A German city has installed a number of futuristic-looking sleeping pods so that those experiencing homelessness can find some shelter during the cold winter months.
Approximately 75 miles west of Munich, officials in Ulm have installed a number of sleeping pods, known as ‘Ulmer Nest’. This will give those experiencing homelessness shelter throughout winter.
Made out of wood and steel, a spokesperson has confirmed that the sleeping pods have been placed in parks and other areas.
The beds have been fitted with thermal insulation in order to protect the homeless from wind, cold and humidity. They can also sleep two people at a time.
Although no cameras are fitted in the pods, there are sensors which are activated when the pods are in use.
Those behind the initiative have finally confirmed it has been rolled out across Ulm as of January 8, as there were some setbacks – including coronavirus. Fortunately, it’s come just in time for the coldest months of the year.
On the Facebook page, the group wrote: “Today the two Ulm nests were repositioned – unfortunately due to corona with delay, but just in time for the really cold nights.
“The nests are now equipped with solar panels, which allows (at least) energy neutral use during the day. Further energy-saving measures are in the works.
“The Ulmer Nests are now connected to the Ulmer LoRa-Wan-IoT-wireless network and should communicate completely about it in the long term in order not to depend on mobile networks.
“The locking and the corresponding mechanisms have been completely revised and now offer easier operation and more interaction options for all involved.”
The pods, which have been designed by Flaco Pross, have been designed in a way that makes them incredibly easy to use – people don’t have to fill in any forms or register in order to gain access.
Instead, the pods are fitted with sensors that means a notification is sent out whenever they are opened or closed.
Caritas Ulm-Alb-Donau charity association or members of Ulmer Nest are alerted when someone stays in a pod for the night.
If the person still is in the pod the following morning, someone from the charity will go down to check and see if they can offer any help.
The charity will make regular checks on the pods to check for damages and if there is any, they will be repaired as quickly as possible so that they can be used again.
Besides offering rough sleepers somewhere safer and warm to sleep at night, this initiative allows the charity to get in contact with the homeless and see if they can help them further.