Kids can meet a rhino, a squid with 18-foot tentacles and an enormous housefly – all in robotic form – at The Horniman this year
Words Aarzoo Snigdha
The latest exhibition to grace the temporary space at The Horniman Museum this year, The Robot Zoo offers little ones an opportunity to discover the mechanisms that give animals their amazing abilities.
In an exciting hands-on family exhibition, the exhibit reveald how animals see, eat, hunt, hear, move and hide in their day-to-day.
Through interactive games and challenges, learn how the chameleon changes colour, what makes grasshoppers leap so high, and exactly why a platypus looks so strange.
Meet a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-foot tentacles and a huge housefly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth. Visitors can also try jet-propelled squid racing, shoot a chameleon’s tongue-gun and even design their own ‘mutant’ robot creature.
Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman, Dr Emma-Louise Nicholls, explains, “From a housefly’s lightning reactions to a bat’s ability to locate prey in the dark, this exhibition demonstrates just how extraordinary the animals that share our world really are.
The everyday parts used – tubes, hinges and even a fly-swatter – form innovative representations of the amazing tools and abilities that have evolved in nature to allow animals to survive in a wide variety of environments and habitats.”
The Robot Zoo houses larger-than-life-size robot animals made from familiar machine parts and gadgets, in an exciting hands-on family exhibition. Based on the book titled The Robot Zoo, the exhibition demonstrates the actions of real animals using pistons for muscles, pipes instead of intestines, and computerised brains.
We loved the exhibition. They have packed a lot into the room, which gets extremely busy on weekends (get there early if it’s raining), and it can be tough to make sure you see everything in one go.
There are activities for all ages, which is great. Older children can get really interactive, and take part in a lot of the learning activities, while younger littles can marvel at some of the really impressive animal robots on display, like the giraffe at the entrance, or try being on television.
If your children love the natural world it’s a fantastic way to explore the animal kingdom – who new how the platypus got so weird looking?
The Robot Zoo is open until 29 October 2017. The Horniman will also host a special programme of events linked to the exhibition throughout the year.
Ticket prices: Child £4.40; Adult £7.70: Family (2 adults, 2 children) £18.70.
See www.horniman.ac.uk for more information.