As part of a cooperation project between Mediasphere For Nature and werk5, an original specimen of a saltwater crocodile was digitised by means of a 3D scan and reproduced as a full-size 3D model. Thanks to the built-in Multi-Sense-Box visitors learn more about the characteristics of the crocodile via audio feedback by touching one of the four sensory points.
Digitalisation at your fingertips
Data is the key
The Museum for Natural History Berlin has a huge insect collection that will be digitized in the next few years. This research project shows the new possibilities and subsequent use that digitised material can offer.
The starting point for the tactile model is the 3D scan of a dor beetle from the museum’s collection. For the reproduction as a model, the 3D data had to be prepared beforehand by our project managers. Thanks to high-resolution photographs of the beetle, even the most delicate parts of the body could be matched with its digital twin in order to recreate the dor beetle as true to life as possible.
Tactile learning - controlling with gestures
Multi Sense Software
With the Multi-Sense-Box, we have developed a solution through which an exhibit (like this replica of a crocodile) plays audio content when individual sensory points are touched. With this beetle model, we go one step further and go beyond just turning audio on/off:
The entire body of the model is sensory and able to locate and evaluate gestures.
Through the internal development into a multi-sense software recognises gestures to retrieve content. A content-management-system allows the museum staff to adapt or change the audio content.
Valuable feedback from the experts
A prototype enabled us to carry out the necessary tests with the user group during the development phase. Each milestone was followed by a round of workshops:
- Which gestures are intuitive?
- Is the scientific content understandable and interesting?
- Should content be deleted or added?
- May the texts become even longer?
Thanks to the feedback from the users, we were able to adapt and optimise the tactile beetle model to their needs.
In order to make the model inclusive, we also addressed the needs of non visually impaired test persons. The feedback from the first two public test presentations in the Museum itself and at MUTEC 2022 was taken into account.
Tactile learning opens up a new scope in knowledge transfer
The final exhibit was produced in black Corian®. Thus, the model visually comes quite close to the original. Only the metallic shimmer and some blue, red or green colour shades are missing.
The exhibit is complemented by an inscribed base plate with Braille and pyramid lettering. The linking of visual, audio and tactile information enables learning according to the two-senses principle – also for people with disabilities.
The inclusive design of the tactile dor beetle model leads to a new form of knowledge transfer that remains in the memory for a long time.