Fans of all things sci-fi will be high-fiving their hands off as one of Europe’s largest private collections of robots, cyborgs and androids has taken up residency in Newcastle.
Robot (or Robot: a collection of robot models, cyborgs and androids from TV and film, if you’re visiting on a Sunday) is now open at the Life Science Centre and will offer an eclectic snapshot of how robots have developed during the past 60 years on screens of both big and small persuasions.
Visitors to the exhibition – admission is included in the entry ticket to Life – will get to see more than 40 full size robot models, some of which, like Weber from the film, Flubber and Bicentennial Man from the film of the same name (both of which starred Robin Williams) were the actual ones used during production. Others are replicas. But to be honest, who’d know?
Braver visitors can face off with some of the scariest bots from TV and film, including the terrifying Terminator T-800 model, the fella who looks like a potato from Dr Who and a laser-damaged Battle Droid. There’s also a demonic-looking robot baby from I-Robot, the image of which will be with me for a while.
Those looking to avoid any kind of nightmares are also well catered for though, with robotic heroes such as Robby the talking robot from 1956’s Forbidden Planet, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Iron Man on hand to represent the ‘good’ robots, alongside everyone’s favourite robotic police officer, Robocop.
“Even when they’re trying to destroy the human race, there is something about robots that has delighted audiences for decades.” said Ian Simmons, science communication director at Life.
“We expect Robot to be a highly popular addition to Life; there’s a real thrill that comes from getting to see these iconic robots up close.”
Throughout the exhibition, which will have the atmospheric soundtrack from Bladerunner as its audio backdrop, visitors can also learn about the popularity of robot toys throughout the years, with classic 80s R.A.D robots (originally designed to serve drinks, which they did badly in my experience) and some adorable robot dogs adding to the mixture of characters on display.
During half term, from February 13-21, younger visitors will be offered a string of bonus features to the exhibition with special guests coming and going across the week. Jedi, rebel soldiers, robotics experts and everyone’s favourite bad guys the Daleks will all be present and correct as will experts from York Robotics Lab who’ll be bringing humanoid robots as well as their swarm bots. (No, I don’t know either, but I’m intrigued.)
Robot will be at Life is now EXTENDED to 27TH MAY. Access to the Robot exhibition is included in the admission price to Life. Please see life.org.uk for more details.