Out of the rainforest and into the zoo! After bidding adieu to the immersive Rainforest Adventure Maze, Sloan Museum at Courtland Center has opened its doors to the biomechanical wonders of The Robot Zoo.
The 5,000-square-foot exhibit created by Evergreen Exhibitions includes eight larger-than-life-size animated robots such as a chameleon, rhinoceros, giant squid with 18-foot tentacles, and platypus. Also featured are a house fly with a 10-foot wingspread, a grasshopper, a bat, and a giraffe. Turning biology into biomechanics, machinery in the robot animals simulates the body parts of their real-life counterparts. In the robot animals, muscles become pistons, intestines become filtering pipes and brains become computers.
Between the eight animals there are more than a dozen hands-on activities illustrating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, how a giant squid propels itself, and how a fly walks on the ceiling. Other hands-on activities include “Swat the Fly,” a test of the visitor’s reaction time (one-twelfth as fast as a house fly’s), and “Sticky Feet,” where visitors can see what it’s like to be a fly on the wall. Triggering the “Tongue Gun” demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out its long, sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal.
The Robot Zoo is open at Sloan Museum at Courtland Center now through September 8, 2019. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Admission is free for Genesee County residents and members. Non-resident tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for kids ages 2-11.