Museum exhibit seeks to cure people of their fear of robots •

Museum exhibit seeks to cure people of their fear of robots


Robots are creepy, right? A lot of people think so. That’s what inspired Ben Russell to create Robots, a new museum exhibit at London’s Science Museum.

Russell wanted to help people who shudder at the sight of a creepily realistic humanoid understand how much robots have helped us over the years. Many, many years, in fact – Russell reminds us that robots have been around for centuries.

For those who can’t imagine that robots have been with us for that long, the exhibit has some surprising finds. Among them are a creepy…er….interesting Spanish monk-bot from the 15th century that uses a clockwork mechanism to strike his breast and kiss his rosary.

The more modern items in the museum exhibit include an amazingly lifelike Japanese “childoid” created in 2014. If your blood runs cold at the sight of super-realistic dolls and you’re still warming up to the idea of robots, you may want to skip that part of the exhibit.

In total, Robots features 100 robots from five different periods in history. Visitors can see the contributions robots have made to the world, from industrialization to entertainment.

A robot exhibit wouldn’t be complete without the world’s favorite mechanical movie characters, so the Terminator from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hit film and Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet also make an appearance.

The exhibit also includes examples of factory robots used for assembly-line production, as well as robots used to assist children with autism. Russell’s goal is to show that while humans tend to fear technology and change, robots are what we create them to be.

“When you take a long view, as we have done with 500 years of robots, robots haven’t been these terrifying things, they’ve been magical, fascinating, useful, and they generally tend to do what we want them to do,” Russell told the Associated Press.

By Dawn Henderson, Staff Writer

Images: Alastair Grant/AP

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