October 15, 2015
How do people who can’t visually perceive their surroundings, or are very limited in this regard, navigate in new environments without help? For the past 10 years, this question has kept Susan Wache and other scientists at the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück busy. Wache just received first place at the Northern Germany preliminary round of the Falling Walls Lab at Jacobs University for her idea of a tactile navigation device for blind and visually impaired people, which is a belt that directs the wearer to his or her desired destination.
Second place went to Vasile Apostu for his idea of an innovative handcart made from lightweight materials to facilitate the transport of children in traffic, as well as on buses and trains. What makes this cart so special? It will be manufactured by people with disabilities at workshops held at Martinshof in Bremen.
Each of the competition’s nine participants had three minutes to present their innovative project or idea to an interdisciplinary jury headed by Vice-President of the University of Osnabrück, Prof. Dr. May-Britt Kallenrode. The presentations covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from temperature measurements, materials science and protein production, to ideas for localizing emotions on cards. At the finals, which was held in Berlin on November 8, Wache and Apostu were among 100 young researchers from 75 countries to appear before a jury comprised of international experts.