I'm not sure who was having more fun--the kids, the grown-ups or the robots--yesterday at the Museum of Science and Industry's (MSI) touring exhibit, Robot Revolution--an amazing population of robots from around the globe.
The interactive exhibition spans four types of robots (Smarts, Skills, Cooperation and Locomotion) letting visitors observe and operate various robots while learning the roles they play to improve our world.
Some are fun, others helpful while many perform important and serious tasks.
There's Oscar from Japan. He can climb stairs and check out unstable buildings to warn people of danger lurking.
Baxter from Boston is a real player. You think you can beat Baxter at tic-tac-toe? Think again. Baxter can also be easily trained for a wide range of simple, repetitive tasks.
Then there's Daisy. This spider may look like a cute robotic toy but she's actually employed in urban search and rescue missions. Her six spider-like legs enable her to navigate rough terrain.
Don't gamble on beating this dealer, Yaskwawa/Motoman--a dual-arm robot out of Japan who shuffles, then deals the cards for a game of 21.
Robotis Mini can put one foot in front of its other, perform dances, and be programmed through its open-source software. Press one of the buttons and watch him perform a variety of activities from push-ups to head stands.
Not all robots are made of cold steel, meet Paro. This lovable robot is actually a therapeutic baby harp seal robot that is employed to help with the physical and emotional health of patients--both children and adults.
The military and police rely on Recon Scout, to explore dangerous environments before people are allowed to enter--perhaps discovering landmines and other dangers thus saving lives.
This is just a sampling of some of the robots that you will meet at Robot Revolution--on view through February 4, 2018.
While at the MSI, some other areas that you may want to visit include: the new temporary exhibition, Extreme Ice, that will be at the museum until early 2019. The exhibition explores the beauty and dangers of the earth's shrinking ice cover and disappearing glaciers through stunning photographic documentation and time-lapse videography.
Turn Back the Clock, another temporary exhibition on the 3rd level of the museum, looks at the Doomsday Clock. The clock, that is reset once a year, is getting uncomfortably close to midnight. The exhibition details the 70-year history of the Clock through three distinct parts: the dawn of the nuclear age, how the Clock serves as a metaphor for the global challenges we face today, and the potential applications of 21st century emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and new biotechnologies. The exhibition runs through early 2018.
Another exhibit, Number in Nature A Mirror Maze, on the Main Level (2) of the museum, explores patterns and invites visitors to walk through a mirror maze. (nearby the exhibit is the Museum's Ice Cream Parlor--where you may want to break for a treat).
Get to the museum early, if you don't want to wait in line. The museum opens at 9:30 a.m. That's when we arrived and were able to walk right in. When we left at noon, here's what things looked like:
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Filed under: Chicago Museums