Welcome to MARIE!

Welcome to the homepage of the Collaborative Research Center / Transregio 196 “MOBILE MATERIAL CHARACTERIZATION AND LOCALIZATION BY ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSING” (MARIE).

This website provides you with a brief overview of the various projects as well as events, members and further details regarding MARIE.

MARIE's vision

The vision of MARIE is to precisely and dynamically characterize and localize even moving materials in our daily surroundings. In order to achieve this vision, suitable devices and overall systems are needed to carry out the localization, characterization and visualization of materials.The final goal is achievement of a mobile MAteRIal TranscEiver that can either be interpreted as a novel compact sensory organ that extends the human senses or, on a more industrial level, as a device that systematically creates material maps for searching and classifying objects in arbitrary environments.

The characterization and accordingly the localization of materials in our daily complex surroundings are still in their research infancy:

  • Materials can be characterized well in principle even today, but bulky and expensive equipment as well as simplified structured measurement environments are needed to do so. This is entirely unsuitable for MARIE’s envisioned fast material sensing in many different everyday surroundings. Here, the need for a mobile, lightweight and energy-efficient device for dynamic material characterization creates a highly ambitious long-term research challenge.
  • Materials can also be localized in principle even today, but similar to the aforementioned, a tailor-made, power-consuming and extensive infrastructure has to be installed and, moreover, currently achievable localization accuracies are mostly in the decimeter rather than the targeted sub-mm range.

MARIE is planned to progress in 3 phases, each comprising a period of 4 years. The first phase (2017-2020) mainly focusses on advances in technology. In the second phase (2021-2024) MARIE will aim for frequencies of up to 4 THz. Finally, in the third phase (2025-2028) it is intended to fulfil the vision of a mobile transceiver, that precisely and dynamically characterizes and localizes even moving material in our daily surroundings.

In order to provide a vivid illustration for the vision of MARIE, a key scenario is described in Figures 1a-d.

      

Fig. 1a
Fig. 1b
Fig. 1c
Fig. 1d

Fig. 1a shows the outer view of an industrial hall, where the major inner part of the hall is unknown to the external observer, i.e., to the firefighter or to a fire robot (for simplicity not yet depicted).

Fig. 1b shows an idealized transparent view and a rescue robot (MARIE robot) flying autonomously inside the industrial hall. The key task of the rescue robot is to detect all materials and their properties inside the industrial hall, even through dense smoke, and to visualize this information externally by means of regular wireless communication. Note that a swarm of such robots can map the entire hall faster, but this current research topic will not be addressed further since it is not mandatory for achieving MARIE’s vision.

Fig. 1c shows the burning hall from an external firefighter’s view, where an unconscious person is indicated lying on the ground.

Finally, Fig. 1d shows the ultimate transparent view provided to the external firefighter, where not only all relevant materials are characterized and localized, but also their status is identified by merging additional information, e.g. spatial temperature data or wireless measurements in the GHz range.

Besides the above key scenario, numerous other applications of such a mobile material transceiver can be foreseen, for example,

  • to truly realize the vision of ambient assisted living by actively supporting people in typical household tasks requiring material detection and localization, e.g. to deliver food and drinks, to clean and hoover or to assist in preparing meals
  • to support patients and personnel in health care institutions -to enable shelf-picking and commissioning in warehouses
  • to prepare for emergency situations by pre-mapping materials inside buildings
  • to map the cable and pipe installation of buildings
  • to detect the detailed status of surfaces, e.g. water or ice detection for accident prevention
  • to guarantee certain material properties, e.g. for quality control of food;
  • to sort materials, e.g. for waste separation.

In summary, the envisioned Mobile MAteRIal TranscEiver can either be interpreted as a novel compact sensory organ that extends the human senses or, on a more industrial level, as a device that systematically creates material maps for searching and classifying objects in arbitrary environments.