The 500-year history of robots is revealed in a major new exhibition at London’s Science Museum.
Robots, which opened on February 8th, explores humanity’s quest to recreate ourselves as humanoid machines.
Over 100 robots are featured including some animatronic devices that chart the development of robots including:
- an Astrolabe, made in France in about 1300 and the oldest astronomical instrument originating in western Europe.
- the automaton monk – built in around 1560 and one of only three in the world
- The clockwork Silver Swan on loan from the Bowes Museum. The Swan created in 1773 is said to have entranced Mark Twain.
- Eric – a modern recreation of the UK’s first robot. The original was so lifelike that a security guard shot him when he visited New York in 1929.
More futuristic robots on display are:
- An animatronic baby
- Inhka – a reactive robot that answers visitor’s questions and also delivers fashion advice!
- Pepper – a humanoid companion that will invite visitors to touch its hands and fist bump.
- Zeno R25 which replicates visitor’s facial expressions.
- Nao – the most widely used humanoid robot in the world.
- YuMi – a dual-arm collaborative robot that will make and throw paper airplanes
- a T800 Terminator used in the film Terminator Salvation.
the greatest collection of humanoids ever assembled
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group said, “Visitors to Robots will see the greatest collection of humanoids ever assembled. This stunning exhibition explores the fascinating question of why, rather than how, we build robots. To look through the eyes of those who built, commissioned or gazed upon these mesmerising mechanical creations over the past 500 years, reveals so much about humanity’s hopes, fears, dreams and delusions.”
As part of the exhibition, the Science Museum will also be running events including film screenings, quizzes compered by robots and even Astronights – exclusive adult sleepovers.