TÜV Saarland Foundation

This non-profit foundation’s statute earmarks its allocated funds to the objective of promoting research and teaching of the technical sciences and related disciplines. This includes scientific studies and research projects, such as academic degrees in technical fields.


Projects supported by the TÜV Saarland Foundation often include safety aspects of new technologies and technical concepts, as well as active and passive user protection. This is the case with the project we currently support.

The safe use of hand-operated electrical devices and e-vehicles

The electrification of devices and vehicles is changing our daily lives. E-vehicles enable the emissions-free transport of people and things. And when it comes to hand-held devices, there’s another important factor: The physical and use-related capabilities of the operators are supported and/or strengthened. This increases the convenience. And it is often the prerequisite for many tasks.

In daily life, the use of electrical devices is everywhere to be seen. It includes power tools, wheelchairs, rollators, hospital beds, intra-logistics vehicles and golf caddies, for example. These devices are usually operated with one or both hands by means of a pressure switch, a rotary switch or a toggle switch. With the increasing electrical power and/or the increased proficiency on the part of the human operators, these operating systems are no longer sufficient, however. As the input response isn’t quick enough or sufficiently sensitive, the control of the devices becomes inaccurate.

The Chair for Drive Technology at the University of Saarland is exploring a new approach. Its goal is the intuitive operation of hand-held electrical devices with the use of sensory handles. The precondition for this development is an automated dynamic test- and measurement bench.

Test bench for sensory handles combined with electric motors

The TÜV Saarland Foundation is supporting the development of an automated test bench and its use for the development of sensory handles.

With their project, the researchers want to log the volition for motion on the part of the operator with the use of the handles, and to implement this as intuitively as possible in terms of the actual motion. For this purpose, the sensory handles should be able to detect forces and torques in six dimensions. To advance the research, these complex motion commands must be capable of being checked automatically. In the project, the existing test bench is initially being supplemented with dynamic elements, connected to a suitable measuring system, and then used for the further development of the sensory handles.

The goal of the funded research work is to increase the safety of electronic devices through intuitive, sensitive operation, and the close interaction with the electric motor. This effect can already be seen from the current research scenarios – in terms of the safe completion of the transport of sick and injured persons with a high weight, the prevention of rollator users falling over, and the automatic braking of pushchairs or golf caddies, for example.


  • Hans-Jürgen Hoffmann

Board of trustees

  • Bärbel Arend, Chairwoman
  • Dr.-Ing. Klaus Blug, Vice Chairman
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Bähre
  • Prof. Guido Britz
  • Prof. Jürgen Griebsch
  • Prof. Michael Vielhaber
  • Prof. Christian Köhler
  • Petra Krenn
  • Jens Apelt