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Institute News

Nanomagnetism in X-ray Light

  • 23 March 2017

Today’s most advanced scanning X-ray microscope is operated by the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin.

The MAXYMUS scanning X-ray microscope has its home at Berlin’s synchrotron radiation source BESSY II at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. Scientific support is provided by Dr. Markus Weigand from the “Modern Magnetic Systems” department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) under the management of Professor Dr. Gisela Schütz.

New Research School for Intelligent Systems

  • 07 March 2017

Call for Applications - Ph.D. positions

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Intelligent Systems (IS) is starting in fall 2017. This new doctoral program will enroll about 100 Ph.D. students over the next six years. Apply now!

Leila Masri

Magic ink from the nano world

  • 01 March 2017

A chemical reaction alters the colours of plasmonic prints

Plasmonic printing produces resolutions several times greater than conventional printing methods. In plasmonic printing, colours are formed on the surfaces of tiny metallic particles when light excites their electrons to oscillate. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now shown how the colours of such metallic particles can be altered with hydrogen. The technique could open the way for animating ultra-high-resolution images and for developing extremely sharp displays. At the same time, it provides new approaches for encrypting information and detecting counterfeits.

Laura Na Liu

DOOMED - A new online learning approach from AMD in the spotlight

  • 01 March 2017

Text: Kathryn Ryan. New Rochelle, February 21, 2017.

Robotics researchers have developed a novel adaptive control approach based on online learning that allows for the correction of dynamics errors in real time using the data stream from the robot. The strategy is described in an article published in Big Data, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Big Data website until March 14, 2017.

Franzi Meier Daniel Kappler Nathan Ratliff Stefan Schaal

A filter for heavy hydrogen

  • 28 February 2017

Deuterium and tritium can be separated from each other relatively easily using a functionalized metal-organic framework compound

Deuterium and tritium are substances with a future - but they are rare. The heavy isotopes of hydrogen not only have numerous applications in science but could also contribute to the energy mix of tomorrow as fuels for nuclear fusion. Deuterium is also contained in some drugs that are currently undergoing regulatory approval in the US. However, the process of filtering deuterium out of the natural isotopic mixture of hydrogen is at present both difficult and expensive. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, the University of Leipzig, Jacobs University Bremen, the University of Augsburg, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA) may be able to remedy this problem. They have presented a metal-organic framework compound that can be used to separate the two isotopes from normal hydrogen more efficiently than previous methods.

3D-microdevice for minimally invasive surgeries

  • 22 February 2017

Scientists take challenge of developing functional microdevices for direct access to the brain, spinal cord, eye and other delicate parts of human body

A tiny robot that gets into the human body through the simple medical injection and, passing healthy organs, finds and treats directly the goal – a non-operable tumor… Doesn’t it sound at least like science-fiction? To make it real, a growing number of researchers are now working towards this direction with the prospect of transforming many aspects of healthcare and bioengineering in the nearest future. What makes it not so easy are unique challenges pertaining to design, fabrication and encoding functionality in producing functional microdevices.

Metin Sitti Hakan Ceylan Ceren Garip

New drive for tiny vessels

  • 14 February 2017

Miniaturized robots can be propelled through biological fluids by an enzymatic reaction or ultrasound

Nanorobots and other mini-vehicles might be able to perform important services in medicine one day – for example, by conducting remotely-controlled operations or transporting pharmaceutical agents to a desired location in the body. However, to date it has been hard to steer such micro- and nanoswimmers accurately through biological fluids such as blood, synovial fluid or the inside of the eyeball. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are now presenting two new approaches for constructing propulsion systems for tiny floating bodies. In the case of one motor, the propulsion is generated by bubbles which are caused to oscillate by ultrasound. With the other, a current caused by the product of an enzymatic reaction propels a nanoswimmer.

Peer Fischer Sámuel Sánchez

How Can We Use Machine Learning in the Search for Exoplanets?

  • 01 February 2017

Bernhard Schölkopf joined the initiative "Latest Thinking"

Exoplanets are planets beyond our own solar system. Since they do not emit much light and moreover are very close to their parent stars they are difficult to detect directly. When searching for exoplanets, astronomers use telescopes to monitor the brightness of the parent star under investigation: Changes in brightness can point to a passing planet that obstructs part of the star’s surface. The recorded signal, however, contains not only the physical signal of the star but also systematic errors caused by the instrument. As Bernhard Schölkopf explains in this video, this noise can be removed by comparing the signal of the star of interest to those of a large number of other stars. Commonalities in their signals might be due to confounding effects of the instrument. Using machine learning, these observations can be used to train a system to predict the errors and correct the light curves.

Bernhard Schölkopf

Our research in Der Spiegel und Die Zeit

  • 12 January 2017

Our nanorobots are the topic of a special report on robots in the newspaper Die Zeit and Der Spiegel has previously covered our research, also highlights our work in its 2017 March 11 issue.

Kai Melde Andrew Mark Tian Qiu Tung Chun Lee Peer Fischer

Big Data in Robotics

  • 02 January 2017

Guest edited by Jeannette Bohg, Matei Ciocarlie, Javier Civera, Lydia E. Kavraki.

... new big data methods have the potential to allow robots to understand and operate in significantly more complex environments than was possible even in the recent past. This should lead to a qualitative leap in the performance and deployability of robotics in a wide array of practical applications and real settings.

Jeannette Bohg