Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Science Museum Robots Exhibition

Met up with my mate Dave to go to the Science Museum's Robot exhibition at the weekend. Not bad at all (and also nice to see the old Apollo 10 capsule again - even if it's not in their main space exhibition for some reason - so people gaze in wonder at a model of the LEM but walk past the almost rusty looking piece of hardware that actually did fly around the moon!)

The exhibition is split into 4 main parts - mechanical automata, robots in fiction, creating a robot, and current robot examples. The focus is very much on humanoid robots, but pity not to see more cultural robots (C3PO, Robbie, B9/Lost In Space for example).

I'd certainly read about most of the "current" robots, and even seen a few, but great to see them in all in one place. Pity that they didn't have Kismet (although they had the Kings "copy"), and no space for Aibo (even though there was a robot cat!)

Highlights in image form below:

Henri Maillardet, the “Draughtsman-Writer”

Not my photo as I forgot to take one, but in some ways one of the most interesting things there. Brass discs encoded hand movements so that the "boy" could write poems and create drawings - all in 1800!

The Gemma Chan robot created when they tried a Gold standard Loebner prize/Turing test, not so good close up!

iCub - state of the art robot boy

NAO - keep looking for an excuse for Daden to buy one!

Kaspar - used with kids with ASD

A nice functional bot!

Zeno - mimics your facial expressions, sort of

Pepper - heard a bit about this one

Robothespian - manually controlled mainly

Kodomoroid - a typical Japanese "real" Android, convincing over Skype possibly

Telenoid - gives you hugs when you're on the phone to someone

Industrial bot meets 50s SF!

Asimo - not doing anything sadly

Harry - the trumpet player

We also took the 15min to see Last Supper by Giles Walker, a very atmospheric piece of 12 robots supposedly debating sin and death and swearing a lot, even if I couldn't work out what it was all about!

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