Welcome to the World 4.0!

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 The concept of

The concept of "intelligent living" by connecting different technologies will be explained at Treffpunkt Science City. (Photograph: Fotolia)

Self-driving cars, talking robots and intelligent houses: the autumn edition of the Treffpunkt Science City series begins next Sunday and will focus on everyday life in the World 4.0.

Life without the internet, mobile phones and constant connectivity? Almost unthinkable for many of us. The digital revolution is having a growing influence on our everyday lives and opening up a whole host of new possibilities, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what digitalisation can offer. That’s why ETH Zurich scientists are carrying out research into technological developments in various areas every day.

The upcoming edition of the Treffpunkt Science City series will offer a detailed insight into life in the World 4.0. From 30 October to 27 November, visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to attend lectures, watch demonstrations and visit exhibits that highlight how our everyday lives are changing as a result of technological developments.

Digital assistance in everyday life

The series, which is held in German, will kick off on 30 October with the first Experience Sunday under the heading ‘Total vernetzt’ (Totally connected). ETH researchers will explain how smart objects work and how intelligent living, perceptive clothing and self-filling refrigerators affect, or could affect, our day-to-day lives. During the demonstrations, visitors will be able to design a pair of perfectly fitting jeans and try them on virtually, or test out a three-dimensional colouring book. Children will have the chance to build their own robots from a range of materials, while teenagers can play computer games developed by ETH students.

The Sunday Special on 6 November is also dedicated to robots. A wide-ranging programme of events will explain how robots might support us in the future - whether by building houses, carrying out rescue operations or acting as couriers. The quadcopter and Bluebird robot will also be on display in an impressive air show.

Opportunities and problems for society

The digital revolution also affects our social behaviour: we use Facebook to keep up with friends online and consult our smartphones when we have questions about our health, and older people are staying independent and fit for longer thanks to innovative technologies. On the second Experience Sunday on 20 November, researchers will highlight the opportunities and problems created by these social changes. Visitors will also have the chance to see a 3D printer up close and to transform their smartphone into a 3D scanner with the help of an app.

On the third and final Experience Sunday, experts will be answering questions such as ‘How can we protect ourselves from hackers’’ and ‘Do we need a new, more secure internet - and what would it look like’’ The new Robotic Fabrication Laboratory on the Hönggerberg campus will also be opening its doors to visitors. This one-of-a-kind laboratory demonstrates how the digital revolution also impacts construction processes and architecture.

Treffpunkt Science City programme overview

The Experience Sundays will take place on 30 October, 20 November and 27 November from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Hönggerberg campus and will offer a wide range of activities for the whole family, including lectures, demonstrations and a programme for children and teenagers. The Sunday Special ‘Die Roboter sind los’ (Robots on the loose) will take place on 6 November from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ETH Zentrum main building. Two panel discussions will also tackle today’s hottest topics: on 3 November, the panel will debate the question ‘Jugend online: Bereit für die Zukunft’’ (Young people online: ready for the future?), while on 23 November three guests will discuss whether we are heading towards digital burnout or a golden age of superhumans in the ‘Offen gesagt’ series. Finally, in ‘Visit’ on 9 November, guests can pay a visit to the SiemensForum in Zurich, where an exhibition will highlight technological developments from the analogue through to the digital age. about the programme can be found here: Life in the World 4.0