Luca Fäth, 17, from Bavaria won in the Technology category. The young researcher built a self-balancing electric unicycle. A combined acceleration and position sensor along with a miniature computer enables the rider to keep the vehicle reliably balanced.
Jugend forscht - Category Technology
A Modular System for Inventions
Technology is the right category for all young researchers who are full of ideas for new inventions and enjoy working with their hands. Such up-and-coming scientists design, develop and optimize technologies using diodes and electrodes or wood and metal. They do this both with and without computers,using engineering kits or simple soldering guns. The important requirement for the competition is that the researchers must present a functioning model of their project. In other words, sketches or design plans alone are not enough.
Highlight Projects 2016
Development of a USB Peripheral Device for Software Defined Radio
Software Defined Radio (SDR) can be used to transfer data, listen to radio stations, or transmit radio signals. High-frequency SDR transmission/reception systems use software to process signals. The benefits of this technology include a more compact device infrastructure and the ability to adapt readily to changing transmission standards. Lukas Lao Beyer succeeded in developing a low-cost SDR system. SDR setups generally consist of an antenna for transmitting and receiving data and an analog-digital converter. Incoming signals are digitally processed and sent to a PC via a USB interface. Beyer produced his SDR on a circuit board. His goal was to ensure good signal quality and to develop his software in a manner that would allow large volumes of data to be transmitted in real time. He was successful in both respects and was rewarded with first prize in the Technology category.
Alternative Means of Transport on the Basis of a Bionic Shark
Sharks are masters of efficient locomotion. Their special fins and finely ribbed skin enable them to glide through the ocean in a sinusoidal wave motion. Maximilian Petrat and Davids Stepanovs examined ways to apply these shark properties to the design of a technical means of transport using a bionic design approach. First they analyzed the forces and currents that are generated when a shark dives. They were mainly interested in identifying the optimal angles for diving. The two researchers then applied their findings to a model of a shark whose wooden body contains an adjustable ballast tank that can be used to control diving and surfacing movements by shifting the model’s center of gravity. The process is supported by a sophisticated control system that includes pumps and a drive for the fins. The model shark built by Petrat and Stepanovs captured first prize in the Technology category of the 2016 North Rhine-Westphalia Jugend forscht state competition.