There’s been a very short lived exhibition on at the Science Museum this week. It’s a whole bunch of latest design, cutting edge robots! They all seem to be based on various wild creatures (rather than human or machine shaped), which is why it was called Robot Safari.
I was fairly certain I’d not get to see it. After all, it was ticketed for timed entry (they, rightly, knew it would be popular) and only on for four days. But good old Emma sorted that out.
You may remember it was Emma who led us all up to see Rex before the public arrived. Well, today she was determined to do the same with the little robots. And she succeeded admirably. In a small party made up of Emma, Lucy, new volunteer Howard and me, we made our way around the exhibit, between various school groups who had sole right to be there…today.
The robots were amazing! The underwater ones, in particular, had us all amazed. They don’t use little propellers or other motorised components to move them. They have a new flexible material which mimics the movement of fish. They seriously resemble little fish (except they are transparent and you can see the electronics inside). You can even attract some of them by tapping on the side of the tank.
There was also the amazing Robo Spyder, obviously based on a spider. It has eight legs and responds to sound. It was developed in Lithuania and, the inventors hope, will help teach people to assemble robots. I have not idea how…or why. I figured it would be used in rescue situations where spider skills would be handy. I guess not. Still…it was pretty cool.
But, my favourite, was the Pleurobot.
This is amazing. It walks along like a lizard, low to the ground with legs coming out at right angles. Because of this, it can get under very low obstacles. It can also stand on its hind legs and lift up in order to see greater distances.
Watching it move was amazing. It looked alive. I can see it helping in search and rescue situations…at the very least. Apparently it can also move in the water, but we didn’t see that.
So, a very exciting day at work.
After work, I caught a train to Portsmouth for the other exciting part of the day. I was meeting Nicktor in order to go and see The Damned in concert at the Pyramids in Southsea. But you’ll have to go to the next post to read about that.