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The Children's Magazine by TĂœV Rheinland

2015 | Edition 1

Posters: These Animals Have a Really Good Grip

Vehicle e h t o t A visit Center n o i t c e p Ins

ce for n a r t n E A Gran d o us Fo ot l u b a F the

Bionics: Learning from Nature


In this issue, you’ll find ... Fast Facts Bionics Plastic Feet Puzzles Guessing Games Tess and Roby Behind the Scenes Try it Out Fan Page

4 6 10 12 14 15 16 20 22 23

Learning from Nature


a Adhesive tape that works like bionics! gecko’s foot? A clear case of entists are TÜVtel reveals what else sci copying from nature.

10 So Much Plastic

Plastic is in an unbelieva ble number things. Is it of a great inve ntion? Or a destroying re we our environ ment by usi ng it?

ls STEM Sp el :

square Square by s are ow picture discover h d. transmitte


logy TÜVtel




ting s e T u o Y e r What A There?

hwald tests Carola Buc Cologne. vehicles in nt some TÜVtel spe her at work time with und out and also fo eral car what a gen involves. inspection

Tess an d Roby Rob

y adores the unde rwater w and wou orld ld love to g o diving on Can Tess e day. make his dreams c ome true ?


Hey, TÜV kids! Copying is one of those things. If you do it during a test, you get in trouble. But when scientists copy something from nature, they are applauded for it. The whole concept is called bionics, a mixture of biology and technics. The researchers take advantage of the vast array of practical ideas that nature has come up with. They then replicate these ideas in ways that are useful to us.


Put Yo ur Feet Up

Get ready to be swep t off your feet! TÜVtel takes a look at the marvels of engineerin g that enable us to run, jump, dance and balance.


r e st


Examples include the suction pads on octopuses, or the seed scattering technique of the poppy. Adhesive tape, Velcro fasteners and motorbike helmets also have prototypes in the world of flora and fauna. In the cover story, you can find out what they are.

Have fun reading TÜVtel!

Tess and Roby

A Go o d Grip

sable thumbs. ks to their oppo an th e on ve ha ch People means and whi ains what that pl ex er st po e Th ve them. other animals ha bs

Musat, kelly


Martin, Christian

an d

: Pascal


Photos : Dmytro iimages; Khoroshunova; Valua Vitaly, Olga JC Photo; thinkstockphotos .de: Martin Strmko,

Incredible Cora l Corals

don’t use sunscreen , yet they never - even when get burned they are growing in harsh sunlight beneath the water’s surface. just The coral of Barrier Reef the Great in Australia is a good example. biggest coral There, on the reef on earth, scientists have what the trick discovered is. There are tiny algae living that secrete in the coral a protective chemical compoun that feed on d. The fish the coral eat the algae, too, provides them and that also with sun protection . It is a fact that could be useful for us humans That’s why researche as well. rs are working chemical compoun to recreate the d so that it also the sun. The protects people idea is to develop from either a protective or maybe even a tablet that cream people can swallow prevent sunburn. to help Exactly when this type of bionic protection will be available sun is not yet known. experts have First, the to prove that it really works. think that that And they could still take a number of years.

Also: why don‘t corals get burned by the sun? And why do researchers find that so interesting?

Ethan Daniels, Freire; shutterstock: by Franz Gerg/Comic-Age ntur Roberto and Tess illustrations Photos: all Roby

fingers and see four hand, you remarkable: look at your do something on the hand. When you can other finger In technical . The thumb a thumb touch every ite them. tip, it can d oppos . It is what with its se it is locate sable” thumb the animal In That is becau as an “oppo objects. is known sile to grasp terms, it for you - or prehen possible like that can grip makes it hands that m, kingdo rare. are very the giant hands hands is prehensile finger that have es a sixth l that does s the paws featur One anima . That enable of its front great able thumb panda. Each with oppos as an s and leaves has this can be used bamboo shoot panda, also select the red bear to relative, Its little precision. , ability. orang-utans anzees, ing chimp s are the thumb apes, includ These not only In many each foot. baboons, of and toe s s of birds lemur the big Many specie but also ards opposable them climb. toe points backw feet help first prehensile feet. The toes. prehensile three front also have able to the and is oppos d s are space and thumb thumbs s fingers It has two The koala’ differently. of its on each somewhat three fingers chameleon’s opposite The . its hands rted to feet and been conve toes feet have and three with two side. pincers, er on each fused togeth


Grip A Go od

and All Tess

Roby illustration

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mark huls,



o: CathyKeife

r, andeva

Sun Protection



Fast Facts

Tickle Alert!

, it is very eing tick le d b e 'r u o y n e But why Wh h o ut lo u d. g u la to t o ? It hard n k le yo urself c ti to le ib knows isn't it poss in already ra b r u o se u is beca go ing to ere we are h w d n a n e o it. wh before we d s e lv e rs u o ect tick le surprise eff e th y a w a imulus. That takes nores the st ig y d o b r u and o a joke ing yo urself ll te e k li is lly It know - tota y d a e lr a u o that y unfunny!

are being W hen yo u the alar m tick le d, ur off in yo bells go rning, an brain: wa ttack! o utside a

In Latin, the Earth has the lo vely name " Te r ra".



Happy Ewe Year! Did yo u k now that in C hina, ea ch year is trad itiona lly repres ente d by a d iffe rent anim a l? 2015 is th e Year of the Sheep. The sheep is considere d peacefu l and f riendly. The C hine se also say t hat it brin gs peace, as well as be ing responsib le for har mony and jus ti ce. That means tha t 2015 w ill be a relaxe d year w itho ut any majo r dramas. W e w ill see abo ut that...

arth A Day for the E

en nd of Apr il has be 22 e th s, ar ye For 45 ntries than 150 co u re o M y. a D th nching Ear take part, lau d rl o w e th d think aro un ge people to ra u co en to initiatives ronment. cting the envi te o pr t u bo a more e's a huge example, ther This year, for dy is paign. Everybo Day. planting cam E ee on arth tr a t n a pl invite d to ng back to g ive so methi to is im a The billion planting one o ur planet by trees.

Real Band are Okay s

C hinese Baa! The the Sheep Year of n the s tarte d o ebruar y. 18th of F


Lo o m b and s ar e totall make g y co o l. reat bra Yo u can celets o rubber l ut of th o ops. N e little ow, toy TÜV Rh experts einland f ro m have tak lo ok at e n a cl them. H ose ere's wh d isco ve at they'v re d: no e t all lo go o d. T o m ban he ones d s are made b brand m y es tablis anufact h u ed rers are there ar fine. Ho e also c wever, heap im They ca itations n be da availabl ngero us e. because rubber m the Once ay cont ain har yo u plas tici mful k how zers. An it's d now d t g h i o o ve yo u se can can ne, y allerg ie m o s. co o l ake reall u y brace lets.

a Prot ector

If yo u have a little b yo u kn rother ow all or sis t abo ut get up er, the t he sil to at h n ly thin ome. T to kee gs the hat's w p a go y h y o d eye it is im them. on the "Power portan m and t po ints electri protec , lo ose cal ap t c p ables o liance so me s, and n of the s tair w dange expert a r y s are zones, s f ro m " say t TÜV R make he saf heinla yo ur h ety nd. Yo ome s buy sa u can afer. W fety co h elp ith yo u vers to Lo ose r pare block cables n t s, the po belong safety wer so in cab gate w ckets. le shaf ill pre tumbli ts. And vent s ng do m a wn the all chi ldren s tairs. f ro m

ildren Small ch t often pu es in lv themse o u can danger. Y p them help kee safe!



Bionics Like a gymnast, the spider pushes off from the ground and does somersaults.

Nature's Box of Tricks

Fly like a bird, walk on the ceiling like a gecko or stay clean like a lotus leaf – time and time again, examples from nature have given researchers new ideas

Fire Detectors The black fire beetle can sense fire from kilometers away. It is a perfect fire detector. Scientists want to learn from this ability.

Lotus Effect Dirt never sticks to butterfly wings or lotus leaves. Bionics specialists have already transferred the concept of selfcleaning surfaces to tableware, roof tiles and dirt-repellent car paint.



Crackling, the red and yellow flames eat their way through the dry wood. A biting odor hangs in the air and makes it difficult to breathe. Glowing sparks and ash are blown about and thick, black clouds of smoke billow ominously into the sky. For most animals, a forest fire is a good reason to get out fast. Only one little beetle, barely a centimeter long, is not at all afraid. Quite the opposite: forest fires hold a magical attraction for it. That is because the female black fire beetle only lays its eggs in a tree that has perished in the heat of a fire. There is a simple reason for this: the larvae that hatch out of the eggs feed on burnt wood. But how does the beetle know that there is a fire? Can it hear, see or taste it? No - it can feel it.

Knows all the hot spots The black fire beetle has mini-sensors on its belly. You can imagine them as tiny little balls. They are so small that you can only detect them under a very powerful microscope. Out of each ball, a kind of antenna protrudes. These antennae receive heat radiation and transmit it to a liquid inside the balls. The liquid then expands. The beetle feels this pressure and can tell if and in which direction a fire is blazing by how strong the sensation is. Researchers are

T he Spider Robot

me of e complicated na th ith w er id sp a The little Morocco. It has enbergi lives in ch re s nu t en no br at Ce mps th es in flip-flop ju ov m it : nt le ta l d bionics specia have also inspire t bu r la cu ta ec only look sp ild a robot that specialists to bu at somersaults. Th can run and turn ited for use in makes it well su e ocean bed agriculture, on th s. and even on Mar

fascinated by this natural ability to locate fire. If they manage to replicate this technique, they will be able to develop extremely effective fire alarm systems.

Look closely The practice of copying something from nature and then implementing it technically is called bionics, a term that combines the words biology and technics. Bionics experts are extremely clever to use nature as their role model. After all, it has been continuously developing and improving over billions of years. Nature is highly practical in many areas and it is infinitely creative. So the scientists are basically observing a super-expert. And that works much better and faster than inventing something themselves. However, simply copying doesn't work. The first bionics specialists already discovered that when they tried to build flying machines. Their idea was to mechanically imitate the flapping of birds' wings. It wasn't quite that simple and it was only about 120 years ago that Otto Lilienthal was the first to succeed. He took a very close look and noticed that the wings had a slightly curved shape. This discovery finally made it possible to build flying machines that people could really lift off in. Read more on page 8 →

Razor-sharp Researchers have discovered how beavers can gnaw through extremely hard wood without their teeth becoming blunt: their gnashers are constantly sharpening themselves. Based on this knowledge, knives for machines have been developed that also stay sharp for a very long time.




That Sucks! Bath mats, satnav holders in cars and plungers for cleaning drains: suction cups are very useful things. The octopus has already been using them for millions of years. It can even control each of its suction pads individually.

Blow ing in t he W ind

Bamboo, grain s and blades of grass nothing can kn ock them over in a hurry. Even in stron g wind, they do not snap. The secret to their success? They are hollow inside and they can divide from flat kno ts into individ u al pieces. That gives th em great stre ngth and load bearing capacity. Eng in eers and architects are interested in the structure of the plants. After all, the h ollow interior principle work s for tall build ings and bridges, too. T hey also have to be stable ye at the same ti t me flexible, h ave the ability sway and bea to r a lot of weig ht. This style building is ca of lled lightweig ht constructio n. Among other things, specia lists from TÜV Rheinlan d inspect the b lueprints for bridges an d buildings. They also like to learn fr om the functions of n ature. With this knowled ge, they are b etter equipped to ev aluate wheth er a building is sa fe and can mak e good suggestions fo r improvemen t. TÜVtel


Bionics – as far as the eye can see

In our day-to-day lives, we constantly come across objects that have their prototypes in the world of flora and fauna. Velcro, for example, is based on the interlocking burrs of the burdock plant. Coconut shells and pomelo skins have a cushioning effect, so they served as models for motorcycle helmets. And because they have such a good grip, cats' paws were the inspiration behind the anti-skid surfaces on car tyres.

Adding flavor for 96 years In Germany, the first bionic invention to be patented - or in other words, protected - was a shaker. Raoul Heinrich Francé created it in 1919 based on the seed capsule of a poppy. Like the plant, the holes were originally on the side of the shaker. They were later moved to the top so that the spices could be sprinkled in precisely the right location. We still use the invention to season our food today.

The idea for a flying machine with a rotor, a precursor to the modern helicoptor, came to da Vinci while he was watching a seed pod float to the ground.

per t x E s ic n io B t s ir F e h T

ilosopher, i was an artist, ph nc Vi da do ar on Le ered the first was also consid d an , or nt ve in closely scientist, observed nature n lia Ita e Th . er bionics engine 500 years ago, n from it. A good ar le d ul co he s, helicopters so that g flying machine tin uc tr ns co y es and the he was alread e birds, dragonfli er w es yp ot ot pr d . The i was well ahea and parachutes Leonardo da Vinc s. ee tr m e fro us ds ca flying seed po ized back then be could not be real s an pl s Hi e. ns were not yet of his tim ufacturing optio an m d an ls ia er the right mat available.

Well Distributed A team effort In the field of bionics, biologists work together with technicians, engineers, computer scientists, chemists, physicists and architects. Together, they are constantly on the lookout for solutions that make our lives easier. But it takes a long time for something observed in nature to become a technical product. Remember the black fire beetle from the beginning of the article? For more than seven years now, teams of experts have been working on a fire alarm system based on its example. Despite all the promising starts, it is possible that there won't be a groundbreaking invention at the end after all. Then the researchers will have to take a fresh look in nature's box of tricks and find another fascinating thing to be inspired by. Luckily, nature provides us with an almost infinite range of ideas. So the bionics experts will continue to surprise us with wonderful new inventions in the future.

Poppies scatter their seeds through openings in the upper edges of the capsule. "That's practical!" thought Raoul Heinrich FrancĂŠ, and invented the spice shaker.

Hold and Release Tiny hairs on their feet enable geckos to sit and walk on walls and ceilings. Sticking and coming unstuck again is also the idea behind the invention of adhesive tape.

The end




? g a B e h t f o The End t be h g i m bags c i t are s y e Pla h t but the r y o d f n a h oblem t is r p a Tha also . t n e nm nt enviro iticians wa ol why p them. to ban

ortex Giant Trash V tic end 90 kilos of plas Every second, expert ns according to ea oc e th in up ents wind and curr estimates. The er c waste togeth drive the plasti e even ic swirls, mad to form gigant h that e other rubbis bigger by all th ween to the sea. Bet gets thrown in eated rnia, this has cr ifo al C d an i ai Haw bbish five floating ru the largest of Central hly the size of tips. It is roug me: the even has a na Europe and it arbage Patch. Great Pacific G



When you buy yourself some new clothes, they go into a plastic bag at the cash register. At home, you unpack everything and the bag has already served its purpose. The average plastic bag is in use for just 25 minutes. Because they are so handy, people around the world go through an estimated one billion (that's a number with 12 zeros!) plastic bags each year. Only a few end up in the recycling bin after use, where they can potentially be reprocessed. Instead, they are thoughtlessly tossed away to create enormous mountains of bags. Then there are the masses of other plastic waste - and it isn't just accumulating at rubbish tips: all this garbage is also floating in huge volumes across the ocean, blowing through the

desert or freezing into pack-ice. Many birds, fish and other sea dwellers are dying because they are mistaking the rubbish for food or getting caught in it. It takes many hundreds of years for plastic to disintegrate. And then there are still tiny granules left over, which means that when we walk barefoot along the beach, we not only have sand under our feet but usually a whole lot of fine plastic fragments as well. To make things worse, if fish eat these granules, they build up inside them. And if we eat the fish, the plastic ends up in our bodies, too. This cannot continue, say ecologists and also a growing number of politicians. For that reason, they want to stem the tide of plastic in Europe and ban free plastic shopping bags. People should be encouraged to use more cloth bags, rucksacks or baskets for their shopping - just like they did before the plastic bag was invented around 50 years ago.

Three Que stions for Fabian Hilg er He has just

completed his training now works at TĂœV Rhe there as a ch inland and emical labo ratory assis tant. What is pla stic anywa y? An artificia l material m ade of crud our day-to-d e oil that tu ay lives. Pla rns up every stic lasts fo where in the same ti rever. That me it is a p may be han roblem: pla dy but at stic doesn't rot. What can w e use inste ad of plastic Glass bottle ? s are a bett er choice, fo toys or hou r example. sehold item When it co s, there are mes to wood or a often altern new type o atives mad f p la st e of paper, ic crude oil, it that fully d is manufact isintegrate s. u re In d from plan stead of sugar beets ts such as co . rn, potatoe s and Do you also deal with p lastic durin Yes, we test g your work plastic obje in the chem cts and inv istry lab? toxic heavy estigate wh metals. Tho ether they se can end co manufactu ntain up in the p ring process roducts du . B e cause they ring the it is import can damag ant that we e people's detect them health, .

Rubbish pollutes the oceans and coastlines. It takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle to disintegrate. Plastic bags need between 10 and 20 years.



Feet IVE: SENSITe more

ar There our lls in e c y r faces, senso in our n a h he feet t even t l e e f so we e in st ston e l l a sm oe. our sh

LEX: s P M O C in onta

tc nd A foo nes a o b 0 st 3 scles, almo 0 mu 6 , s t 100 join than e r o m d 200 ts an n e m liga ons. tend

New Shoes ost of Feet spend m ptivity. their time in ca leave them , many shoes Unfortunately ve smart d and sticky. Fi feeling crampe et from ps for happy fe shoe-buying ti : TÜV Rheinland because the afternoon in ng pi op sh • Go feet a bit has made your walking around morning ey were in the wider than th e shop measured in th et fe th bo et •G at the same ey don't grow sometimes th rate

d walk around on in peace an s oe sh e th y • Tr ith them on in the store w oes, comfortable sh • Never buy un ome ok totally awes even if they lo l like rubber. oes that smel sh y bu 't on D • substances ntain harmful They might co TÜVtel


Put Your

Our feet have a tough job: they carry us through life. Most of the time they stay well protected inside our shoes. It's a pity really, because feet are true marvels of nature.

ILD SIDEuch W E H T o WALK ON tigrades: they t of

CLOV O EN n are pla ole sole e h l w p o e e h l P t a h m t i i HO n OVES: und w . The a the gro ey walk : h De y t er l ha t n ve n four claws e e ffer ot wh und di o r their fo a on ea s ch t foot. They can m ge kingdo spread them out to br oaden the surface area of th : S D e O foot. P GASTRO ushes That stops them from p The snail sinking into the soft h ward wit itself for f o forest floor. nts moveme wavelike . t ular foo its musc


only to uch the gro und w ith their to es whe n they w alk.


They migh t weigh a ton but e lephants w alk on just the tips of the ir to es. These are encased in thick, soft paddin g that cush ions their steps . This enab le s the gray giants to walk aro und almost sile ntly.


Camels hav e thick calluses un der their fee t. The hard skin p rotects them from the hot san d in the dese rt.


Thanks to th e curve on its inside surface, the foot doesn't lie flat on th e floor. That is the body's cl ever trick to perfectly dis tribute the weight.


Our feet get b igger as we go through life. It's little wonder really: after all, they are ca rrying a lot of weigh t around.


There are pad s of fat in the soles o f our feet. They cushion the impact when we're w alking or running.

Stinky Feet!

Feet have aro und 90,000 sw eat glands. That means they can sw e at a lot, whic a good thing h is because the skin cools d as the swea o wn t evaporates. If only they didn't smell so bad! But why does that happen ? After all, sw eat doesn't even have a scent. It only smells when bacte ria on the sk in 's surface start to brea k it down. S u b stances like butyric a cid are create d. And that stinks. To av oid smelling li ke moldy cheese, chan ge your sock s daily, wash your fe et regularly a n d go barefoot as often as p ossible.

ARS OLDprotect E Y 0 0 es to 5,3 ore sho

w e Age. already he Ston t People g n i r et du their fe




– e c e i P y b : e e l z c z e u i P P a e k a o M H ow t

Regardless of whether it has 12 pieces or 9,000 - every puzzle takes a lot of work to produce. TĂœVtel had a look at the process.

Out of thousands of images, the best picture is selected and edited on the computer. The colors, contours and contrasts have to be exactly right so that the finished puzzle looks really great.

The picture is printed on special paper. It is more durable, shinier and of better quality than regular paper.




Seal The so-called "cover upper" machine closes the lid and the box is shrink wrapped. All finished!


Shape Punch

The pieces are separated, sealed in a bag and then placed in the box.



Watch your fingers! Using razor-sharp punching tools, the cutting machine forcefully divides the picture into its individual pieces.

The colored sheets of paper are still too thin to make puzzles, so they are glued onto card in the press roll. This process is called mounting.

The punching tool is drawn first and then bent into shape by hand. No two pieces are the same. For a 1,000-piece puzzle, this takes about 160 hours!

Guessing Games

e s l a F r o e u Tr


true or atements is st e es th f o if each read the Do you know t letters and ec rr co e th le rc re? The false? Then ci ot entirely su N . m o tt o b top to e answers. solution from p you find th el h ill w ry o st TÜVtel cover False True f mbination o ionics is a co b rm te e h T → otics. logy and rob the words bio nly ecialists mai → Bionics sp ior. uman behav investigate h copied pt of Velcro is ce n co e h T → . from the burr n tell when it fire beetle ca ck la b e h T → in. is going to ra nsidered the da Vinci is co → Leonardo expert. first bionics mersaults at can turn so → A robot th the ilt based on has been bu orocco. spider from M example of a













It's Your Turn

If you turn the fir st wheel in the di rection of the arrow, it sets all the other cogs in m otion. Which direction does th e final wheel in th e bottom righthand corner turn in?


Always 15 Write each of the digits 1 to 9 in one of the circles so that the sum of every row of three is always 15. You have been given the number 5 as a starting point.

You'll find the solutions on the last page of TÜVtel.

5 TÜVtel


Tess and Roby

Roby Goes Diving

Many people dream of flying. Roby, on the other hand, dreams of diving. But water and small, heavy robots don‘t go together very well. Or do they?

Diving Bell Experiment Stuff some paper into a drinking glass and then immerse it in a bowl of water. As you‘ll see, the paper doesn‘t get wet.

Why? Here‘s the answer: The glass is completely full of paper and air. There isn‘t room for anything else, so no water can get in. That is exactly how diving bells work. However, the air can only withstand the water pressure up to a certain depth.




Roby floats in the calm of an imaginary ocean. Above him, the sun sparkles on the surface of the water. Below him, the sea darkens to a deep-blue, mysterious underwater world. Thick clumps of seaweed sway gently back and forth. Between the plants, the robot discovers a little wooden box. Treasure? Are there gold coins inside? Or huge diamonds and shimmering pearls! Roby only has to swim a few strokes to get to the box. Carefully, he reaches for the lid and... “Roby, what’s that you’re reading?” Tess’s loud voice cuts through the silence and jerks Roby out of his imaginary world. Oh, now he will never find out whether there is a priceless treasure in the box! Roby shows Tess his favorite book, “The Wonderful Underwater World”, which he had been totally absorbed in, and sighs:

“How amazing would it be if I could go diving!” Sadly, water is not his element. The little robot is much too heavy and inflexible - not to mention in danger of rusting. Tess knows that, too, which is why she has spent a lot of time tinkering. Excitedly, she pulls him with her into the workshop. “What’s going on?” asks Roby, when he sees what Tess has put together there: a brightly lit table and plenty of tools in neat rows. “I’m going to turn you into a super diving robot,” she announces. Roby gets a queasy feeling. In his mind, diving has always been a big dream. But is he really prepared to go that deep in real life? What if he sinks like a heavy stone? Or the water destroys his circuits? “You’re not getting cold feet now, are you?” asks Tess. Roby isn’t sure. It is much easier to dream about doing something than it is to really do it. Tess kneels beside him and grasps his hands. “Trust me, this concept is watertight. Our big underwater adventure is within reach.” Roby thinks about it. Yes, it really would be a big adventure. “Alright,” he says, and Tess helps him climb onto the table. Read more on page 18 →

Occupa tion: Di ver For som ep

eople, d iving is a real pr more th ofession an just a . For exa ship bod hobby. It m p le, harbo ies, whil ‘s r divers e constru or keep examine ction div dams in ers repa good sh on oil an ir bridge ape. At w d gas pla s in d p t o fo w rms, the divers w er plant re are als s or ho spec ialize in o profes welding assemb sional objects ly , p ouring c on the o oncrete cean be or d.

A professional diver gets ready to repair some conduit pipes under water.



Tess and Roby

Since Tess started adapting Roby two days earlier, the robot has become increasingly calm. With each of his friend’s movements, his excitement has grown and his fear has diminished. His final few concerns disappear on the way to the aquarium. Roby knows the aquarium well, but so far he has only been a visitor there. Fascinated, he has wandered back and forth between the large and small tanks. He especially likes the enormous coral pool with all the colorful fish. Tess has told the manager about Roby’s dream and he has agreed that once the aquarium is closed, they can attempt their first dive in that very pool. Amazing! With a loud “splash!”, Roby plunges into the water. Tess lets herself glide in from the pool edge as well. Normally so heavy, Roby’s body suddenly feels extremely light. As if in slow motion, the robot floats through the water. A couple of fish circle him, staring with wide, curious eyes. Then Roby turns on his brandnew turbines. The fish swiftly take cover behind an algae-covered anchor. Roby switches on his headlamp and shoots through the pool, leaving a stream of dancing air bubbles behind him.



He looks around in excitement: glowing red starfish, brightly colored corals, tiny crabs that are hiding from the diving robot under thick lumps of rock, and plenty of waving seaweed. “This is exactly how I imagined it,” thinks Roby, and can hardly believe his luck when he even spies a little treasure chest. He shows it to Tess and excitedly gestures that she should open it. Carefully, she raises the lid. A colorful shoal of glittering fish rushes out of it. Tess tumbles backwards in alarm and then winks at Roby, her eyes sparkling brightly. In that moment, the robot realizes what really belongs in a treasure chest: neither gold, nor jewels, nor pearls. The greatest treasure that you can possibly find is a friend. The end

Staying Safe Under Water People aren‘t exactly

fish. That‘s why they need snorkels, flipp ers, masks an d di vi ng su stay under wat its to help them er longer. To m ak e su re th ey can use them all safely , TÜV Rheinland pe of tests. For ex rforms a range ample, the ex perts check ho the transparen w sturdy t panel in a di ving mask is. To they shoot at do that, it with a metal pellet. Snorkel withstand a te s have to nsile test whe re they are pu great strength lle d on with . The inspecto r can then tell individual com w hether the ponents are st uck together re ally firmly.



Behind the Scenes


u o y e r a t a h W e r e h t g n i t s e t

This is what Carola Buchw ald's workplace lo oks like from the outside.

Vehicles From the horn to the taillight It is extremely busy at Carola Buchwald's work, particularly on Saturdays. She is a specialist at the TÜV Rheinland testing center in Cologne-Mühlheim. And because many people have time on Saturdays, they like to bring their vehicles for a general inspection. Together with her colleagues, Carola Buchwald takes a close look at the cars, motorbikes and caravans. "On a stressful day, I check as many as 20 vehicles," says the inspector. Like in many other countries, the general inspection is compulsory in Germany. Once a vehicle has passed the test, a decal is stuck to its license plate. There is a different color for each year, so the police can immediately tell: this car has no safety issues.

Carola Buchwald looks under the hood.



Carola Buchwald has always been interested in cars. That's why she became an inspector with TÜV Rheinland. "I especially like it when I get to examine vintage cars," says the 27-yearold as her eyes light up. She also thinks it's great that she doesn't have to just sit behind a desk all day long. She would have loved to tell you more but the next car is already waiting to be tested. TÜVtel watches her work...

Around the globe In Germany, TĂœV Rheinland tests cars at 130 inspection centers. But that is not all. There are also vehicle inspectors working for TĂœV Rheinland in Latvia, France, Spain, Chile and Argentina. These photos show a testing center in Chile. That is in South America.

At the general inspection Carola Buchwald chec ks about 160 differen t points on the vehic the inspector needs le. To do that, 20 minutes for new ve hic les. "Older models oft more faults, so they ca en have n take 45 minutes to ins pect," she adds.

Is the car easy to steer? Are the mirrors, windowpanes, speedometer, horn and seatbelt okay? The inspector tests these features as she drives the vehicle into the hall.

The engine, transmiss ion and fuel lines are unde r the hood. It all has to be properly sealed.

To protect herself fro m exhaust gases while running the engine in the hall, the inspe ctor attaches an extraction unit to the exhaust pipe.

All the lights and head lamps are checked individu ally with a light testing device.

The brakes are amon g the most important parts , so they are examined es pecially thoroughly on the ro ller track. Up the car goes on the autohoist so it can be inspected from underneath as well.

To detect damage to the tires or wheels, Carola Bu chwald shines a light into ev ery deep, dark corner.

Cracks, tears and rust under the car are risk factors that must be eliminated. TĂœVtel


Try It Out Scienc


stem Spells


STEM is the abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. All four are exciting scientific fields.


Today: y T for Technolog

Painting by numbers



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Computers can only understand numbers. They even use numerals to help them save pictures and photos.


Line by line: th e first digit sh ows the number of cons ecutive white t h a fields e M m in the line. Th e number of bl ack fields comes next, fo llowed by whi te again, and so on...


2, 5 1, 2, 3, 2 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1 1, 2, 3, 2 2, 5 4, 1 4, 1, 1, 1 2, 1, 1, 3 2, 3 4, 1 0, 9

The Computer monitor is divided up into a fine grid. The individual image points are called pixels. In black-andwhite pictures (like the ones sent by fax machines), the pixels are either black or white. If the computer knows which pixels are black and which ones are white, it can save the image.

It's your turn to be a computer. Can you work out the picture using only the numbers that are given here?

Displaying colored images: to do that, a second digit is used as a code for each color - for example, 0 for green, 1 for blue and 2 for red. Each pixel is then saved with two numbers. The first one determines the color and the second shows how many consecutive pixels there are in that shade.



6, 1 6, 1 1, 7 0, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2 0, 9 1, 3, 1, 3 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 1 1, 1, 5, 1 1, 7 3, 3 1, 7 1, 7

Computer scientists at TÜV Rheinland Frank Hoffmann programs computers so that they can perform many tasks automatically. By doing that, he supports other TÜV Rheinland employees in their day-to-day work. It also gives them more time for all the jobs that computers can't replace people for. In addition, he makes sure that all the information from the printed mail is distributed via networked computers to the right places at TÜVtel TÜV Rheinland and then saved appropriately.


Take a piece of graph paper and co lor some squares in to make a new picture. Write the correct numer ical code next to it. Giv e the code to your friends. Can they dec ode your picture on an other piece of blank grap h paper?

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Brilliant Work!

The grade three students at the Neißegrundschule Görlitz, Germany, took up the subject of natural phenomena from the fall edition of TÜVtel. They created many terrific reports about 13 crazy natural phenomena. With these photos, they want to say a big hello to all the other TÜVtel fans out there!

Clara was amazed when the postman arrived at her door just before Christmas with an enormous parcel for her. Inside, she found Santa‘s Home from Playmobil, which she‘d won in the TÜVtel winter quiz.


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DANCING PEPPERCORNS! A spicy experiment

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The peppercorn s are dr y an d light. That’s why they float on the surface at first until they have soaked up as much water as possible. Th at makes them heavy an d they sink.

Carbon dioxid e is bubbling in the water. That is a gas. Its tiny bubble s stick to the peppercorns an d carr y them to the surface like helium ba llo ons.

There, the ga s is released into the air. The peppercorn sinks an d the whole dance begins again.

TE S S and ROBY The Selfie Trick It doesn‘t work!

Oh darn, we‘re not fully in the photo again! Let’s have one more try.

Let me have a go. I know a trick for the perfect selfie.

TÜVtel – Who Made It? Publisher: Responsible: Editing: Printing:

TÜV Rheinland Aktiengesellschaft, Corporate Communications, Am Grauen Stein, D-51105 Cologne Aud Feller (responsible according to the German press law) S+L Partners GmbH, Cologne Druckhaus Ley + Wiegandt, Wuppertal

Photos: all Roby and Tess illustrations by Franz Gerg/Comic-Agentur Roberto Freire; Oliver Tjaden (cover, pp. 2, 20-21); Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH (pp. 2, 14-15); TESSLOFF VERLAG (pp. 2, 15); TÜV Rheinland (pp. 5, 11, 19, 22); Christiane Worring (p. 5); © Prof. Dr. Rechenberg (p. 7); © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/Kennis/A. Ochsenreiter (p. 13); Lisa Landwehrjohann (pp. 16, 24); private source (p. 23); Halfpoint (cover), adam121, Pascal Martin, Christian Musat, kelly marken, mark huls, daphot75 (p. 3), Dmytro Panchenko (p. 3), tovovan, arturaliev, Aleksandr Bryliaev, Dirk Schumann, eyewave (pp. 4-5), valdis torms (pp. 4-5, 22), elren1 (p. 6), Marina Ignatova (p. 8), Juulijs (p. 9), VIPDesign (p. 9), Saharrr (p. 9), monropic (p. 9), al62 (p. 9), SpectralDesign (pp. 10-11), WavebreakmediaMicro (pp. 12-13), Eléonore H (p. 12), cynoclub (p. 13), Gelpi (p. 13), naihei (p. 14), gorbovoi81 (pp. 15, 24), merydolla (pp. 16-18), karandaev (p. 24); Windzepher (cover), Martin Strmko, Valua Vitaly, Olga Khoroshunova (p. 3); iStockphoto: GlobalP (pp. 2, 9), CathyKeifer, andeva (p. 3), mandygodbehear (p. 4), edelmar (pp. 4-5), rogerrosentreter (p. 6), Henrik_L (p. 6), stedenmi (p. 6), imagegrafx (p. 7), jimkruger (p. 7), richcarey (pp. 8, 15), olerosset (p. 9), Tolga_TEZCAN (p. 10), kjerulff (p. 17); Stoyan Haytov (pp. 2, 22), picsfive (pp. 2, 10), iimages (p. 3), John Takai (p. 10), Alexander Makarov (p. 12), John McAllister (p. 12), Duncan Noakes (p. 13), khunaspix (p. 13), boroda (p. 13), Guy Sagi, digifuture, Alexander Sabilin (p. 23); Ethan Daniels, JC Photo (p. 3), wavebreakmedia (p. 4), Joe Belanger (p. 8), Triff (pp. 6-9), Peteri (p. 17)

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A Good Grip When you look at your hand, you see four fingers and a thumb. The thumb can do something remarkable: with its tip, it can touch every other finger on the hand. That is because it is located opposite them. In technical terms, it is known as an “opposable” thumb. It is what makes it possible for you to grasp objects. In the animal kingdom, hands that can grip like that - or prehensile hands - are very rare. One animal that does have prehensile hands is the giant panda. Each of its front paws features a sixth finger that can be used as an opposable thumb. That enables the bear to select bamboo shoots and leaves with great precision. Its little relative, the red panda, also has this ability. In many apes, including chimpanzees, orang-utans, lemurs and baboons, not only the thumbs are opposable but also the big toe of each foot. These prehensile feet help them climb. Many species of birds also have prehensile feet. The first toe points backwards and is opposable to the three front toes. The koala’s fingers and thumbs are spaced somewhat differently. It has two thumbs opposite three fingers on each of its feet and its hands. The chameleon’s feet have been converted to pincers, with two and three toes fused together on each side.

Photos : All Tess and Roby illustrations by Franz Gerg/Comic-Agentur Roberto Freire; Pascal Martin, Christian Musat, kelly marken, mark huls, daphot75; iStockphoto: CathyKeifer, andeva


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tion c e t o r P Sun

Photos: all Roby and Tess illustrations by Franz Gerg/Comic-Agentur Roberto Freire; shutterstock: Ethan Daniels, JC Photo; Martin Strmko, Valua Vitaly, Olga Khoroshunova; iimages; Dmytro Panchenko

Incredible Coral Corals don’t use sunscreen, yet they never get burned - even when they are growing in harsh sunlight just beneath the water’s surface. The coral of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is a good example. There, on the biggest coral reef on earth, scientists have discovered what the trick is. There are tiny algae living in the coral that secrete a protective chemical compound. The fish that feed on the coral eat the algae, too, and that also provides them with sun protection. It is a fact that could be useful for us humans as well. That’s why researchers are working to recreate the chemical compound so that it also protects people from the sun. The idea is to develop either a protective cream or maybe even a tablet that people can swallow to help prevent sunburn. Exactly when this type of bionic sun protection will be available is not yet known. First, the experts have to prove that it really works. And they think that that could still take a number of years.

TÜVtel 1.15 - Children's Magazine