The wall unit would also handle building automation functions. An integrated air conditioning unit would keep fresh air circulating if the occupant forgets to air the apartment.
The researchers' long-term aim is to design similar wall panels for every room. In the kitchen, the smart wall could monitor the stovetop or make meal preparation easier with height-adjustable cupboards. A small assistant in the form of a mobile robot could move between the hallway and the other rooms. It would be able to carry a shopping basket and bring it to the kitchen on command, for example.
The scientists have been careful to promote independence: "We want people to retain as much of their independence as possible," affirms Prof. Thomas Bock of the TUM Chair of Building Construction and Robotics. "The assistance should only kick in when people are no longer capable of doing something themselves." For that reason, the walls will have a modular design, with new functions added as and when required.
The assembly includes more than just high-tech features. The researchers remembered to add the usual hall fittings. Along with standard coat hooks, there is also a practical shoehorn at floor level.
The "Living independently in Sdtirol / Alto Adige (LISA)" project is being headed up by Human Ambient Technologies Lab. The TUM research institutes involved are the Chair of Building Construction and Robotics, the Chair of Philosophy and Science Theory and the recently created Munich Center for Technology in Society. On the business side, the following companies are taking part in the LISA project: MM Design, Frener & Reifer, Kompetenzzentrum Alpines Bauen (KAB), Pfeiffer Architekten, TIS Innovation Park and Barth Innenausbau. The project is being supported by the Italian province of South Tyrol. The prototype has already undergone extensive testing and the business partners are keen to launch a finished product
|Contact: Thomas Bock|
Technische Universitaet Muenchen