Interactive Pendulum for the German Pavilion at the World Exhibition EXPO 2010 Shanghai China

During Mai and October 2010 visitors to the German Pavilion at the World Exhibition Expo 2010 in Shanghai encountered - among other exhibits and projects from industry, research, and development - a giant pendulum.

Movie of the EXPO-Pendulum in the German Pavilion in Shanghai



The pendulum is the centerpiece of the so-called energy source of the pavilion, which falls under the motto “balancity – city in balance“ and presents solutions made in Germany for urban life in the future. An interactive sphere with a diameter of 3 meters is equipped with nearly 400,000 LED lamps and is attached to a thin bar. An integrated actuator in the top of the pavilion excites the pendulum, which weighs about 1.2t and has a length of 5.6 meters, to perform swinging and circular motions.

The German Pavilion at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai
The German Pavilion at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai
Testsetup in Stuttgart, summer 2009
Testsetup in Stuttgart, summer 2009

The actuator is only allowed to make slight horizontal movements, so that the observer gets the impression that the pendulum moves on its own. Visitors can induce the sphere to swing by giving acoustic signals and can even influence the direction of the swing of the pendulum. The Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics, the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units and the Institute of Machine Components, in cooperation with the event agency Milla und Partner, have developed a specific actuation concept, that ensures, that the pendulum moves reliably in the desired direction and decelerates safely. While the sphere swings and circulates, images and films from Germany are projected onto it, which visualizes the Expo main theme: “Better city, better life“. The German Pavilion has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, organization and operation is conducted by Koelnmesse International GmbH.

In the press (all in German)
  • ARD Tagesschau vom 31.10.2010
  • ARD Morgenmagazin vom 30.04.2010
  • Focus Online vom 29.04.2010
  • ZDF heute Nachrichten vom 6.10.2009
  • SWR Nachrichten vom 6.10.2009
  • Schwerpunktmagazin der Süddeutschen Zeitung UNOFOLIO vom 15.06.2010
  • Stuttgarter Zeitung vom 03.06.2010
  • VDI Nachrichten vom 8.01.2010
  • Stttgarter Nachrichten vom 6.10.2009
  • Information of the City of Stuttgart
  • Pressemitteilung der Universität Stuttgart vom 28.08.2009


This image shows Peter Eberhard

Peter Eberhard

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Prof. E.h.
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