Infotastic Attendorn Academy in Olpe: a self-paced experience with VR, 3D printer, audio studio and Nao

Thanks to virtual reality glasses and an Icaros fitness device, our reporter felt as if he was flying.

© Schulz

Would you like to try a 3D printer? Or dive into the world of virtual reality? Or test robotics for kids? All this is now possible in a new restaurant in the Olby neighborhood. Sauerland’s courier tried it.

Attendorn – When you see the snow-capped mountains right in front of your eyes, it seems that you are flying over them; When the robots run into the room and say “Hello Sauerlandkurier” and when your own picture can be burned onto the breakfast board in a few minutes, you feel as if you’ve arrived in the future. “It’s amazing what is possible nowadays,” I think when I did the self-experiment at InfoTastic Academy. On Saturday last week this digital playground opened in the heart of downtown Attendorn on Kölner Straße 14a. Children and adults, young and old, women and men have since been able to experience the latest digital advances such as 3D printers, robotics for kids or virtual reality, or virtual reality in short, for free thanks to the many sponsors and citizen volunteers.

We also spent the afternoon at InfoTastic Academy and can say: the following 5 stops are not to be missed as a visitor.

You have to try it at InfoTastic Academy Attendorn: 1. Kids Corner

Turn right, straight ahead, turn left. Little by little, my Beebot feels its way forward on the map. The palm-sized robot with a friendly face and yellow-and-black striped back rolls straight toward the playing field with a banana, now straight ahead, then again to the right.

Yes, it’s really cute, these little toys recommended for kids 4 and up. Your route can be programmed using the arrow buttons on your back. With the push of the start button, they take off – and it is not uncommon to leave behind the eyes of children, who are amazed if everything is going well.

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They won’t even realize that kids gain their first programming experience while operating such robots. But that’s how it is, as Christian Bender of InfoTastic asserts: “Programming is nothing more than a series of commands that you teach to the computer.”

Kids can get their first programming experience on the robots in the kids’ corner comically.

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You have to try it at InfoTastic Academy Attendees: 2. Workshop

On the table is a felt base with the 1. FC Köln logo, and next to it is a beer rug with an antique stamp and a wooden board with Darth Vader’s face. What is still painstakingly done manually these days is done by the latest technology at InfoTastic Academy. Christian Bender showed me the device that made the artwork: a laser cutter called Mr. Beam. The device reminds me of a combination of a bread slicer in a supermarket and a traditional printer. And this is what it looks like: sssst , sssst , ssst – The laser engraves a specific idea on the PC on the inserted material with rapid movements. This could be, for example, a name on a felt pad or a picture of the husband/wife on the breakfast board.

The laser cutting machine can Beam Create and dig the most amazing things.

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In addition to the laser cutting machine, the 3D printer is already buzzing. Instead of ink, the device pulls the wick, which looks as colored as candy strands from the gallery, heats up the material and prints out of it a shape, shape or face. For the latter, it is recommended to pre-scan the face with the 3D scanner, which is also available. So there are hardly any limits to creativity.

You have to try it in InfoTastic Academy Attendorn: 3. Virtual Reality Zone

I look to the right and see palm trees and meters of cacti. In front of me the horizon in orange light, the sun disappearing behind the mountains, many hot air balloons floating in the sky. Welcome to virtual reality.

I take off my glasses. It reminds me a bit of those opaque diving masks that Thomas Gottschalk used to place over the eyes of candidates for “…Wetten, dass?” Just that all sorts of electronics are still built into the Oculus Quest 2. Once I put them on, the glasses transport me to a whole different world. The two controllers in my hand, grabbing barely the size of a banana, turn into a red and blue laser sword in front of my eyes, and colored squares fly towards me and I have to cut them with real moves. Sounds like Tetris for Star Wars fans.


At the opening, the team, and especially Patrick Schwann, announced that they wanted to bring people of all ages closer to using technology and digital media. Magic is always the focus. Not only is all this technology freely available to everyone during office hours (Tuesday-Friday 3pm-8pm and Saturday 9am-2pm), the Infotastic Academy team also offers numerous workshops on all conceivable topics. Also at no cost. The program is completed by counseling in the morning. Call 02722/639637, mail to [email protected]. More information at

Icaros is even crazier. The fitness machine looks like a futuristic little airplane to me. Icaros can’t actually fly, but as we just learned: anything is possible in virtual reality. So I go on, or rather: keep going. Feet, knees, elbows and hands are where they belong quickly, the device slowly leans with me forward and it should look like I’m about to put an object in the water. I quickly learn how to control the machine by shifting my body weight – first back and forth, then right and left. Christian Bender puts his VR glasses on me and with the help of my body movements, I fly through snowy mountains or dive across oceans. Fascinating!

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You have to try it in InfoTastic Academy Attendorn: 4. Recording studio

Plug in your mobile phone, turn on the music, adjust the volume, walk through the glass door and start singing – this is how you can use the recording studio, which has its own area at Infotastic Academy. It primarily aims to attract artists who can record songs, podcasts or audiobooks here under professional conditions. The correct video can be shot on the green screen next door. With a click of the mouse, I am no longer standing here at the computer screen in front of a green background, but in the pulpit of the Bundestag.

You have to try it in InfoTastic Academy Attendorn: 5. Android

Have you seen the movie I, Robot with Will Smith? Nao looks a lot like white robots in this flick – white, slightly contemporary with loyal eyes, five fingers on each hand and plenty of possibilities. “Hello Sauerlandkurier!” He shouted at me after Christian Bender transmitted the appropriate text to him via computer. At the opening, Nao gave a full speech.

Robot Nao is a technical highlight of the InfoTastic Academy at Attendorn. Here he is doing tai chi.

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Nao can sit on the floor like on a Saturday and row to the hit song Aloha Heja He or, like while I’m visiting, do tai chi. It can do a lot. Experimentation is expressly encouraged – as is everywhere in the new Infotastic Academy in Attendorn.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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