Smart Villages and Fab Lab Halmstad create a sustainable and smart society together
Halmstad University and Smart Villages start a new Fab Lab – a manufacturing laboratory – in the town of Veberöd. The village already functions as a testbed for several of Halmstad University's research projects.
“Smart Villages is an exciting initiative where technology and methods for the smart communities of the future can be tested and followed up in a well-defined area with knowledgeable and committed partners.”
The Smart Villages concept is a hub that brings together companies, local associations, and universities for collaboration on joint research projects. In the village of Veberöd in Skåne, a platform for research on, and development of, the smart society is created in this way.
“Gathering researchers and companies to look at an entire village's needs and opportunities to become more sustainable is a bit of a dream. The goal for Veberöd is to become a test village for the whole of Sweden, where we can develop sustainability with focus on the entire society, including the countryside”, says Jan Malmgren from Smart Villages.
Bengt-Göran Rosén, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Halmstad University, sees many opportunities:
“Smart Villages is an exciting initiative where technology and methods for the future smart communities can be tested and followed up in a well-defined area with knowledgeable and committed partners. We see great opportunities to carry out research and development activities linked to rural development, sustainability and smart communities.”
More universities are invited to collaborate
Halmstad University and Smart Villages are thus starting a Fab Lab, i.e., a manufacturing laboratory, in Veberöd. The concept derives from the American university Michigan Institute of Technology, MIT, and a Fab Lab has already been available for several years at Halmstad University. There is an established collaboration with Lund University, Luleå University of Technology, Kristianstad University and the company Kraftringen AB. More universities are currently being invited.
“The goal is, of course, to create societal benefits by working more interdisciplinary in different areas of expertise, but also create a clearer connection between researchers, students and other parts of society.”
“Getting the opportunity to collaborate with Smart Villages in Veberöd will benefit research and education at Halmstad University. It will also significantly influence what a smart society may need from the education system, business sector and the public sector. Of course, the goal is to create societal benefits by working more interdisciplinary in different areas of expertise and creating a clearer connection between researchers, students, and other parts of society”, says Martin Bergman, collaboration coordinator and lab manager for Fab Lab Halmstad.
Text: Christa Amnell and Anna-Frida Agardson
Bild: Jan Malmgren
Examples of previous projects
Connected watering troughs
Attempt to connect watering troughs in cow pastures. The water taps alert when the water runs out. In this way, the cows have avoided going thirsty. Also, data on how often cows drink has been collected.
Water meter for trees
It is not only cows that are thirsty, but also trees. A local nursery garden received information about when the trees needed to be watered with sensors' help. By only watering when it is required, water consumption is reduced. The project has also provided knowledge about how water is absorbed in dry soil.
3d printed protective visors
When the covid-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, both Fab Lab Halmstad and Smart Villages quickly reacted. They saw that there was a need for protective visors in health and care, so they started producing them. In Veberöd, 18 3D-printers printed arcs for the visor - around the clock.
Flying medicine and specialist health care via AR
In the countryside, it can be a long way to the nearest pharmacy. Similarly, access to specialized care is often limited. Two different projects investigated how medicines and health care could get closer to the inhabitants. On trial, medicines were delivered by drones, and with the help of modern VR technology, specialist doctors met patients without actually being on-site.