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Low-energy brake wins €100,000 award
Published:  01 May, 2004

Low-energy brake wins €100,000 award

An innovative electromechanical brake, which is said to use just 3% of the energy of conventional brakes, has won the €100,000 first prize in a new technology awards scheme sponsored by the organisers of the Hannover Fair. The eBrake is a high-tech version of the wedge brakes used, in the past, by coachmen to stop horse-drawn carriages.

The brake - originally developed by the German Aerospace Centre and now being further developed and marketed by a German firm called eStop - uses a technique dubbed "controlled self-reinforcement". Although biggest market for the eBrake is "brake-by-wire" applications on vehicles, the developers believe that it could have industrial uses as well. The €100,000 prize - one of the largest ever awarded for a technological development - was presented to eStop`s Bernd Gombert (above) by the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder at a ceremeny at the Hannover Fair in April.

One of the other five shortlisted contenders for the Hermes Award was ifm electronic, for its Efector octavis - described as the world`s first vibration detector with integrated machine diagnosis. Another company on the shortlist was EnOcean, which has developed a range of wireless sensors powered by solar energy.

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