The Robot Zoo exhibit is touring science and natural history museums throughout North America and right now it's in Utah! Children can explore the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work.
The larger-than-life-size animated robots include a chameleon and a platypus. Also featured is a house fly with a three-foot wingspan!
Machinery in the robot animals simulates the body parts of their real-life counterparts. In the robot animals, muscles become pistons, intestines become filtering pipes and brains become computer.
There are also sensory activities for kids including "Swat the Fly", a test of the child's reaction time and "Sticky Feet", where kids use special hand pads to try to stick like flies to a sloped surface. Triggering the "Tongue Gun" demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out it's long, sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal.
The exhibit is based on the book The Robot Zoo that was conceived, edited and designed by Marshall Editions of London, England.
The Robot Zoo is on display now through January 5 at The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, a 1,200 acre nature Preserve and a 10,000 square food LEED Platinum building. It offers weekly nature tours, wildlife viewing opportunities, summer camps, environmental education for children and adults, lecture series, a gift shop and more.
Visit: swanerecocenter.org for more information.