When the animal world inspires science

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From 29 April to 8 May 2022, EPFL will offer the public the chance to discover the close links between science and the animal world during the BEA fair in Bern.

Whether they walk, swim or fly, animals continue to fascinate us. Researchers have always drawn inspiration from their incredible abilities to drive science forwards and develop new technologies. Conversely, technology helps us improve our understanding of animals.

The " Living Things @EPFL " exhibition created for the BEA fair in Bern , from 29 April to 8 May 2022, will be devoted to these relations which tie the scientific world to the animal world. A dozen research projects from several laboratories at the EPFL will be presented.

The public will have the opportunity to discover several bio-inspired robots and drones, such as a salamander robot, designed to study how vertebrates move, or a hawk-drone. Visitors will also be able to learn more about the way certain technologies, such as intelligent hives, can help protect certain species. Finally, they will be invited to use microscopes to observe the embryos of zebra fish and of fruit flies with which certain EPFL laboratories work.

A range of activities for everyone

Within this space covering 200m2, children and adults will be able to explore this universe through numerous activities and demonstrations that are as fun as they are educational.

Workshops and visits organized by the Promotion of Sciences Department and the Promotion of Education Department will be organized throughout the week for secondary I classes from the Canton of Bern. Pupils will be able to learn how to program a Thymio learning robot or to create a robot-origami and discover the exciting fields the engineers work in by means of interactive tools.

At weekends, children aged 6 to 13 will be able to create a solar-powered "bug" during a workshop designed for families.

On Saturday 7 May at 3.30 p.m., Silke Pan, the Swiss paraplegic athlete and handbike champion, will perform a demonstration with TWIICE , a walking aid exoskeleton developed at the EPFL.

FInally, the EPFL engineers will be on hand throughout the fair at the EPFL stand, enabling anyone present to learn more about the school, its courses and the opportunities they lead to.

About the BEA The BEA is one of the largest general trade fairs in Switzerland open the general public. Every year, it attracts almost 290,000 visitors and more than 950 exhibitors at the very heart of Bern.


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