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From early mechanised human forms to today’s cutting-edge technology, this major exhibition revealed our 500-year quest to make machines human.

Featuring more than 100 objects – from automatons to science fiction film stars and the creations of modern research labs – the exhibition featured the most significant collection of humanoid robots ever assembled.


Focusing on robots that are designed to resemble the human body, the exhibition explored the creation of these humanoids and the insights they offer into our ambitions and desires in a rapidly changing world.

  • Replica of Maria, designed by Walter Schulze-Mittendorff for Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis, 1927. WSM Art – Walter Schulze-Mittendorff © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Replica of Maria, designed by Walter Schulze-Mittendorff for Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis, 1927. WSM Art – Walter Schulze-Mittendorff © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
  • REEM service robot, built by PAL Robotics, Spain, 2016 © PAL Robotics.

    REEM service robot, built by PAL Robotics, Spain, 2016 © PAL Robotics.
  • Collaborative robot Baxter, built by ReThink Robots, USA, 2015 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Collaborative robot Baxter, built by ReThink Robots, USA, 2015 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
  • Humanoid robot ‘Cygan’, built by Dr Piero Fiorito, Turin, Italy, 1957 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Humanoid robot ‘Cygan’, built by Dr Piero Fiorito, Turin, Italy, 1957 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
  • Manikin used to illustrate the articulation of the human body, 1582–1600 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Manikin used to illustrate the articulation of the human body, 1582–1600 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
  • Crowd-sourced recreation of renowned British robot Eric, originally built by Captain William H. Richards, 1928 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Crowd-sourced recreation of renowned British robot Eric, originally built by Captain William H. Richards, 1928 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
  • Robot receptionist Inkha, built by Matthew Walker and Peter S Longyear, 2002 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Robot receptionist Inkha, built by Matthew Walker and Peter S Longyear, 2002 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.
  • Kodomoroid communication android, Japan, 2014. Image: Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories, ATR, Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

    Kodomoroid communication android, Japan, 2014. Image: Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories, ATR, Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.


Discover how robots and society have been shaped by our understanding of the universe, the Industrial Revolution, popular culture and visions of the future. See early clockwork machines, a modern recreation of renowned British robot Eric, and stars of the silver screen including a T-800 endoskeleton used in the movie Terminator Salvation and a replica of Maria from the iconic 1927 film Metropolis.



Learn about the latest innovations in robotics research and find out why roboticists are building machines that resemble us and act in increasingly human-like ways. Encounter some of the latest humanoids in action and come face-to-face with what a future shared with robots might be like.

Visitors' views

“Eye-opening”
“Inspiring”
“Brilliant”

These are just some of the ways visitors have described the Robots exhibition. Find out what they've been saying here:

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Events
Robots events

From fantasy films to technology talks, discover a packed programme of events for our Robots exhibition.
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Exhibition information

When

18 Jan - 5 May 2019

Where

National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh - Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3

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Access

There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted. Click here to find more information.

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