GENIALE: From a 360° Crime Movie to a Robot Operator’s License

Action Day for Science Festival to be held at CITEC Building on 23 August

As part of the GENIALE science festival, the Cluster of Excellence CITEC invites visitors to an Action Day on thinking technology on Wednesday, 23 August 2017. At CITEC, kids and adults can get their “robot operator’s license,” have a look around a smart apartment, or experience for themselves how smart glasses can help make daily life easier. This Action Day is part of GENIALE’s Campus Days, which are being jointly hosted by Bielefeld University and the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld from 22–23 August 2017.

Bielefeld University is hosting 50 events on campus, and another nine events in the city of Bielefeld where visitors will have the chance to learn from science experts. CITEC is taking part in some 20 of these activities.

In a workshop called “Your Robot Operator’s License,” visitors get to experience robots first hand. Photo: CITECAt the CITEC Building on Wednesday, 23 August 2017, the following events will be on offer to visitors:

  • Kids aged 3–5 years can learn how robots work in a workshop called “Dein Roboterführerschein” (“Your Robot Operator’s License”). They will learn how robots perceive their surroundings, and what they need to move through that space, as well as how they can talk with humans. Visitors can experience robots first-hand and help a small toy robot to find its way:
  • “Speedstacking,” a fascinating speed-based sport for which you need nimble hands, will be introduced in the CITEC foyer in a hands-on activity. Alongside this, participants will also get an understanding of human ocular motor control while learning this activity. Since Speedstacking is so fast and easy to learn, feelings of success are guaranteed. This participatory activity will also be offered on Tuesday, 22 August:   
  •  The event “Gedächtnis, Gehirn und Bewegung” (“Memory, Brain, and Movement”) is all about how human motion can be researched. In the CITEC foyer, CITEC researchers will demonstrate the latest scientific methods, procedures, and techniques that will help provide insight into the composition of human movements. At interactive touchscreen terminals, visitors can learn about motor memory, how sport addiction happens, and much more:
  • Nao the robot is as big as a baby – but it can stand on its own two feet and is very flexible. At the experiential “teutolab-robotik“ lab in the CITEC foyer, kids can learn how movements can be programmed into Nao. Nao’s “colleague” is a dinosaur robot called Pleo. Visitors can learn how to feed Pleo, and get it to do tricks. In addition to this, visitors can also see and touch a model for a robot from nature: the stick insect.
  • With “3D-Bewegungsanalyse in Echtzeit” (“3-D Motion Analysis in Real-Time”), researchers from sports science and psychology will present how the human brain plans and controls sequences of movement at the Biomechanik Labor (Biomechanics Laboratory, Room 0.415). During the laboratory tour, state-of-the-art 3D-motion analysis techniques will be demonstrated:
  • A presentation in the Taktillabor (Tactile Lab, Room 0.112) called “Wie Roboterhände das Greifen begreifen” (“How Robot Hands Grasp Grasping”) deals with motion learning in robots. Without giving much thought to it, humans use their hands for various tasks, such as picking things up and moving them. Robot hands first have to learn these kinds of grasping motions. Researchers at CITEC will demonstrate how they teach robot hands to grasp objects without crushing or dropping them:
  • The team from CITEC’s Central Lab Facilities will introduce robots Floka and Tobi in the presentation “Wie Serviceroboter lernen, uns zu helfen” (“How Service Robots Learn to Help Us”). At CITEC, the robots Floka and Tobi are learning how they can provide assistance to people in their apartments. Tobi can, for instance, serve drinks or accompany people. Floka can be fitted with an “emotional head” that is able to express various facial expressions, making it easier for humans to interact with the robot:
  • Putting on a pair of glasses and being right in the center of the action: this is possible with the hands-on activity “360° Filme” (“360° Movies”), which explains how 360° cameras work, and how home users can find an entry point into 360° movies:
  • The 360° whodunit crime movie “Der 36. Geburtstag” (The 36th Birthday) begins innocently enough with a party, but then…Here, Participants watch the short film with virtual reality glasses and are invited to help solve the crime. Due to the nature of the plot, the crime film is suitable for those aged 14 and older (Room 1.015):
  • Smart glasses provide support with daily activities, and also help to avoid human mistakes. In the laboratory tour “Intelligente Datenbrille als Assistenzsystem” (“Smart Glasses as Assistive System”), visitors can see how with these glasses, it is as easy as 1-2-3 to assemble a bird house or prepare a cup of coffee or tea with a high-tech machine. The glasses recognize the user’s eye movements and provide assistance with customized virtual displays in the user’s field of vision (Room 3.045):
  • The smart apartment KogniHome shows how life in 2024 might look like. Here, visitors can test intelligent versions of everyday home furnishings and fixtures that have been developed as part of the KogniHome project. The door to the apartment autonomously recognizes residents of the home and opens automatically. The mirror compiles customized information and helps residents pick out their clothing. In addition to this, a personal Fitness coach provides fun training in one’s own living room. Researchers from the research institution CITEC will explain the technology behind the prototypes, and point to possibilities in the future (CSRA Room 1.1117):

Participants need nimble hands and a quick mind for a hands-on activity called “Speedstacking.” Photo: CITECIn addition to the Action Day at CITEC, the following events also feature research from the Cluster of Excellence:

  • Science Cinema brings together movies and research: “Alles steht Kopf” (“Inside Out”) is being screened on Saturday, 19 August at the Filmkunsttheater Kamera (Kamera Art Film Theater). In this animated movie, the feelings “Joy,” “Sadness,” “Anger,” “Disgust,” and “Worry” are depicted as characters in the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Do our brains and emotions really work like this? Dr. Christian Becker-Asano, an expert in emotion simulation in robots, will discuss this after the screening: Science Cinema is organized by Bielefeld University (CITEC and the Faculty of Technology), the Filmkunsttheater Kamera, and the Wissenschaftsbüro (Science Office) of Bielefeld Marketing GmbH.

  • Also playing at Science Cinema is “Findet Dorie” (“Finding Dorie”). This is a movie about friendship, family, and self-confidence, as well as animal and environmental protection in the oceanic ecosystem. After the screening, visitors will have the opportunity to discuss with Professor of Biology Oliver Krüger what Dorie’s voyage has to do with biology and marvels of the ocean great and small.

  • The third film in GENIALE’s Science Cinema is the comedy called “Robot & Frank,” which is about an aging former thief suffering from dementia who regains his zest for life with the help of a domestic robot and new plans for a heist. The film gives an amusing glimpse into the future. Or is it all just science fiction? After the screening, Prof. Ipke Wachsmuth will talk about how advanced robot technology really is, and will open the conversation for discussion with the audience:

  • In their GENIALE event, CITEC researcher Professor Dr. Tobias Heed and his team dedicate themselves to the human body and pose questions such as “How do we know where we are touched – what belongs to our body?” and “How do we move accurately?” Visitors can experience for themselves how the brain perceives the body, and how it deals with changes and growth in the hands-on experiments “Der Körper im Gehirn” (“The Body in the Brain”), which are being held from 19–21 August in the “Schlaumacher-Zentrale” on the Jahnplatz. During the Campus Days, they will their research laboratories and demonstrate additional experiments that are used in their research:
  • On Wednesday, 23 August, at the Historisches Museum Bielefeld (Bielefeld Historical Museum), Pepper the robot will greet guests and serve as their museum guide, providing explanations of several objects. Visitors can test out the robot and interact with it. The robot is designed to observe people’s behavior, gauge their interest, and react accordingly. Researchers from the fields of computer science and communications are working together on this project:
  • Most people would like to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. What could help us with this in the future? On Thursday, 24 August, a tour through the KogniHome smart apartment called “Hilfe! – Die technischen Assistenten kommen“ (“Help! –Technical Assistants Are Coming”) gives a glimpse into the future. At KogniHome, visitors can view an “intelligent” kitchen stovetop that helps with cooking, and a mirror that knows your appointments, the weather, and the bus schedule. KogniHome is a cooperative project coordinated by CITEC, and the Fachhochschule der Diakonie (Diaconical University of Applied Sciences) will welcome visitors on the tour:
  • What should a smart home be able to do? And what would it be better off not doing? What decisions should a smart home make for us? These and other questions will be addressed in the open discussion called “Zukunft Wohnen – Was darf ein schlaues Zuhause?” (“The Future of Living – What Should a Smart House Do?”). Visitors will discuss these issues with Melissa Henne (v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel), Dr. Thorsten Jungeblut (Cluster of Excellence CITEC), Prof. Dr. Thomas Zippert (Fachhochschule der Diakonie) und Ralf Müterthies (from the company Hettich). CITEC and Bethel are working together on the “KogniHome – The Smart Apartment” research project:
  • Today, robots are already being used in nursing care facilities to help provide support to elderly individuals in their daily lives. It is only a matter of time until virtual avatars, talking kitchens, or self-driving vehicles become as commonplace as smartphones. But how ethical does a coffee machine have to be? To what extent should a virtual avatar be allowed to intervene in the life of someone with dementia? Such questions will be addressed by CITEC computer scientist Professor Dr. Stefan Kopp in conversation with Professor Dr. Rüdinger Bittner from the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology:

GENIALE 2017 encompasses a total of 185 free projects and 500 scheduled events. It is organized by the Wissenschaftsbüro (Science Office) of Bielefeld Marketing GmbH together with university partners and other institutions. The complete schedule of events for GENIALE 2017 is available at and as an informational brochure at the Tourist Information Center Bielefeld (located at Niederwall 23). Many of the events on offer require registration due to limited capacity – simply go online to sign up on the GENIALE homepage. For questions about the program, please call the GENIALE hotline at 0521 513636 or send an email to    

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