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Robots: The 500-Year Quest To Make Machines Human
Robots fascinate us: the way they are almost lifelike, the endless possibilities that their technology offers, and the fear that they may one day take over our jobs or our world.
But where does this fascination come from? How did it begin? Robots have been at the heart of popular culture since the word ‘robot’ was first used in 1920, but their fascinating story dates back many centuries.
The Science Museum will explore the rich history, technology and culture of robotics in a brand new exhibition. Opening on 8 February, Robots charts the remarkable 500-year story of humanoid robots, including some of our favourites from science fiction.
A replica of Maria from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis features in the exhibition. Maria is a timeless icon and the inspiration for generations of robots captured on film, including C3P0 from Star Wars. However, Maria was not called a robot in Metropolis but a Maschinenmensch – a human machine. She represented a deep unease about the place of humans in a world overtaken by machines.
Also part of the exhibition is a T-800 endoskeleton used in the film Terminator Salvation. One of the most memorable robot villains captured on celluloid, the Terminator has played a prominent role in shaping modern preconceptions of what robots might be.
But robots have also helped us better understand ourselves. Acting like mirrors for society, robots show how our hopes, fears and dreams have changed over the centuries.
Robots is at the Science Museum in London from 8 February to 3 September 2017.
To find out more and book your tickets, visit sciencemuseum.org.uk/robots