By Jina Bute
Location: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. through Feb. 4, 2018. www.MSIChicago.org
Background: Robot Revolution returns to the Museum of Science and Industry this summer with an even bigger look into the future of robots. The exhibit explores how robots are changing the way humans play, live and work together, while also giving visitors the opportunity to interact with robotic technology that has yet to be presented to the rest of the world.
What to expect: The exhibit is divided into four areas that focus on the main aspects of robotic technology: Cooperation, Smarts, Skills and Locomotion. In each area, different robots demonstrate how these aspects reflect human behavior. The Cooperation section shows how robots are being programmed to effectively communicate and collaborate with humans, working together to improve efficiency and function in our daily lives.
Furthermore, the Smarts section focuses on how robots process information like humans through sensing, planning and acting. In the Skills section, these learning capabilities lead robots to develop the skills that allow them to perform just as effectively as humans, if not
more. Lastly, the Locomotion section demonstrates how robots move and can offer access to places that humans physically cannot reach on our own.
With each of these four sections featuring real robots exhibiting these traits, visitors get a glimpse of how robotic technology will truly change the way we live in the years to come.
What stood out: While every section of the exhibit involves robots that demonstrate a specific aspect of robotic technology, the most entertaining display involves watching “soccer ’bots” play a game of soccer. Included in the Cooperation section of the exhibit, the two teams show how robotic sensors allow robots to work together and score a goal. This teamwork among the ’bots demonstrates how robots mimic human behavior and communication.
Final thoughts: The reality of the evolution of robotic technology is both incredible and terrifying at the same time. This is an exhibit that all ages will enjoy because it provides a deeper look into the world of robots compared to the surface version we see in media. It also provides the realization that the future of technology is now — and it’s exciting.