Traveling exhibit reveals biomechanics of robot animal
Children across the nation can explore the biomechanics of
complex animal robots to discover how real animals work, thanks to a touring
exhibit, “The Robot Zoo.”The
exhibit is touring major science and natural-history museums throughout North
America and Europe.
5,000-square-foot exhibit reveals the magic of nature as a master
engineer.Eight robot animals and
more than a dozen hands-on activities illustrate fascinating real-life
characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, a giant squid propels
itself and a fly walks on the ceiling.
larger-than-life-size animated robots include a chameleon, a rhinoceros, a
giant squid with 18-foot tentacles and a platypus.Also featured are a house fly with a 10-foot wingspread, a
grasshopper, a bat and a giraffe whose head and neck alone stretch 9 feet tall.
in the robot animals simulates the body parts of their real-life counterparts.In the robot animals, muscles become
pistons, intestines become filtering pipes and brains become computers.
sensory activities include “Swat the Fly,” a test of the visitor’s reaction
time (one-twelfth as fast as a house fly’s), and “Sticky Feet,” where visitors
wearing special hand and knee pads can try to stick like flies to a sloped
surface.Triggering the “Tongue
Gun” demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out its long, sticky-tipped
tongue to reel in a meal.
in the robots imitates real-life behaviors.The robot chameleon rocks back and forth as it turns its
head, looks around and fires its tongue at its insect prey.The front legs of the platypus swim in
breaststroke style while the tail moves up and down.The tentacles of the giant squid grip a struggling fish,
while the squid’s beak-like mouth opens to reveal a spinning food grinder.
exhibit is based on the book “The Robot Zoo” which was conceived, edited and
designed by Marshall Editions of London, England.