National Museum of Scotland: Robots

Another visit for me to the National Museum of Scotland, a place which must be a haven for thousands of tourists stranded in Edinburgh’s icy windy blast and permanent drizzle.  So much to see in a cosy environment and its free to enter, surely a must see for anybody whether new to the city or born and bred.

For a few pounds however, you can visit one of the many varied and interesting exhibitions the museum curates and today I did just that, venturing through the aforementioned weather to see the ROBOT exhibition that had just commenced.

As with most events I have witnessed at the museum I’m always impressed that there is something for all ages.  Myself I found particular interest in the earlier examples on display whilst enthusiastic children were quenching their thirst for knowledge by pressing, levers, buttons, and for the more recent robots on display actually communicating with them.

The lineage of how we today find robots that can walk, talk, and interact with us humans is examined with the timeline starting off with working gears and clocks, through to the industrial revolution and mechanical moving beings, until todays hi-tech interactive humanoids we see on display here.

There was a major movie star on display too.  Fans of the Terminator movie will have the opportunity to see the legendary robot from the movies, whilst an ancestor of that machine, the first ever robot to appear in a movie, Metropolis in 1927, a replica of that robot was on display.

I enjoyed a particularly creepy modern-day robot whose eyes investigate yours in a splendidly fiendish manner.  I also discovered that in movies and TV a robot baby is often used rather than the real thing, which was a relief to me as I often mused how an actor is supposed to memorise lines, act their scene, and ensure they don’t drop the baby!

Something for everyone, highly recommended.

Steve Heald