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Five ways to get your geek on at the one-north Festival

Wanna play a video game with your mind, have a conversation with a robot or hitch a ride in a driverless car? At this pop-sci fair, you can

Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact, and if you don’t want to be stuck in the past, check out the one-north Festival. Organised by the admittedly very intimidating A*STAR, the festival is part of the research institution’s campaign to shed its bookish image and adopt a friendlier, popular tone – which is probably why these five pop-science stalls are gracing the event.

1
Ride a driverless car
Photo: Arron Teo
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Ride a driverless car

Driverless cars are no longer fantasy – and you could ride in one if you snap a photo with one of two autonomous vehicles parked outside Fusionopolis 1 and tag @OneNorthFestival in your Instagram post. Winners will nab a ride on the same afternoon – and bragging rights, of course.

2
Talk to a robot
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Talk to a robot

Ever spoken with a robot? Strike up what we’re willing to bet is your virgin conversation with one of several social robots: the EDGARs. These (occasionally) witty creations are more human than machine, thanks to the brains at NTU’s BeingThere Centre. Watch the bot hold a presentation, and don’t forget to ask it a question (or tell a joke, if you’re so inclined on testing his intelligence).

3
Watch human tissue being 3D-printed
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Watch human tissue being 3D-printed

Technophobes will cry foul over the advent of 3D printing technology. But if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, you might want to watch human tissue being issued from the Stratasys Fortus 450mc, the same machine used to produce OSCAR, a 3D-printed hand. Then learn about the mechanics behind a 3D printer, and take home a freshly printed National Day souvenir. It ain’t magic – it’s science.

4
Pipette-paint your way to happiness
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Pipette-paint your way to happiness

If the last time you picked up a pipette was in secondary school – wait, do you even remember what a pipette is? – then maybe joining in this mass mural painting will ignite your love for the ‘science-meets-art’ theme of the festival. Using pipettes, paint and other science lab equipment, flex your artistic mastery (or lack thereof) and watch as your creations become part of a mass visual montage. Chemistry class was never this fun.

5
Play a videogame with your mind
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Play a videogame with your mind

Want to live a happier, healthier life and play video games at the same time? Enter Neeuro. The local start-up, in collaboration with neuroscientists, has developed a ‘Fitbit for the mind’, and it comes in the form of a brain-training headband. The Neeuro SenzeBand and Memorie is equipped with sensors that measure brain activity and stimulate the mind through cognitive games that train your memory and decision-making skills. Bid farewell to your fickle tendencies – your mental health is about to get a boost.

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