Demographic Change / High Tech for the Elderly / Climate Data from Holiday Flights / Mars Drones
In 2050 the world population is expected to reach nine billion people. Population change exhibits great regional diversity. In countries such as Germany, the population is shrinking. Other countries, with high birth rates, are struggling to feed their people. These developments, known as 'demographic change,' have far-reaching economic and social implications.
How can science help tackle the problems posed by shifting population patterns? That is the focus of a series of reports on Tomorrow Today.
In Germany as the number of seniors rises, the number of younger people is sinking, and there are not enough caregivers. That is why scientists are examining a possible role for robots in care for the elderly. One such research project is "Smart Senior” supported by Berlin’s Charité Hospital and Deutsche Telekom.
It centers around a model apartment that is fully networked with tablet PCs, mobile phones and monitoring screens. Tomorrow Today visits a man who lives in the apartment part-time to hear about his experiences and the results of the study.
With our studio guest Birgid Eberhardt, an expert on ‘ambient assisted living', we talk about technology for the elderly.
How will the earth’s climate develop over the coming decades? In order to carry out realistic computer simulations, researchers need more measurements from the higher layers of the atmosphere. In order to procure the data, commercial aircraft are being fitted with probes to measure concentrations of gases and aerosols at altitudes of 10 kilometers.
A number of European countries have joined the IAGOS project headed by the Jülich Research Center. The goal is to equip 50 to 100 planes with measuring equipment.
A probe landing on Mars has to be able to orient itself and determine its distance from the surface. Since Mars has no orbiting navigation satellites the probe would have to do without GPS. A Swiss robotics researcher has developed a navigation system that functions without satellite data. It orients itself autonomously using a single camera.
On earth it is actually intended for use in unmanned micro helicopters inside buildings where there is no satellite connection - for example in disaster situations. Because of its applications for planetary exploration, the system grabbed NASA's interest.