Key Research Area

Autarkic Sensor Systems

Autarkic sensor systems are a vital cross-application technology are important drivers of new products and services and are employed in many different industries, including the energy sector and logistics, manufacturing, building automation and medical engineering. In many application areas, the technology is rapidly moving from niche idea to becoming the factor that determines the innovativeness of new products.

Fraunhofer IZM specializes in adapting the subcomponents of autarkic sensor systems to the requirements of individual applications.

  • A key element is precisely adjusting the computing power and power consumption of the processor, which lies at the heart of an autarkic sensor system. We are expert in a wide range of processors – from the simplest microcontrollers through to high-performance systems with co-processing.
  • Whether long-term data logging or digital data processing and relaying in real-time – implementing efficient communication and selecting the appropriate storage is largely shaped by the degree of networking.
  • Sensor elements based on high-resolution components are chosen to optimize power efficiency.
  • A current development focus is integrating optical sensors for color recognition and spectral analysis.

Projects: Autarkic Sensor Systems

SOPRO - Self-Organizing Production

Tomorrow’s manufacturing processes will not only be efficient, but even self-regulating, capable of coordinating and controlling themselves. While this might still sound like sci-fi, exactly this scenario was at the center of research within the project “SOPRO” (Self-Organizing Production).


We are developing a wireless sensor system with self-sufficient power supply for power lines, which can monitor entire transmission networks to optimize throughput capacities.

FishFIT Monitoring – Integrated Microsystem Technology in Water

In the FishFit project, we developed and tested a miniaturized wireless sensor system as monitoring application for many areas of biosciences and engineering.

HealthCoach@ ConnectedLiving

Using IT for home nursing is still largely uncharted territory. Almost all tasks, including documentation, are performed manually. Many of these will continue to be necessary in the future, but can and have to be supported by technology.


We are developing the foundations of delivering user-friendly and adaptable services for the aged in this project. This requires an integrative approach that combines existing and new concepts in hardware and software into one overall solution.

Fraunhofer‘s lighthouse project "Towards Zero Power Electronics"

In Fraunhofer‘s lighthouse project, the development of a extremely energy-efficient and modular hardware creates the basis for a comprehensive Internet of Things.