They’re coming. Or are they already here? Whether you anticipate a Terminator or Wall-E type of future, you can mingle with robots, humanoids and all types of mechanical men of tomorrow at these three high-tech destinations that put you on the cutting edge of the incredible robo-revolution.
Touted as “the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit,” this kid-friendly play-center at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh highlights the fun, friendly side of manmade machines. Roboworld‘s bots literally speak for themselves. Andy Roid the Robothespian explains the basics of robotic sensing and interaction while Athina the Chatbot provides a crash course in artificial intelligence. There’s a good bit of play involved, too. While brushing up on the mechanics of mechanical men, you can also test your skills against the resident Air Hockeybot or basketball-shooting automaton.
Don’t be freaked out by the distended hand hanging in a glass case as you enter the museum. It’s only there to teach. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s resident museum in Cambridge showcases major innovations the university has made in the robotics world. Covering everything from one-legged robots to robotunas, the Robots & Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT exhibit chronicles the genesis of robotics all the way up to breakthroughs the school is currently making in smart prosthetics, automated medicine and technologically-enhanced entertainment. Of course you’ll also get to see some robo-celebrities, including Kismet, one of the world’s most sophisticated social interaction bots. Click here to see what we mean.
The Tech Museum of Innovation
You can design and program your own robot here, as well as style it any way you like. This San Jose, California-based Tech Museum of Innovation‘s social robots exhibit allows mechanically-minded kids to build their own bots from the sensors and actuators up, then dress them up in the finest robo-wear and get a souvenir picture. From there, head to the Jedi Tech center where you can build and test your own flying hovercrafts and make your own lightsabers.