Water Ahead wants to locate "all" the inhabitants isolated by floods as fast as possible and to supply them first of all with life-saving fresh water so that they can survive until the lifeboats with helpers can reach them.

Together with lifeboats the flotilla of small autonomous capsules swims over the floodwaters. When these capsules – like tracker dogs – locate stranded inhabitants in houses etc. – using technologies like thermal imaging cameras – they self-navigate as fast as possible to reach the people. Acoustic and light signals inform the inhabitants that a capsule is on its way. The muddy water of the flood will be filtered by diffusion through the capsule's intelligent skin and transformed into fresh drinking water. The faucet head at the front of the swimming robot has a pictogram which shows the user how to handle it. If the button is pushed, the pump will transform the muddy water directly into fresh drinking water.

THE JURY'S VERDICT "Water Ahead by Matthias Rauch (Folkwang Hochschule Essen) is a well thought-out study on a floating automatic guided vehicle (AGV), which identifies a new way of producing drinking water for isolated flood victims"

AWARD RECIPIENT MATTHIAS RAUCH "I’m happy about the award and want to thank the jury for their appreciation. The whole project was very exciting – especially because we had to deal with future standards for products and the chances and possibilities of innovative technologies and their advantages for humankind. The combination of an open task – CargoPacks 2020 – and intensive brainstorming opened up a wide perspective on future scenarios, which also broadened my personal horizon for upcoming projects."

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