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Giant robot animals invade the Horniman

Where can you meet a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-foot tentacles and a huge housefly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth?

The Robot Zoo is home to all these and more, and opens at the Horniman on Saturday 11 February 2017.

The Robot Zoo houses larger-than-life-size robot animals made from familiar machine parts and gadgets, in an exciting hands-on family exhibition revealing some of nature’s most amazing adaptations. Through interactive games and challenges, The Robot Zoo reveals how a chameleon changes colour, what makes grasshoppers leap so high, and exactly why a platypus looks so strange.

Using pistons for muscles, pipes instead of intestines, and computerised ‘brains’, the robot animals show how their real life counterparts see, hear, hunt, hide and move. And through other interactive exhibits visitors can try their hand at squid racing, fire a chameleon’s ‘tongue-gun’ and even design their own ‘mutant’ robot creature.

Dr Emma-Louise Nicholls, Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman says: ‘Animals are amazing, and these robots really show us how. The everyday parts used – tubes, hinges and even a fly-swatter – form innovative representations of the amazing tools and abilities that have evolved in nature to allow animals to survive in a wide variety of environments and habitats. From a housefly’s lightning reactions to a bat’s ability to locate prey in the dark, this exhibition demonstrates just how extraordinary the animals that share our world really are.’

The Robot Zoo is open from Saturday 11 February until Sunday 29 October 2017.

The Horniman will also host a special programme of events linked to the exhibition throughout the year.

Book tickets now.