Honey bees share their information about food sources through the waggle dance. This type of communication has long been known. But experts were still puzzled about how exactly they the details of the informations were communicated with their dance. Now biologists and computer scientists at the “Free University Berlin” have developed a robotic bee that helps decoding this dancing steps.
This fascinating project is part of the DFG exhbition “Von der Idee zur Erkenntnis”, which is currently traveling through Germany. Design, development of interactive exhibits and production was realized by my business unit “Interactive Exhibits” at Triad Berlin. Details about location and opening hours can be found on the DFG website. (image source)
Every project that is introduced at the exhibition consist of the same constitutive parts: the individual color code of the project, the significant teaser image, an intriguing intro question, the wall with detailed information about the project at its inner side and the so called laboratory. Here the visitors can slip into the role of the researcher for a moment and experiment on their own. Therefore each project has an especially developed hands on station with a simple interactive exhibit. Some of them are digital due to the wish of the researchers and the character of his project, but we tried to make as many as possible to be more analog and a bit playful. That ensures that even the most complex research projects attract more visitors then on the first sight would be interested in the topic.
A so called researchers file card is introducing the responsible researcher and his team. It also provides interesting background information by displaying the answers to 5 questions each of the responsible project managers has been asked.
On the right you can see the bee with a transponder on its back. During flight she is tracked by a radar and the information will later be transferred to the software. The Robobee imitates the waggle dance of other bees and the researchers control by radar if the bees are following the instructions to find the right food source.
Do you know how a centrifuge works and what it is used for? Well… most of the children we met on our press walkabout for the Wissenschaftspfad (Science Parcours) in Lübeck knew it better to explain then me. But good to know, that these exhibits are spread all over the historic city and make you explore things again, that we forgot again after school is a while ago allready. At least these two ladies had a lot of fun spinning and spinning and spinning… (image source)
Maths is not everybodies darling. But abacuses are still used in certain parts of the world – and not that difficult to understand as most of the people think. Just give it a try and visit the Science Trail (Wissenschaftspfad) in Lübeck! (image source)
When the visitors reach their goal, the isltes of Langerhans, they are asked to answer some basic questions about diabetes, that they’ve learned during their visit of the exhibition. After having successfully answered these questions, the integrated penny press will be activated. The visitor can insert a coin and produce his personal souvenir: a pressed penny that he can keep in his wallet to remember taking care about one of his bodies treasure: the pankreas. (image source)
For both of them interesting: at the digital microscope exhibit the visitors can explore organ shaped graphic panels showing the lever, pankreas and heart. By positioning them under the lense of the exhibit they can virtually zoom into different levels of these organ graphics and learn how Boehringer Ingelheim helps with its research patients to better deal with their diabetes. (image source)