Robots take over London Science Museum with the largest-ever humanoids display

A monk trundles out, silently mutters, and pounds his chest. A robotic duck defecates. The Terminator looms. Some robots can perform surgery or act as news anchors. And a variety of these machines are on display at the Science Museum in London’s current exhibition, Robots.

The museum offers a bizarre array of biblical, zoomorphic, and A.I.-driven robots created in the last 500 years. But what’s even more striking is that this is “the greatest collection of humanoid robots anyone has ever put together,” curators told The Guardian.

What started as a way to manifest faith-based magical realism via mechanics in the 16th-century — via automata of monks and Christ — turned into a critique of global industrialization, such as occurred with the human-replacement robot Maria in the classic sci-fi film Metropolis from 1927. Today, there are even robots used in therapy-play sessions with autistic children.

It’s no wonder the question of a robot take-over continues to haunt this century and lies at the crux of the exhibit.

“What we really want visitors to do is to stand in front of these robots, watch them in action and ask themselves, ‘are robots going to march into our world and demand jobs from us? Or are human beings — capitalists — going to award jobs to them because it’s the cheaper and easier thing to do,'” Ling Lee, the exhibitions content developer at the Science Museum in London, told The Guardian in a video interview.

The exhibit starts with “a wall of artificial skulls with robotic eyes, an interactive artwork named Area V5 after the part of the human brain which perceives motion by its developer, Louis-Philippe Demers of Nanyang Technical University, Singapore,” stated Roger Highfield, director of external affairs at the Science Museum Group, on the museum’s blog.

“In the exhibition [visitors] are first confronted with an animatronic baby, under whose latex skin three dozen metal joints whir. Ben Russell, lead curator, said: ‘Coming face to face with a mechanical human has always been a disconcerting experience. That sense of unease, of something you cannot quite put your finger on, goes to the heart of our long relationship with robots,’” Highfield stated.

Robots runs from February 8 until September 3 at the Science Museum in London.

Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Smart Home

Let a robot do your chores! Here are the best robot vacuums for 2019

Robot vacuums are a convenient way to tidy up your home and minimize your weekly to-do list. From a top-of-the-line model to a handy budget option, here are the best robot vacuums you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Emerging Tech

A river of stars one billion years old flows across the southern sky

Astronomers have identified a river of stars flowing across our galaxy and covering most of the southern sky. The estimated 4000 stars that comprise the stream were born together and have been moving together for the last one billion years.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Emerging Tech

Descending at an angle could be key to landing heavier craft on Mars

Landing on Mars is a challenge: The heavier the craft, the more difficult a safe landing becomes. Scientists propose using retropropulsion engines and angling the craft to create a pressure differential to land heavier crafts in the future.
Emerging Tech

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS.
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.