“Rolland”, the intelligent wheelchair

Getting a picture of what you’ll look like in 70 or 80 years. How does aging feel? What does a city for every age look like?? Living in retirement. These are just a few of the topics and questions that will be addressed starting this monday, 19. August, until wednesday, 21. August, answers. Then the exhibition ship "MS wissenschaft" moors at the jetty in kitzingen.

Since april, the converted cargo ship has been traveling on canals and rivers, visiting 40 towns in germany and austria. The exhibition is entitled "all generations in one boat – shaping demographic change together". This is also the topic of the science year 2013. The floating "science center" with its 600 square meters of exhibition space is considered the high point of the respective science years, ever since it was first commissioned by the university of bremen in 2002.

"This year’s exhibition deals with the important issues surrounding demographic development: what is it like to be young?? What it is like to be old? What challenges arise from the coexistence of young and old??" Says markus weibkopf, the managing director of wissenschaft im dialog gmbh. The event covers a wide range of aspects relating to demographic change. The exhibition invites visitors to join in, so that they can approach the topics in a playful way. The main target group is young people.

For georg schutte, secretary of state at the federal ministry of education and research, demographic change affects the whole of society: "we are facing major changes, because we are living longer, we are becoming fewer and we are becoming more diverse," schutte is quoted as saying in the MS wissenschaft invitation. The exhibition aims to show the contribution of education, science and research in describing the phenomenon of demographic change. It is important to take a hard look at the risks and see demographic change as an enormous opportunity. MS wissenschaft is one of the instruments for bringing the topic closer to the burgers, says schutte.

The exhibition explains key words such as "intergenerational contract" and "age pyramid" and provides information on population trends in germany. Engineering scientists show how they equip senior apartments so that residents can live in their own homes for a long time.

"We want to show that demographic change brings with it a host of challenges, but that these challenges cannot simply roll in on us, but can be shaped together," explained professor dr. Gerold wefer, chairman of the steering committee of science in dialog, on the occasion of the opening in april.

The exhibition was conceived and implemented on behalf of the federal ministry of education and research by the initiative wissenschaft im dialog (science in dialogue). The exhibits were provided by the fraunhofer-gesellschaft, the helmholtz-gemeinschaft, the leibniz-gemeinschaft, the max-planck-gesellschaft and university institutes, among others.

Topics include "living in retirement" and "safety at home. The robot seal "paro" promises to stroke the brain and help dementia patients become more linguistic and physically relaxed. Visitors can try out an intelligent wheelchair called "rolland". It can also be used by people who were physically or mentally unable to drive a wheelchair. Visitors can compete in a word game and test their reading speed on a selection of 10,000 words. A "morphing station" makes it possible to get an idea of what you will look like in 70 or 80 years time.

The exhibition on the MS wissenschaft opens this monday, 19. August, from 1 to 7 p.M., on tuesday, 20. August, from 10 a.M. To 7 p.M. And on wednesday, 21. August, open from 10 a.M. To 6 p.M. Admission is free.


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