Aviation: are nanoscale materials the cure for emissions?
The MASTRO project
“There are three sections within MASTRO: automotive, infrastructure and aerospace; and the AMRC is leading the aerospace section of the project alongside Embraer. We’re developing three main technologies: self-cure, self-anti-icing and self-sensing,” commented Matthew Collinson, Research Engineer in the AMRC Composite Centre.
As part of the project, the AMRC team are working to develop materials via the integration of carbon nanotubes to turn into smart products. As aviation transitions to electrification, the technologies are centred on the electrically conductive nature of the composite structure.
“For the first year-and-a-half we’ve been working on developing the materials and so the next stage is developing the smart demonstrators. Now we’ve reached a point where we can build a section of a composite leading-edge wing – to show off the self-cure, self-anti-icing and self-sensing we have developed,” added Collinson.
MASTRO projects overall objective is to develop intelligent bulk materials that incorporate self-responsive properties to increase consumer safety, component life-span and performance, as well as reducing maintenance, manufacturing costs, and through-life greenhouse gas emissions.
The impact of COVID-19
Whilst COVID-19 has caused work on the MASTRO project to slow down briefly over the summer, the project plans to conduct a physical demonstration imminently.
“We started the latest work package at the start of 2020, which was making the two demonstrators – which have slightly different properties, then finishing the design and starting to manufacture. We have been delayed but we have now manufactured our first self-curing, self-anti-icing and self-sensing part and can start testing very soon,” commented Collinson.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.