30 March 2017 | 10 °C

London's Got A New Zoo... And It's Full Of Robot Animals

Robot Zoo, Horniman Museum ★★★★★

London's Got A New Zoo... And It's Full Of Robot Animals Robot Zoo, Horniman Museum 5
A close up of the robot grasshopper.

How does a fly suck up food? How does a squid propel itself along in water? Wouldn't it be great if we could answer these questions using robots. This is how we imagine the conversation went when designing this show — and we sure are glad that it came to fruition.

This robot fly mimicking a real fly's suction action is pretty creepy.

Giant robots abound as we see a robo-chameleon flick out its tongue and lights pulse up and down the long neck of a robo-giraffe.

A squid all lit up and ready for propulsion.

These robot creations will be adored by children (and big children). The attention to detail is fantastic and the small movements are remarkably life-like whether it's the giant fly moving its head side to side, or a grasshopper's mandibles moving up and down.

Learn how a giraffe's neck works.

There's plenty of information on how these animals function plus hands-on hijinks: children can try to hit targets resembling prey with a joystick operated 'chameleon's tongue', propel their squid in a race or see how a grasshopper can jump so high.

This robot chameleon changes colour depending on whether it's trying to express anger or attract a mate.

The chameleon even changes colour depending on whether you press the buttons for it to blend in or attract a mate — all managed with LED panels on its side. It's a nice touch and a sign of the sheer amount of effort that must have gone into these creations.

Oh, and these animals don't smell either.

A close up of the giraffe head.

Robot Zoo is on at Horniman Museum until 29 October. Tickets are £7 for adults, £4 for children and family tickets are available. For more robotic fun, check out the excellent Robots exhibition at Science Museum.

Last Updated 17 February 2017