Popular robotics exhibit returns to Chicago as part of national tour
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) is bringing back its national touring exhibit, Robot Revolution, supported by Google.org with additional major support from The Boeing Company. It will open May 11, 2017 and run through February 4, 2018.
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 exhibit returns to Chicago, where it had its world premiere in 2015 at MSI, after exhibit runs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The exhibit comes to life with a collection of cutting-edge robots secured from some of the most innovative global robotics companies and universities. Guests have extraordinary opportunities to interact with robots that have rarely been shown to the public before—including several new robots for its 2017 return.
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.
New robots include:
• RoboThespian, a lifesized humanoid robot that greets guests at the entrance of the exhibit.
• The Cube Solver, dazzling guests with its lightning-fast ability to solve a Rubik’s cube.
• Hex, a hexapod robot, with six snakelike legs that navigates rough terrain.
• Adept Lynx, a self-navigating industrial robot used in shipping factories.
“Robotics is one of the most fascinating areas of science today because scientists and engineers are constantly pushing the boundaries of possibility,” said David Mosena, President and CEO of MSI. “We are thrilled to bring our original groundbreaking exhibit back to the Museum. We hope that the opportunity to interact with such a wide range of robots will help people understand how robots become an integral part in helping to improve our world and inspire the next generation of innovators.”
MSI’s Robot Revolution exhibit development team worked with a renowned group of robotics experts to offer insight on exhibit content. This team of advisors includes lead advisor Dr. Henrik I. Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics at the College of Computing of 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 & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA.
The exhibit features four areas that delve into various aspects of robotics and offer specific handson activities with amazing robot specimens, as well as dynamic videos featuring Dr. Hong.
Cooperation: Discover how engineering breakthroughs are helping create robots that can work with humans effectively to enhance our lives. See EMYS mimic your own facial expressions with its advanced facial-coding technology. Get charmed by PARO®, the furry baby seal therapy robot, which has sensors that can respond to your touch. Try your hand at a surgical training simulation to see what it’s like to perform a robotic surgery. See a robot exoskeleton that augments physical strength and can be used by those who are paralyzed. Watch soccer ‘bots cooperate with each other as they compete in a game.
Smarts: Identify how these machines are able to sense, plan and then act, while comparing and contrasting the ways in which humans and robots learn. ROBOTIS-OP is able to follow your face and make “eye” contact using its visual tracking software. The UR5 robot arm conceals an extraordinary ability to learn. Instead of writing code, you 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 can select and sort items with precision and speed. A Yaskwawa/ Motoman dual-arm robot can challenge you to a game of 21, while Baxter, a robot developed to work alongside humans in factory settings, can play you and a friend in simultaneous games of tic-tac-toe.
Locomotion: Explore the varieties of ways that robots can move and how they can offer humans access to places we can’t venture ourselves. Test ROBOTIS-MINI’s ability to put one foot in front of the other and control its balance. Learn how TOPY OSCAR can climb up and down stairs with its long rubber treads, and see demos of the bug-like RHex over uneven terrain.
There is also a chance to create a ‘bot for yourself: Assemble the basic components of a robot using Cubelets and see what you can get it to do!
Throughout Robot Revolution, hands-on elements, informative videos and thought-provoking questions enable guests to recognize the ways that robotics can better society. This exhibit will run at MSI May 11, 2017 through February 4, 2018. Robot Revolution is not included in Museum Entry and requires an additional timed-entry ticket, $12 for adults and seniors and $9 for children.
“We believe it is vital to inspire the next generation of engineers and tech entrepreneurs so that we can continue to see technology change the world,” said Jim Lecinski, head of Google’s Chicago office. “Google is happy to support MSI’s Robot Revolution exhibit to make complex concepts accessible to kids of all ages and to get them excited about science, technology, engineering and math.” 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 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 exhibit.
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity.
From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District.
For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414.