Workforce innovation – DBusiness journal

The digital camera was designed by Michael Meier and colleagues from the Bosch Group. // Courtesy of Bosch

Throughout his 17 years as an engineer for the Bosch Group in Plymouth Township, Michael Meier was awarded greater than half a dozen U.S. patents for ingenious options to numerous mobility points—”ache factors,” in engineering parlance—that seem in buyer complaints.

There was a patent for lowering vehicle-animal collisions, one other included a most braking threshold for a motorbike going by means of a bend, and a 3rd was for “boat slip management” that benefited boaters.

None of those innovations had the identical sort of private connection to Meier because the one Bosch confirmed off in September on the North American Worldwide Auto Present in downtown Detroit. The invention, a reversing digital camera system for pickup vans, permits the driving force to see behind their automobile no matter whether or not the rear liftgate is within the raised or closed place.

“I really like driving pickup vans and I learn some articles and noticed some complaints about folks with pickup vans with the digital camera going through down and never with the ability to see something behind them, and that sort of resonated with me,” Meier says. “I had the identical downside with my truck once I was backing up (with the doorways down) and I could not see the place I used to be going. I’ve labored on cameras prior to now and I believed there needed to be a great way to deal with this.”

Meier says he spent six months tinkering with concepts for a rear-view digital camera and a system that might work with the rear doorways on his pickup truck up or down. Since his workspace at Bosch is shut to a different division, he approached a colleague and shared his concepts for a complete digital camera system.

“We sort of brainstormed and I got here up with the thought and the patent,” says Meier. “The CEO (who was answerable for the group) thought it was a fairly good concept on the time and pushed it by means of fairly rapidly.”

As Meier explains, the corporate, which has its personal North American firm headquarters in Farmington Hills, has groups engaged on varied challenges. He says that for his tasks, totally different consultants oversaw wants like low decision, digital capabilities, and digital camera pixels. Consequently, bringing his preliminary patent to actuality turned a gaggle challenge.

Stephen Miller, a Bosch senior govt who oversees video announcement features, says Meier’s innovation is a part of a tradition the corporate — based in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch — has nurtured for greater than a century.

Courtesy of Bosch
Courtesy of Bosch

In 1897, the corporate launched a magnetic ignition machine that proved to be a turning level in mass manufacturing. Because the forerunner of the automobile ignition system, it helped make cars a standard mode of transportation. Right now, the enterprise is targeted on 4 sectors: Mobility Options, Industrial Know-how, Client Items and Vitality and Development Know-how.

“What we’re attempting to do probably the most is give folks a simple solution to submit their concepts,” Miller says. “What we love to do is permit folks to submit only a primary concept for one thing, and it goes to an inside web site so it might probably get suggestions from different colleagues. Then now we have a gaggle that really critiques these (functions) and decides if it is one thing that our enterprise unit ought to proceed or switch to a different enterprise unit, or possibly we have to dig just a little deeper or broaden on that.”

In Meier’s case, his invention resulted in a dual-field rearview digital camera system for elevator doorways. One exhibits the open place and the opposite exhibits the down place. Each fields of imaginative and prescient overlap within the frequent visual view, no matter whether or not the elevator door is up or down.

To ensure that this to work, a sensor signifies when the rear liftgate is open or closed and passes this data to the digital controller, which receives picture knowledge from the digital camera unit and adjusts the picture knowledge to indicate the driving force all the shared visual view behind the automobile.

In July, the US Patent Workplace authorised and revealed one other patent software by Meier and two of his Bosch colleagues, detailing one other advance in rear-view cameras for automobiles. This one concerned programming the digital camera to default to the second digital camera when the view of the primary is obstructed by a liftgate or cargo behind the truck.

Miller says Bosch’s means of bringing in group-wide or company-wide suggestions and peer assessment accelerates the innovation course of.

“It is good to have this clear manner—and a fairly low barrier, I might say, for folks to go down the trail of invention with out having to completely write a patent and even know do it,” Miller says. “I’ve used it a number of instances, and other people on my group do, and there is a little compensation (for the group and the inventor) upfront if one thing will get patented. So it is just a little encouragement, however I feel it is largely a artistic outlet — an outlet for folks’s creativity.”

Miller says that the innovations and patents that Bosch holds have a tendency to return from one in every of two paths.

“One entails folks engaged on an issue after which they give you a brand new solution to do it, and we attempt to patent it,” Miller says. “Different instances folks study ache factors from their very own driving expertise or listening to different folks complain about issues, just like what Mike did, then making the reference to the know-how that Bosch has and the way that may very well be adopted or modified and used (to resolve the issue).”

Tailgate Time - Frank Riggi, Meng Cai and Stephen Miller, along with Michael Meier (not shown), from Bosch have developed a new tailgate camera system designed to improve reversing while driving a pickup truck.  // Courtesy of Bosch
Tailgate Time – Frank Riggi, Meng Cai and Stephen Miller, together with Michael Meier (not proven), from Bosch have developed a brand new tailgate digital camera system designed to enhance reversing whereas driving a pickup truck. // Courtesy of Bosch

Miller, who earned his Ph.D. Ph.D. in out of doors physics from the California Institute of Know-how in Pasadena, says Bosch is a German firm however has a giant presence within the Detroit space, particularly in growing options that make it simpler and safer for drivers towing trailers behind their automobiles.

“Once we have a look at trailering, Bosch’s growth in that space is occurring right here regionally as a result of we acknowledge that trailering is a giant factor in america, nevertheless it’s not as large in different elements of the world,” he says.

It is no shock that Meier would go on to a profession highlighted by the innovations he owns. After graduating from Grand Blanc Excessive Faculty, he earned a bachelor’s diploma in electrical engineering from the College of Michigan.

From there, he joined Delphi Corp. in Flint, the place he was assigned instrument work. A switch from Delphi despatched him to Indiana, the place he enrolled at Purdue College and earned a grasp’s diploma in pc engineering.

After becoming a member of Bosch in 2005, Meier spent two years in Germany engaged on platform growth. The 44-year-old inventor now lives in Walled Lake along with his household, the place right now he comes up with one other concept.

It has a Raspberry Pi pc that can be utilized to construct {hardware} tasks, study programming abilities, or obtain industrial functions. “It is a pc that you need to use for some cool issues, and I would like to give you concepts for it,” he says.