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A robot housefly with a 3-foot wingspan…

A larger-than-life robotic platypus…

I’m not talking about this summer’s new Hollywood blockbuster — I’m talking about The ROBOT ZOO, the latest exhibit to invade the Gray Fossil Site. It’s 2,500 feet of science-non-fiction with larger-than-life animated robots, detailed cross-sections, and interactive hands-on activities.

The Robot Zoo was created to demonstrate the biomechanics of complex animal robots in order to show how real animals work. And the magic of nature, as revealed by exhibit, has fascinated the minds of children from Hawaii to Hungary. And lucky for us, it’s now in Gray, Tennessee.

But it’s not just for kids!

I had often wondered how a chameleon was able to change colors…or how flies were able to walk on the ceiling… Well, thanks to The Robot Zoo, now I know! (But I’m not going to ruin the surprise for you!)

I especially enjoyed taking control of the “Tongue Gun,” which shoots out a sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal. And it was hilarious to see kids put on the “Chameleon Coat” and see what it’s like to blend in with their own surroundings.

But the part I loved most was seeing the fascination on kids’ faces as they soaked up all the educational value of the exhibit. (Luckily, they didn’t realize they were “learning” at the time) But that’s exactly what’s so cool about The Robot Zoo: It combines animal physiology with robotic mechanization to show the outer and inner workings of the animals kids know and love. And it’s very, VERY well done.

The Robot Zoo exhibit will be at the Gray Fossil Site through September 22, and I would definitely recommend that you make plans to go. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 to 5:30.

Learn more about the Gray Fossil Site & Museum

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