I visited the Robot Revolution exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science which opened for everyone on March 18th, 2016. It requires a timed ticket and runs through August 7th. This exhibit is INCREDIBLE!
Before I entered the exhibit, Brian Hostetler, Museum Educator, asked me how much I know about robots. I answered that I knew a lot. However, I quickly learned that I knew only a little bit. Did you know that the difference between a robot and a machine is that a robot senses the world around it and as such can kind of “think for itself” whereas a machine cannot?
This exhibit holds 40 robots that come from 8 countries. They change over 300 batteries a day! A couple of my favorite robots were Baxter, a robot that plays tic-tac-toe, which Aaron Goodwin, age 5, from Arvada, CO enjoyed playing and the soccer playing robots. They even had an interactive ‘bee-bot’ table and costumes for the youngest kids to play with.
My favorite activity was creating cubelet robots. It was super hands-on and creative in that you get to create your own robot! Cubelets are magnetic cubes that latch together and each cube has a designated function. There is a sensor cube, which is like the brain and is required because it tells everything else what to do. As I said above, all robots must have a sensor, otherwise it is just a machine. Examples of other cubes are the battery cube that provides power, the drive cube that has wheels in case you want the robot to move, the light cube if you want your robot to shine a light, and other cool cubes. The most interesting cubelet robot that Brian has seen was from one kid that made a robot that was 4 feet long, had 2-3 lights on it, and had lots of rollers.
This exhibit came from Chicago and only took 1 ½ weeks to set up! Approximately 1,500 – 2,000 kids a day will visit the exhibit. If you are interested, the museum will have four community weekends (the 3rd weekend of each month) where kids from local robotic clubs and school clubs will share about robots that they have recently created for competition.
All in all, I think that this exhibit will be good for anyone 4 to 400!