Author: Aleksandra Wojaczek     Published At: 28.06.2021

Inventions by scientists of the Silesian University of Technology awarded at the International Fair of the Invention and Innovation INTARG@ 2021

The Grand Prix and Platinum Medal were granted for the "Unmanned aerial platform with a docking module for diagnostics of building structures".

It is a purpose-built drone that can be used for the building inventory, inspection and diagnosis of difficult to reach building structures. The platform has a thermal imaging camera attached and can also use a video camera and sensors for temperature, humidity and pH value. This allows for a comprehensive assessment of almost any type of building structure, especially those which are difficult-to-reach. It needs to be stressed that the platform is also equipped with a worldwide unique, proprietary diagnostic solution for assessing the quality of bonding the structure reinforced with external FRP overlays. The solution presented at the fair is in fact not a single invention, but a set of several solutions developed by the team and registered in the Patent Office.

- The platform with the diagnostic module can support the work of e.g. a Structure Inspector, who has to assess a structure in difficult to reach places, e.g. on a bridge span over a river at a height of several dozen meters. Not every structure is equipped with devices that allow it to get there easily. A suitably qualified inspector has to get there with many bulky tools to inspect and diagnose the structure. This traditional way is time- and cost-consuming and entails a certain risk of error.

Our idea is for the inspector to be replaced by our diagnostic platform, which allows the necessary materials to be collected remotely and then processed accordingly. As a result, the inspector’s role will be to assess the safety of the structure on the basis of comprehensive data collected by the device - says Marcin Górski PhD, Eng.

The drone may be used in the construction sector - in residential and industrial construction, but mainly in a bridge or infrastructure construction. The solution could also be used in the inventory and evaluation of the condition of historic buildings. The equipment of the drone allows for remote inspection also at night or in poorly lit places.

The authors of the invention: project manager Marcin Górski PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Civil Engineering; Associate Professor Roman Czyba PhD, DSc from the Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science; Jarosław Domin PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering; and Professor Ryszard Białecki PhD, DSc; Associate Professor Ziemowit Ostrowski PhD, DSc; Associate Professor Wojciech Adamczyk PhD, DSc; Associate Professor Grzegorz Przybyła PhD, DSc; Grzegorz Kruczek PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Energy and Environmental Engineering.

Inventions from the Silesian University of Technology have also been awarded medals of the INTARG@ 2021 International Invention and Innovation Fair.

The gold medal and the prize of the President of the Federation of  Scientific and Technical Associations NOT (Polish Chief Technical Organisation) were awarded for the development of "A new method for obtaining carboxylic acids".

The technology involves obtaining polar waxes in a cheaper and more ecological way. Polar waxes can be used to obtain stable wax emulsions.

- It is also possible to use raw materials obtained by cracking post-consumer polyethylene and constitute a stage in the chemical recycling of this type of material," says Associate Professor Beata Orlińska PhD, DSc.

Currently, wax emulsions constitute a very large group of products and semi-finished products in many areas of the economy, such as food, paper, cosmetics, pharmaceutical industry, paint and varnish production, textile industry and others. This emulsion is a system composed of two phases, in which one is formed by water and the other by natural or synthetic wax molecules.

- We notice opportunities to adapt this technology for other raw materials as well. Currently, we are conducting research on the use of vegetable oils as raw materials to obtain fragrant esters, plasticisers, anti-corrosive agents and others, adds Associate Professor Beata Orlińska PhD, DSc.

The team composed of the project manager Associate Professor Beata Orlińska PhD, DSc; Kamil Peckh MSc, Eng.; Gabriela Talik MSc, Eng.; Dawid Lisicki PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Chemistry.

The gold medal was awarded for the "Algorithm for controlling the movement of the shearer cutting heads".  The algorithm makes it possible to automatically control parameters and optimise the mining of rock, concrete, asphalt or other materials with properties similar to those of rock, using mining machines. The algorithm can increase the productivity of the machine compared to manual control, reduce energy consumption and also the wear and tear of the machine.

- Although the solution was developed in the field of mining, it may be used in a much broader scope, e.g. in construction, where there are machines for cutting concrete and rocks, as well as in road construction, where asphalt or concrete milling machines are used. Therefore, the results of our invention are interesting and may be used not only in the mining industry or during tunnel construction." says Associate Professor Piotr Cheluszka PhD, DSc.

Authors: project manager Associate Professor Piotr Cheluszka PhD, DSc; Piotr Sobota PhD, Eng.; Associate Professor Adam Heyduk PhD, DSc; Jarosław Joostberens PhD, DSc, Eng. from the Faculty of Mining, Safety Engineering and Industrial Automation.

The silver medal was awarded for the "Photovoltaic Tile".  This may be an alternative to traditional roofing and generate electricity at the same time. Additionally, innovative methods were used in the production of such a tile.

- Our invention is the combination of a roof tile with a photovoltaic cell. This means that we omit the step of installing ready photovoltaic panels and we reduce the load on the roof to a large extent," says Magdalena Szindler PhD, Eng. Additionally, the invention improves safety, as there is no additional load on the roof with panels. - There is also no risk of the panel being lifted off or broken”- says Magdalena Szindler PhD, Eng.

Additionally, the scientists' invention may simplify the technological process and minimise manufacturing costs by using the screen printing method, which does not require expensive and complicated equipment and high temperatures. Such a tile can be an alternative to traditional roofing.

- The photovoltaic market has been developing very dynamically, especially in Poland in the last two or three years. That is why we have been applying for subsidies in order to take further steps in implementing our invention. We are also supported by the Centre for Incubation and Technology Transfer, which sends enquiries to entrepreneurs and first companies interested in this type of solutions appear - says Marek Szindler PhD, Eng.

The invention may be used in both, the photovoltaic industry and in the construction industry.

Authors: Marek Szindler PhD, Eng.; Magdalena Szindler PhD, Eng. from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

The silver medal was awarded for the "Innovative Photonic Measurement System for Biomedical Applications". The system, thanks to the use of planar optical fibre sensor structures, will be capable of detecting trace amounts of viruses or bacteria. The greatest advantage of the developed solution, apart from high sensitivity, is the short measurement time.

- This system can be used, for example, in intensive care units where patients are infected with sepsis, where the very rapid determination of the type of infection, i.e. identification of bacteria, is critical. Especially when dealing with drug-resistant bacteria. Traditional tests take 6-7 hours to obtain a result, while our solution can generate results practically immediately,' says Professor Paweł Karasiński, PhD, DSc.

The innovative solution may also constitute a new tool in cancer diagnostics. The invention may be used by manufacturers of integrated optics elements, sensors, measurement chips or diagnostic laboratories.

Authors: leader of the research team Associate Professor Paweł Karasiński PhD, DSc; Associate Professor Cuma Tyszkiewicz PhD, DSc; Paweł Kielan PhD, Eng. From the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Andrzej Kaźmierczak PhD, Eng. From the Warsaw University of Technology; Jan Paczesny PhD from PAN (The Polish Academy of Sciences).

The bronze medal was awarded to the "Mobile Disinfection Robot Demonstrator". The invention may help in the fight against pandemics. The robot can disinfect large urban spaces (pavements, squares) and also elements of the infrastructure (doorknobs, bins, benches). It can also deliver food parcels and medicines to places where there is the greatest risk of infection.

- The robot's spectrum of operation is wide. Since the robot is steerable, it can go to various places that may be dangerous for humans. We can deliver various dangerous parcels or chemicals, transport dangerous substances without putting a person at risk because we can do it remotely," says Przemysław Olszówka Eng., one of the inventors.

The robot can work at a distance of up to 1 km from the operator's workplace for 3 hours and can disinfect as much as 120 square metres in one minute.

Authors: Associate Professor Piotr Przystałka PhD, DSc; Przemysław Olszówka Eng.; Marcin Nagi Eng.; Witold Krafczyk Eng.; Michał Froń Eng.; Marcin Krawczyk Eng.; Artur Wycisk; Dominika Limanówka from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.


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