How wonderful it would be to come home after a long day at work – and find everything clean and tidy. Though this may sound like a dream, it could soon be a reality: many researchers in Germany are working on robots that will relieve us of chores in our everyday lives. They could also be of assistance in areas such as care for the disabled and elderly, solving some really key problems in our ageing societies. In this edition we present a number of exciting ideas and projects. You can also read why an Iranian musicologist sees Germany as a particularly good place to conduct his research, learn about current funding programmes, discover our number of the month and find an answer to a question that no doubt interests us all: how can I appear as intelligent as possible?