Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 10.06.2021 10:50:12 Uhr 05.10.2022 07:19:23 Uhr

Smart systems: Dresden as an innovation hub and test laboratory

Whether it be IoT, Industry 4.0 or AI, Dresden is the home of digital technologies. It brings together renowned scientists and industry decision-makers – and is thus becoming Germany’s centre for smart systems.

Dresden is already Europe’s major smart-system hub, including for IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0 – and is also set to be the leading metropolis for artificial intelligence (AI). Among other current projects, the focus in Saxony’s capital is on expediting the development of the Tactile Internet and on merging humans and machines.

Industry 4.0 model factory

Teresa Kleber presents the indoor RTLS system by ZigPos in the industrial IoT testbed
Teresa Kleber presents the indoor RTLS system by ZigPos in the industrial IoT testbed

The aim of Dresden’s University of Applied Sciences (HTW) is to research digitalisation solutions – that is to say, Industry 4.0 – in manufacturing. Through the university’s own ‘Industrial IoT Test Bed’ – a research and testing infrastructure for the IoT – scientists want to bring the principles of digitalisation to life, making them tangible and, above all, explorable. The system realistically recreates complex manufacturing and logistics processes, and also acts as a demonstration and information platform for key Industry 4.0 technologies.

The model factory is aimed at businesses and their employees wanting to introduce digitalisation and IoT solutions. The ‘Industrial IoT Test Bed’ can help them trial innovations in a complex production landscape, or test new products and business models based on various automation and digitalisation technologies. The Dresden model factory’s objective is to strengthen the long-term competitiveness of German and European businesses on the international stage.

Smart Systems Hub: a strong network

The continuous condition monitoring of machines prevents unplanned downtimes, which lead to loss of time and the associated additional costs. With the Smart Maintenance concept, this is done in an intelligent, learning-oriented and resource-efficient manner.
The continuous condition monitoring of machines prevents unplanned downtimes, which lead to loss of time and the associated additional costs. With the Smart Maintenance concept, this is done in an intelligent, learning-oriented and resource-efficient manner.

Whether it be health care, logistics or the automotive industry, Dresden’s ‘Smart Systems Hub’ network develops IoT system solutions for all industries. The IoT interconnects devices with the Internet, and these technologies enable interaction both between intelligent systems and with humans. In industrial settings, the Internet of Things is already particularly relevant when it comes to maintenance, increasing productivity, optimising processes and avoiding outages – thus giving small and medium-sized businesses a clear competitive edge.

The aim of Dresden’s Smart Systems Hub is to provide access to new technologies, assist with innovation processes, and connect relevant network players with over 450 partners. This is driven by a mission to use leading technologies for innovative products in order to create jobs and boost Dresden’s appeal as a base for businesses of all sizes. Customised solutions and sustainable business models are devised for and with businesses at the Smart Systems Hub’s ‘Digital Product Factory’.

Volkswagen 4.0: The Transparent Factory

The Transparent Factory Dresden becomes Volkswagen Home of ID
The Transparent Factory Dresden becomes Volkswagen Home of ID

Dresden is Volkswagen’s testing and innovation hub, and the company develops production processes of the future at its ‘Transparent Factory’. The aim is to automate complex work stages within the assembly line, so as to achieve a 30% improvement in production by 2025. New technologies, such as robotics solutions, are being tested out for this at the ‘Transparent Factory’ – and all this during the current ID.3 production process.

‘Silicon Saxony’: Dresden as the new AI hub

Science meets Industry
Science meets Industry

Silicon Saxony is Europe’s largest microelectronics cluster and the fifth largest in the world, with one in three Europe-made chips bearing the ‘Made in Saxony’ stamp. 2020 saw Silicon Saxony set up a new AI work group aimed at establishing broad application of artificial intelligence. Through close dialogue with scientists, business-owners and policymakers, Dresden is able to further build on its competitive edge over other cities as an AI metropolis.

Saxony’s artificial-intelligence strategy to be up and running in 2021

ZIGPOS real-time localization system
ZIGPOS real-time localization system

Many exciting AI innovations are already being implemented in Dresden. Both ZIGPOS, the leading manufacturer of radio-based location systems, and AI4BD Cognitive Business Robotics – which combines knowledge with cognitive abilities to develop networked, individual, intelligent and digital employees – have chosen Dresden, with its many advantages, as their base for developing their trendsetting products. The KIPS AI platform, meanwhile, showcases the progress already being made in Saxony in terms of AI projects.

Merging humans and machines in real time

How can we advance medical care?

The next stage of digitisation is set to involve humans and machinery interacting in real time. The new Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop, CeTI at the TU Dresden seeks to take co-operations between humans and machines to a new level, aspiring to enable humans to interact with networked and automated systems in the real or virtual world in real time.

To achieve this goal, TU Dresden scientists from the fields of electrical engineering, communications technology, IT, psychology, neuroscience and medicine are collaborating with researchers from the TU Munich, the German Aerospace Centre, the Fraunhofer Society and international scientific institutions at the CeTI Cluster of Excellence. They conduct interdisciplinary research into key areas of human control in human-machine co-operation, software and hardware design, sensor and actuator technologies and communication networks. This research forms the basis for innovative applications in medicine, industry (Industry 4.0 co-working) and the Internet of Skills (education, rehabilitation).

AI crucial for Germany’s sustainability

The next few years will see AI researchers create the conditions for countless new innovations, which is why the Fraunhofer Society and TU Dresden founded a research centre for artificial intelligence, the ‘Centre for Explainable and Efficient Al Technologies’ (CEE AI) in 2019. The research conducted at this centre aims to span the full spectrum, from hardware support, to device communication, to AI approaches and application, with one particular focus being on the traceability and efficiency of AI technologies. There is also the question of how to handle the gigantic volumes of data as AI becomes increasingly used. ‘Small data’ is thus another important aspect being addressed by the scientists at the CEE AI.

AI in production

The building of the Universelle Werke Dresden
The building of the Universelle Werke Dresden

Machines that use AI to improve themselves and never break down will soon cease to be merely a pipe dream, with the Fraunhofer Institute in Dresden establishing a new research centre for Cognitive Production Systems (CPS). With the help of AI, machines seek to teach each other how to perform new production tricks, see the invisible, analyse data and intuitively interact with humans, thereby enabling them to independently manufacture unique pieces profitably, detect factory errors, and fill gaps in production