“Robot Revolution” Powering Up In Denver

Image Credit: Museum of Science and Industry

Image Credit: Museum of Science and Industry

October 13, 2015 – A new groundbreaking exhibition, “Robot Revolution,” supported by Google.org with additional major support from The Boeing Company, will open at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on March 18.

“Robot Revolution” explores how robots, created by human ingenuity, will ultimately be our companions and colleagues, changing how we play, live and work together. The exhibition takes guests into a visionary world where robots are not just a curiosity but a vital asset.

The experience comes to life with a collection of cutting-edge robots secured from some of the most innovative global robotics companies and universities. Museum guests receive an extraordinary opportunity to interact with robots that have rarely been shown to the public before.

From Yume Robo, the climbing robot that traverses up and down a ladder, to the Recon Scout Throwbot XT that can literally be thrown into a dangerous situation to collect vital information, guests will be awed by the breakthroughs and capabilities of these machines.

“Robot Revolution” features four areas with fun, hands-on elements, intriguing video and thought-provoking questions that delve into various aspects of robotics and offer engaging hands-on activities with amazing robot specimens:

Cooperation – Discover how engineering breakthroughs are helping to create robots that work with humans to enhance our lives. See EMYS mimic your facial expressions with its advanced facial-coding technology. Be charmed by PARO, the furry baby seal therapy robot with sensors that respond to your touch. Try a surgical training simulation to see what it’s like to perform robotic surgery. See a robot exoskeleton that augments physical strength and can assist people who are paralyzed. Watch soccer ‘bots compete in a match.

Smarts – Identify how machines are able to sense, plan and then act, while comparing and contrasting the ways in which humans and robots learn. ROBOTIS-OP follows faces and makes “eye” contact using its visual tracking software. The UR5 robot arm conceals an extraordinary ability to learn. Instead of writing code, simply move the arm, and the robot learns to repeat the movements.

Skills – Learn about the skills robots possess that mimic—and often surpass—human capabilities. Experiment with various advanced robot “grippers” to select and pick up objects. See how the Fanuc delta robot selects and sorts items with precision and speed. A Yaskwawa/Motoman dual-arm robot challenges guests to a game of 21, while Baxter, a robot developed to work alongside humans in factories, competes with guests in simultaneous games of tic-tac-toe.

Locomotion – Explore the ways robots move and how they offer humans access to places we can’t venture ourselves. Test the ability of a ROBOTIS-MINI to put one foot in front of the other and control its balance. Control THES, a snake-like ‘bot that can crawl through pipes and alert humans to leaks or system damages. Learn how TOPY OSCAR can climb up and down stairs with its long rubber treads.

Other engaging elements include an area stocked with Cubelets where guests create their own ‘bots, and the glassed-in “Robo Garage” where guests are able to watch technicians maintaining the robots.

The exhibition was created by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI). The MSI team collaborated with a renowned group of robotics experts to offer insight on the content, including lead advisor Dr. Henrik I. Christensen, KUKA chair of robotics at the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and executive director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, as well as Dr. Dennis Hong, professor and founding director of RoMeLa (Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA.

“Robots are for everyday people, not just scientists and engineers,” said Steven Lee, the Museum’s curator for the exhibition. “Robots are positively impacting daily life as humans use robotics to achieve more in search and rescue, law enforcement, science exploration, aviation, and medicine. In this exhibition, even guests who think they aren’t interested in robotics will be amazed by the human ingenuity that goes into creating these machines.”

Tickets for the general public go on sale in February. General visitors pay $23.95 adult, $16.95 senior (age 65+), $14.95 junior/student (ages 3–18 or with a student ID). Museum members receive a discount on admission. Timed tickets will be required and advance reservations are encouraged. Group pricing is available.

“Robot Revolution” is supported by Google.org with additional major support from The Boeing Company. Other funding provided by RACO Industrial, The David Bohnett Foundation, The Kaplan Foundation and official airline United Airlines. MSI is grateful to the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers–Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) and ITA, Inc. for their assistance with the development of this exhibition.