Robots exhibition at Science Museum shows off 500 years of humanoid history

Highlights include an articulated iron manikin from the 1500s, an animatronic baby from Japan and one of the first walking bipedal robots.

The Science Museum's Robots exhibition reveals the remarkable 500-year story of humanoid robots. It will feature a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk, to robots from science fiction films and modern-day research labs.

A robot from Austro-German filmmaker Fritz Lang's 1927 film MetropolisBen Stansall/AFP

The exhibition will enable visitors to discover the cultural, historical and technological context of humanoid robots and will be able to interact with some of the 12 working robots on display. Among other highlights will be an articulated iron manikin from the 1500s, an animatronic baby and one of the first walking bipedal robots.

Early prototype Spanish-designed robotsCarl Court/Getty Images
Inkha, a British-made robot from 2002Carl Court/Getty Images
A Telenoid communication android from JapanCarl Court/Getty Images

Alongside the exhibition, the Science Museum have launched a Kickstarter campaign to rebuild Eric, the UK's first robot. Originally built in 1928 by Captain Richards & AH Reffell, Eric was one of the world's first robots and was built less than a decade after the word robot was first used. If completed, Eric will go on public display in October 2016 for a month and next year will be featured in the Robots exhibition.


Robots is open from 8 February until 3 September 2017 at the Science Museum, London.

A robot produced by the Toyota Motor Corporation called 'Harry Trumpet -Player Robot' Japan 2005Ben Stansall/AFP
A robot produced by Engineered Arts named 'Robothespian' UK, 2016Ben Stansall/AFP
A Kodomoroid communications android from JapanCarl Court/Getty Images
An animatronic babyCarl Court/Getty Images
A robot named 'Animatronic baby' London, 2016Ben Stansall/AFP
The 'Silver Swan' a clockwork automaton built in the UK circa 1773, performs a functionCarl Court/Getty Images
The original T-800 Endoskeleton robot used in filming Terminator SalvationCarl Court/Getty Images
A robot built by robot engineer Rob Knight and named 'Rob's Open Source Android' (ROSA) France, 2010-16Ben Stansall/AFP
A visitor activates a working replica of 'Ultimate Machine', a British-made 1950's robot that turns itself off when turned onCarl Court/Getty Images
An articulated manikin made in Italy in 1582Carl Court/Getty Images
A display of robotic faces entitled 'Area V5' Canada, 2009Ben Stansall/AFP

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