You have probably observed numerous animals before at a zoo, but an upcoming exhibit aims to provide a different view of animals.
During “The Robot Zoo” exhibit at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Ashland, visitors will be able to explore how animals work.
“The Robot Zoo” is a 2,500-square-foot exhibit which reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer.
Designed by Evergreen Exhibitions, the exhibit is based on the book, “The Robot Zoo,” that was conceived, edited and designed by Marshall Editions of London, England.
“The Robot Zoo” exhibit features robotic animals and seven hands-on activities that illustrate real-life characteristics such as how a chameleon changes colors and how a fly walks on the ceiling.
The larger-than-life-size animated robots utilize machinery that simulates the animal’s body parts of their real-life counterparts. In the robotic animals, muscles become pistons, intestines become filtering pipes and brains become computers.
The animated robots include a chameleon and a platypus. Also featured in the exhibit is a house fly with a 3-foot wingspread.
Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sensory activities.
Sensory activities include “Swat the Fly,” a test of the visitor’s reaction time, and “Sticky Feet,” where visitors using special hand pads can try to stick like flies to a sloped surface. Triggering the “Tongue Gun” demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out its long, sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal.
“The Robot Zoo” exhibit will open Saturday at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum with a special opening event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event will include live animals brought in by Wildlife Encounters. Wildlife Encounters’ award-winning educational programs are based on connecting students with wildlife conservation and environmental education.
Wildlife Encounters will host an educational booth with animals present from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will culminate the opening event with an interactive educational show at 1 p.m. that features audience and animal participation.
“The Robot Zoo” will remain on display through May 10. The exhibit is included with paid admission of $12 for adults, $11 for military and seniors, $6 for children ages 4-12 and free for children ages 3 and under.
In addition to being the opening day for “The Robot Zoo” exhibit, Saturday also marks the museum’s indoor air show.
The indoor air show features radio-controlled (R/C) models. The model pilots will demonstrate loops, flips and barrel rolls in the museum’s climate-controlled Durham Restoration Hangar.
Over 75 pilots will demonstrate their skills in a space that has 60-foot ceiling height, which enables them to practice acrobatic dives.
R/C club pilots will fly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The indoor air show will include an interactive workshop on remote controlled drone and fixed wing flight, educational booths from aviation and R/C clubs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and more.
An ultralight aircraft presentation will be held in the museum’s theater at 11 a.m. Ultralight aircraft are one-seat, fixed-wing aircraft that are used for recreational flight. A pilot’s license is not required to fly an ultralight.