The Science Museum in London has gathered together 20 robots from research labs around Europe and is giving them a home for four days so that they can ‘meet’ members of the public.
The RobotvilleEU exhibition will host a range of different robot types, from domestic and swimming robots to the rather menacing-sounding humanoid and swarming robots. Reassuringly, roboticists will be on hand throughout to control them.
Developed from an original concept by the European Union National Institutes for Culture, the aim of the show is to explore the role robots take in everday life, as well as showcasing the latest developments in robot research and design.
Design Week is most looking forward to meeting cuddly Portuguese dinosaur-robot Pleo, who has been designed as a robot pet, and miniature humanoid Nao, from France, who can be programmed to do or say just about anything.
The robots we’d least like to meet in a dark alleyway are the disembodied Shadow Dextrous Hand, which can mimic all the movements of a human hand, and the creepy-looking Kaspar, who has been developed for children with autism to play and interact with.
Paulina Latham, acting project leader for Eunic London, says, ‘2011 marks the 90th anniversary of the term “robot” – coined by Czech writer Karel Capek for his plat RUR – so what better way to celebrate than a festival of the most advanced and progressive of robots.’
RobotvilleEU is at the Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7, from 1-4 December.