From early mechanised human forms to today’s cutting-edge technology, this major exhibition reveals 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 – this is your chance to see the most significant collection of humanoid robots ever assembled.


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

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.

  • REEM service robot, built by PAL Robotics, Spain, 2016 © PAL Robotics.

    REEM service robot, built by PAL Robotics, Spain, 2016 © PAL Robotics.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • T-800 endoskeleton from the Terminator film series © Solent News/REX/Shutterstock

    T-800 endoskeleton from the Terminator film series © Solent News/REX/Shutterstock
  • 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.


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.

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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

Booking information

Members: free
Adult: £10
Concession:* £8
Child (under 16): free
National Art Pass holders: 50% discount

* 60+, students with valid NUS or Young Scot card, unemployed with ID, disabled people. Carers of disabled people free.

All tickets include a discretionary donation. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation the admission prices are: Adult £9, Concession £7.20. Tickets are subject to a transaction booking fee and postal costs.

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Robot Challenge

In this exhibition you can find some of the earliest robots, see robots that have been used in films and think about how we might use robots in the future. Can you solve the puzzles to find these robots?

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