The exhibit features eight larger-than-life-size
animal robots and 16 hands-on activities. Each mechanical robot
is displayed in the context of its natural habitat. The smallest
are a grasshopper and a house fly. The largest are a giraffe
and a rhinoceros. In between are a bat, a chameleon, a platypus,
and a squid.
The interactive displays offer visitors hands-on
applications of science concepts, from the fluid movements of
the giant squid’s 18-foot tentacles, to the speed of a chameleon’s
tongue as it shoots out its long, sticky tip to reel in a meal.
A computer simulation of squid propulsion lets visitors use
computational fluid dynamics (CFD) – computer calculations –
to study fluids in motion. On an O2 workstation, visitors see
how far they can propel a digital squid by manipulating the
interaction between nerves and muscles.
“Tongue Gun” shows how chameleon’s long tongue
catches food as visitors trigger a joystick on the model of
a robot chameleon’s head. “Mister Platypus,” another of the
hands-on activities, allows visitors to play with evolution
as they add parts to a 9-foot long platypus model. By using
a computer workstation, visitors can interact with a three-dimensional,
computer-aided design (CAD) rhino model in a Virtual Reality
Modeling Language (VRML) where technology brings to life an
“animated 3-D world” environment.
Visitors also can interact with a computer paint
program, where they can create color patterns that post instantaneously
on TV monitors covering the 10-foot long robot – chameleon’s
body. Bishop Museum is located at 1525 Bernice Street and is
open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14.95 for adults,
$11.95 for children ages 4-12, and free for members ($35 a year)
and ages 3 and younger. Explore the world of animals and discover
what makes them work at The Robot Zoo, where computer technology