Jeziel checks out SciTech’s Bionic Me exhibition

Thursday, December 1, 2016 4:29 pm

By Mike Atkinson | Drive Producer and Public Relations Officer

A race against a Paralympian, a Virtual Reality jet pack and a game where you can control a ball with your mind was more than enough to tempt Jeziel out of the studio to visit SciTech’s latest exhibition Bionic Me.

It will run for the next 6 months after opening in mid-November and was packed to the rafters with visitors from schools across Perth and the general public.

Jeziel quizzed SciTech’s Exhibit Experience Coordinator Rachael Hughes on her latest creation.

Jeziel (JA): Now you’ve kind of landed your dream job, haven’t you? You’ve been here for thirteen years – which is incredible — How’s the last thirteen years been?

Rachel Hughes (RH): Ah, it’s been awesome! I’ve had lots of different roles here. So, I started here as a volunteer, I’ve been a presenter, I’ve done thirty shows where I’ve set my hand on fire… and now I work with and awesome bunch of people, who helped to design these exhibitions.

JA: I’m looking at your hands, they look fine, so you’ve obviously have done your job right! Now today we’ve got the “Bionic Me”. Tell us a little bit about this exhibit.

RH: Uh, so this exhibition is all about how technology can be used to enhance our experience of the world: so, how it can make us move differently or sense differently or communicate differently.

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JA: So, how has has “Bionic Me” or bionics helped um, in everyday life, these days?

RH: Well, there’s lots of things all around us. Things like cochlear implants and bionic eyes can help people. Even things like the way we interact with our mobile phones and a lot of that kind of technology is represented here, too.

JA: So, for the less fortunate, I should say, how has it helped them?

RH: So people with limited mobility — we’ve got things like prosthetic and we’ve got different ways of actually being able to sense the world, so we’ve got exhibits which are looking at things like Braille, 3D-printed maps for those with low vision and different ways of actually being able to sense the world.

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JA: Amazing, and not only does it help the disabled, but you’ve got some amazing stuff here. I’m looking at now and I can’t wait to have a go! Some of these machines you can control with your mind? How on earth does that work?!

RH: Well, basically what it does is you have electrodes which sit on your skin. On your head. And it will measure small amounts of brain-waves that are leaking through your skin. And by looking at the levels of those you can control what’s going on. So, in our exhibit you have to be nice and calm and as you try and reduce those brainwaves a little bit and that will actually make a ball rise in the air.

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JA: Wow. (laughs) There’s nothing much more I can say other than that. Wow! So there’s obviously, there’s a lot of kids — as you can probably tell by the background noise. Are these kids just like left with their mouths open, going “Wow, this is what the world holds?”

EH: The kids absolutely love it, you know… There’s some that, they really love engaging with.The XO skeleton that’s behind us (is popular) that you can actually like super-super strengthen.

About to pick up shipping containers and chuck them around. The race against the paralympian is awesome, there’re always queues of kids wanting to race against Scott Reardon and just see if they can beat his time. And then you’ve got things like the tunnel of darkness where you just get to crawl through a tunnel and see if you can use your other senses to actually try and find your way.

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Tune in to Drive with Jeziel every 2nd Tuesday to listen to the latest news from SciTech.

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