Living Lab Logbook

01.10.2021| Feierliche Eröffnung des Living Lab. Nachdem das Living Lab im Januar diesen Jahres virtuell eingeweiht wurde, erfolgte nun die offizielle physische Einweihung unseres einzigartigen Test- und Innovationslabors. Die ca. 120 Gäste bekamen einen guten Eindruck in die Arbeit des DRZ und den Fähigkeiten des Living Labs. In einem Szenario auf unserem Außengelände zeigten viele robotische Systeme ihr Können und ihr Zusammenspiel mit den Einsatzkräften der Feuerwehr.

Am Nachmittag fand das Internationale Wissenschaftliche Symposium mit Vorträgen von Experten rund um das Thema Rettungsrobotik statt.

23.09.2021| The second Integration Sprint has begun. While the first sprint took place in April in Bad Oldesloe on the Minimax premises (read all about it here), this time the consortium met here in Dortmund in the DRZ Living Lab. In April, the focus was on the integration of robotic systems. Now that they are all connected and can exchange data, the next step is to test and practise the scenario. Because the big opening ceremony on 1st October 2021 is just around the corner - and on that day everything really has to be in place, or rolling and flying in a coordinated manner.

16.09.2021| Today "Referat 6" of the vfdb visited the Living Lab. From a thematic point of view, this group of experts from industry and practice deals with the topics of "vehicles and technical assistance". Accordingly, the interest in the new technology "rescue robotics" was very great. The unit was particularly impressed by the report on the task force's deployment during the floods in Erftstadt and Schleiden (both in Germany). 
Head of Unit Karsten Göwecke, who is the Permanent Representative of the Berlin State Fire Director in his main job, warmly thanked Robert Grafe for the exciting tour and the insights into the upcoming innovations in the field of rescue robotics.

10.08.2021| We are very pleased to welcome another film team to the DRZ Living Lab. This time, the head of the Dortmund fire brigade, Dirk Aschenbrenner, gives an interview. The topic is the advantages that the new mobile communications standard 5G can bring to everyday life. We are talking about traffic control to protect school children or the use of virtual reality. But also the use for fire brigades and rescue services. The recordings were made by a video team from ACPP. You are welcome to read the interview on the website of the Mobile Radio Information Centre (unfortunately it is only in German)..

19.06.2021| What makes the Living Lab a Living Lab? Exactly, when the idea of transferring research and practice is lived live on site. That's what happened today when the Altstadt fire brigade from the city of Münster was here with its drone squadron. 8 comrades used our training track to further refine their skills and test new manoeuvres. Of course, there was also a theoretical part and an exciting exchange of experiences.
11.05.2021| The DRZ Living Lab was once again the stage for exciting filming. This time a live show was produced for the vfdb annual conference. The guest list was as colourful as the members and association partners of the DRZ - in compliance with our hygiene regulations, of course. For example, the Duisburg fire brigade was there with its impressive, brand-new command vehicle "ELW2". The programme for the live show demonstrated, among other things, the networking between the members of the DRZ around the technical possibilities in rescue operations. The programme started with a presentation of the test hall by DRZ Managing Director Robert Grafe. Already in the background, the DRZ drone pilot was preparing to demonstrate his skills on the DRZ UAV/AUS course. The fact that drones of various sizes and designs can support the work of the rescue forces was proven by an airplane-like drone from the DLR (German Aerospace Centre), which was challenged by some winds in front of the DRZ Living Lab. In cooperation with the Duisburg fire brigade, it nevertheless demonstrated the transmission of a situation picture system. Furthermore, the DRZ association member - Eurocommand - used its own software to highlight the seamless transmission of information, e.g. situation pictures, between different emergency vehicles (here in the RobLW and the ELW2). Prof. Surmann from the Westfälische Hochschule once again referred to the successful use of the DRZ for the LKA in Berlin. Here, drones with 360° cameras helped to investigate a major fire in a warehouse. In a concluding panel discussion, the focus was on application-oriented technologies in the field. A look was also taken at future technical developments and how the cooperation of the parties can succeed in a rescue operation. 

Further impressions from behind the scenes available at the DRZ YouTube channel 

Now the entire report from the DRZ for the vfdb conference is avilable on YouTube as well (in German).

10.03.2021| On Wednesday and Thursday, Quarks, WDR Lokalzeit from Dortmund and Feuerwehrmagazin were guests at the Living Lab. During the filming of Quarks, the focus was on the topic of 5G in rescue operations. For this, the Dortmund fire brigade simulated the use of drones and robots together with the TU Dortmund. The initial situation was the leakage of chemicals from a canister of hazardous substances. The Quarks team followed the various steps in detail and plans to describe the situation from the point of view of a fire brigade emergency worker who is dealing with robotics in action for the first time. After the arrival of the emergency services, the drones are first sent out to create a picture of the situation, followed by an inventory inside the hall. Only when the situation has been assessed by the emergency services and the necessary steps have been planned is the demonstrator D2 (Telemax) given the task of sealing the container. The report will be broadcast on 4 May 2021. WDR Lokalzeit from Dortmund was also present on the second day of filming. This report was about the presentation of the DRZ Living Lab and what is already possible with the use of robots in rescue services.
For the recordings, the demonstrator D2 opened a door or drove through the heavily fogged DRZ Challenge, which simulates a chemistry laboratory. The broadcast of this contribution already took place on the following Friday (12.03.2021 19:30).
16.02.2021| Last month, on 28.01.2021, the first DRZ user workshop was held digitally in the Living Lab. The response was overwhelming. We have compiled some of the participants' opinions here as examples. The planning for further events and workshops is already underway. 
11.02.2021| During the photo shoot, the various possibilities in and around the Living Lab will be demonstrated. The resulting photos will be used extensively in the future. To demonstrate the versatility of the DRZ, the Rob LW as well as various drones and robots, such as the D2, were provided for this purpose. Previous events such as the crane operator training course have already proved useful here, for example, in expertly loading the Telemax demonstrator onto the workplace. Of course, the necessary safety precautions were taken into account when preparing the photos.
28.01.2020 | Now the 'Living Lab' of the German Rescue Robotics Centre has also been officially inaugurated - even if only virtually. Around 200 guests attended the virtual inauguration of our test hall. In the user workshop that followed, which lasted almost four hours, project partners from industry and science provided information about the various ground- and air-based robot systems. The strong interest and the consistently positive feedback showed how big and important the topic of rescue robotics is. This will therefore not have been our last event this year, emphasised DRZ board member Oskar von Stryk, "We are planning further workshops in this form."
25.01.2020 | The DRZ now also has a 3D printer. The Ultimaker S5 is based on plastic extrusion (fused layer modelling). The desired components are built up layer by layer. The printing temperature is 210°C and the building plate (330 x 240 mm) also heats up to approx. 60°C. This is necessary for the adhesion of the plastic. This is necessary to increase the adhesion of the component to the plate and to reduce shrinkage when the component cools down. The printer has two nozzles, one of which ejects the normal printing material, the other prints a special, water-soluble material. This water-soluble material is needed when printing components that need to be supported during printing. In our printer, components up to 300 mm high can be produced in this way. The individual layers have thicknesses of approx. 0.1 to 0.2 mm - depending on the desired accuracy. This 3D printer is not suitable for mass production, but for prototypes and highly specific components. For the DRZ, the use of the printer is intended for creating small components, such as holders for sensors on the robots. Such printers are also very suitable for individual spare parts.
12.01.2020 | The furnishing of the Living Lab continues to progress. Part of the equipment are now also so-called 'absorber walls'.
These large walls (6.5 m) are used to research the behaviour of robots in radio holes. To simulate this radio hole, two or more modules are put together to form a 'tunnel'. In this way, all radio waves are repelled.
18.12.2020 | The Living Lab is unique in Europe. It consists of a versatile hall with 1300m² as well as an outdoor area with 
3500m². In a virtual tour, Robert Grafe (the managing director of the DRZ) shows the current equipment and layout of the Living Lab. The hall tour was realised in cooperation with TU Dortmund.
14.12.2020 | The Living Lab has a large overhead crane that can move 12.5 tonnes, as well as several small cranes on the walls of the hall, each of which can lift one tonne. To ensure that these cranes are operated properly, a training session was held today. In this training, safety aspects to be observed were taught as well as the practical application.
03.12.2020| The motion capture system, which consists of 40 special cameras, is not particularly obvious to the human eye. From the robot's point of view, however, this is different. In the video you can see how the robot sees the motion capture system in the Living Lab. The purple 'spots' on the ceiling of the hall are the cameras that the robot, in this case the D2, has detected.
19.11.2020 | Durch den Einsatz von Drohnen wurde ein 3D-Modell des Living Lab erstellt. Hierzu werden verschiedene ‚Lagen‘ übereinander gelegt, um von der Punktewolke zum ‚fertigen‘ Modell zu gelangen. Dies ist notwendig, da Roboter beziehungsweise Drohnen anders ’sehen‘ als menschliche Augen.
12.11.2020 | The construction of the arena in fast forward. What is shown in the video in less than a minute actually took 4 days. Now the arena with its different tracks is fully operational.
03.11.2020 | Installation von Motion-Capture-Systemen
Our motion capture system consists of 40 individual special cameras and a powerful computer. The cameras are all networked together and deliver their information to the computer. The system tracks the robots (UAVs and UGVs) to determine their exact position in the hall. The user receives this information directly from the software. In addition, there will be interfaces for the orientation of the robots in space, which will transmit the determined positions to the robots in real time. In this role, the system will represent a kind of virtual GPS system. Furthermore, tests (e.g. speed measurements) can be carried out precisely.
29.10.2020 | The individual challenge tracks are almost ready. Here, the robots have to prove their skills. Whether on sand, gravel, bumpy roads or inclines, the robots have to be ready for anything.
28.10.2020 | Unfortunately, the RoboCup was postponed due to corona. However, the arena is still taking shape to show the possibilities of our Living Lab.
27.10.2020 | The arena has been delivered and is now being assembled. As part of the Living Lab, it simulates different conditions that the robots might face in the field.
26.10.2020 | DRZ Challenge is part of the RoboCup Rescue German Open 2020 competition. It is a user-oriented challenge that simulates a realistic accident in a chemical laboratory, in which emergency forces would be exposed to a high risk.
22.10.2020 | The DRZ Challenge is taking shape and forms part of the arena. We will tell you more about the DRZ Challenge in one of the next logbook entries.
09.10.2020 The hall is being prepared for its use as a Living Lab. The 1,300 m² are still completely empty!2