extension of the movement horizon of small autonomous vehicles,
  • in particular, to overcome typical obstacles in practice, for instance in connection with rules that come into play by involved people (for example, when driving in rooms for sick persons),
  • Identification of potential conflicts or real conflicts in larger groups of people,
  • the collaboration between terrestrial vehicles and UAV,
  • helping people with mobility impairments through adaptive, sensor-assisted prosthetics,
  • Navigation in confusing and difficult to access areas such as abandoned tunnels or ship hulls

Within single steps of long-term innovation processes the network will pursue common public relations. On the one hand this aims at the spreading of new knowledge among experts, on the other hand, however, also in the information of the general public to dispel unjustified worries, fears and doubts.

Most of the tasks of MoDiSeM require not only scientific and technical but also ethical, social and legal competences. MoDiSeM is in a good position with regard to this challenge. ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Implications) play a prominent role in R & D work.

Working methods for achieving goals

The working methods of the ZIM co-operation network MoDiSeM are characterized by the following activities:

  • Planning and carrying out network-internal workshops on topics as
    • cooperative R & D initiatives and other steps towards successful innovation,
    • joint public relations activities, such as trade show appearances with community booths,
    • financing for the implementation of research and development (R & D), in particular evaluation of regular support programmes and temporary calls,
    • formation of R & D consortia,
    • exchange of information on relevant scientific and technological developments
  • Consultations in R & D consortia to specify concrete research projects
  • Cooperative application for funding
  • Cooperative implementation of R & D
  • Joint appearances at fairs and exhibitions
  • Organization and carrying out of scientific-technical events, transfer days and citizen forums
  • Cooperative developments on behalf of business and administration companies/institutions
  • Joint steps towards SME 4.0