Research and Development

Mapping  the remains of the Nikolaj prison  labour camp near Jáchymov

A group of eleven scientists and students from the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts,  University of West Bohemia carried out archaeological research on  the remains of the Nikolaj prison labour camp near Jáchymov in October 2018. It was the first systematic research carried out on  this   labour camp which  operated under  the communist regime and was used for repression of  political prisoners. Thanks to this research,  historical knowledge of the communist camps has been complemented with first hand  material evidence. During this  research it was found  that the material remains of the camp have been completely preserved under today´s ground  surface. Scientists  discovered  part of a prison barrack, relics of the camp fence,  observation towers, and artefacts documenting  the  everyday life of  prisoners.

Kraken Milling Head

Kraken – a new generation milling head developed in the Regional Technological Institute of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of West Bohemia was awarded a Gold Medal for innovation in  engineering components at the International Engineering Fair in Brno in October 2018. The tool succeeded over the 32 other exhibits entered in the competition . This unique tool has  a special frame and can be used on materials which are especially difficult to machine. It was produced  by additive manufacturing 3D printing.

Innovative traffic closure systems for road tunnels

In June 2018, scientists from the RICE research centre of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering,  University of West Bohemia, together with other representatives of the consortium consisting of Czech companies Feramat Cybernetics, Technofiber and the University of West Bohemia, introduced a safe and effective traffic closure system which should prevent drivers from entering a tunnel where  accidents have happened or  in other emergency situations. The system is formed by flexible lamellas, which are perforated at the bottom, and mounted on  a winding roll. Together with a drive unit, the roll is enclosed in a cassette that can be easily mounted on the tunnel entrance . When the tunnel must be closed, the lamellas are lowered, and a  STOP sign (or a different sign as required ) is projected. The barrier has a psychological effect because it fills the entire space in front of the driver, whose natural reaction is then to stop and thus avoid a crash. Even if the car runs into the barrier, there will be only limited damage, and it will remain driveable. Such barriers should significantly improve road transport safety in the future.


Smart protective equipment for increased safety of workers in construction and other industries

A safety vest with active lighting using solar energy, gloves with integrated lighting, and shoes offering protecting against the step voltage – are examples of smart safety aids developed by specialists from the RICE research centre of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering,  University of West Bohemia in cooperation with a number of companies. These products can improve  the safety of workers in the construction industry, energy production, and other similar industries.

Smart windows

Scientists from the New Technologies for the Information Society (NTIS) of the Faculty of Applied Sciences have been able to solve major obstacles linked to the production of smart windows. They presented their successful solution at the International Conference on Reactive Sputter Deposition held in Plzeň in December 2017.

Producing a coating for  glass which would control the transmission  of thermal solar radiation depending on the environmental temperature is a topic addressed by many research teams around the world. The problem is that  a very high temperature (400-450 °C) is required during preparation  of the thermochromic VO2, and a  relatively high temperature to trigger the desired effect of  the windows “closing” against  the infrared solar radiation. The Plzeň scientists have developed a new plasma technology for preparation of the VO2 thermochromic layers at temperatures below 300 °C on classic soda lime glass. Moreover, they have been able to achieve the desired effect at even lower temperatures. Thermochromic window coating could radically change the use of air conditioning  in the future.

Smart intervention suit for firefighters

Experts from the RICE research centre of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of West Bohemia have developed a “light“ version of the smart intervention suit for firefighters smartPRO2 in cooperation with Vochoc and Applycon companies. The smartPRO2 security system is a simplified version of the complex smart intervention suit for firefighters smartPRO which won the European tender Smart@Fire in  competition against 54 participants in December 2016. The suit helps the firefighter through its smart functions, such as measuring the inside and outside temperatures, active lighting, etc . It also enables the firefighter to call for help in case of emergency.