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Welcome to The Robot Zoo! Adults and children will explore the biomechanics of complex, larger-than-life animal robots in our newest 5,000-square-foot traveling exhibit.
Eight robotic animals and more than a dozen hands-on activities will illustrate fascinating real-life animal characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, how a giant squid propels itself, and how a fly walks on the ceiling. The eight animals featured in the exhibit include a giant squid with 18-foot tentacles, a bat, a rhinoceros, a house fly with a 10-foot wingspread, a platypus, a grasshopper, a chameleon, and a giraffe whose head and neck alone stretch 9 feet into the air.
Machinery in the robot animals simulates the body parts of their real-life counterparts. Muscles become pistons, intestines become filtering pipes, and brains become computers. Other 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 can experience what it’s like to be a fly on the wall. Triggering the “Tongue Gun” demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out its long, sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal.
Animation in the robots imitates real-life behaviors. The legs of a platypus swim in a breaststroke style, while its 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.
The exhibit The Robot Zoo is based on the book of the same name, which was conceived, edited, and designed by Marshall Editions of London, England.
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