Not many people may be aware that robotics is not actually a new concept in technology. In fact, it’s a field that dates as far back as 500 years ago. The Science Museum in London offers a look at how robotics has evolved with its exhibit entitled, “Robots.”
Unveiled on February 7, the exhibit gives a glimpse into the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the human mind over the years, Tech Times reports. Curator Ben Russell listed down the history and evolution of robots, beginning from the simplest mechanical device to the advanced humanoids people often associate with the word “robot.”
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.
He added that many old robot models were actually used in religion – an odd, yet interesting fact, considering how science and religion are perceived to be on opposites. One of the earliest automatons in the exhibit, for example, is a mechanical monk that was built in the 1560’s that is loan from the Smithsonian. This robot monk can walk, lift a rosary, move its lips as if praying, and beat on its chest like it were repenting.
In addition, there are robots that mimic human actions, the infamous T-800 from the movie, “Terminator: Salvation,” and a disturbing animatronic baby. Russell explained, “When you take a long view, as we have done with 500 years of robots, robots haven’t been these terrifying things, they’ve been magical, fascinating, useful, and they generally tend to do what we want them to do.” There are over 100 robots in total.
The exhibit is divided into five sections, representing different time periods in history. Later this year, “Robots” will go on tour all over the United Kingdom, before starting its international rounds in 2021.