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Reviewed February 12, 2017 via mobile

A fantastic experience. I went specifically for the Robotics exhibit and it was incredible. I'd never been to the rest of the museum so my friend and I then toured the rest of the museum. It was wonderfully done and really very interactive. A wonderful day and well worth a visit.

Date of experience: February 2017
1  Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 11, 2017 via mobile

We first went to the History Museum...twice (so many interesting and interactive aspects, it was hard to see in one afternoon). The following weekend, we set foot into the Science Museum, and had high expectations. And our expectations slammed into the ground. The Ground floor is home to some spectacular pieces, though you could barely read through the dim lighting. The basement floor was also quite interesting... The remaining floors cam be skipped completely. They're supposed to be interactive, yet none of the screens/ games/ settings functioned at all. All in all, it is as though they have not bothered to maintain anything in there. I cant comment on the IMAX or paid exhibitions, but in a nutshell, dont bother. Glance around the Ground and Lower floor, and don't hassle exerting effort climbing the stairs to the other extremely disappointing floors. Clearly the employees are much happier at the History Museum...

Date of experience: February 2017
2  Thank eldiabolito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 11, 2017

The new Robots exhibition sounded good from a few newspaper reviews, but my wife and I were very disappointed. We got in on a 2-for-1 offer with rail tickets but even at £13.50 for two, did not feel it was good value for money.

The essence of a Robot is that it moves and does things. But here almost all the exhibits were static, with in just a few cases a nearby video showing them moving. The early part was on historical precursors like clocks - but even here all the clocks were stopped. Even a cuckoo clock sounding one an hour would have been welcome. The later sections had a number of robots produced experimentally or commercially but only a very few were working. Perhaps the best was one which was under repair when we arrived, but after a time the two technicians managed to fix it and left it working to fold a piece of A4 paper into a paper plane which it then launched into space - it flew just a couple of feet. This was fascinating to watch as paper is fragile. But it took the robot about 4 minutes to fold the paper, which most humans could have done in 15 seconds. So it was not a good demonstration of the speed or productivity of a robot. But even here it worked just once - there was a paper tray obviously designed to be stacked with paper so it could make paper airplanes very few minutes, but nobody bothered to fill it up, so it was left idle after we saw it working.

Nearby was a robot moving toys and other small objects from one place to another, but one arm tried repeatedly to pick up a paintbrush but failed every time. There were many attendants on duty but nobody took any notice - ideally they should have re-programmed it better, but if not just moving the paintbrush a couple of inches nearer would have solved the problem, and made a much better demonstration.

Most of the others robots were switched off - presumably because keeping them on for 8 hours a day 7 days a week would have worn them out. That's not a very good demonstration of the robustness of robotics either.

The exhibition was explicitly not designed to show you how robots worked. This absence of explanation might have been ok had this been an art gallery, but in a science museum the lack of scientific or technical information was distinctly odd. There was absolutely nothing about how the various types of actuators worked, or how advances in robotic vision or in faster signal processing computers were helping to make robotics more practical.

Really there was astonishingly little information about the robots on display. The boards often said things like "300 sold" but gave no information about who bought them, or what they were used for.

The few videos were almost all awful - with very large gaps saying things like "interview resumes in 3 minutes". Why didn't they run them in a continuous loop so the public didn't have to hang around for so long?

All in all, I cannot recommend this as good value for money.

Date of experience: February 2017
13  Thank astronomer-at-large
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 11, 2017 via mobile

We visited the much publicised robot exhibition expecting the science museum to have tapped into the current interest in robot's rights, the robotic future and the robot human interface. In reality you get a bunch of robots mostly humanoid and some of them working and absolutely no discussion about any of the current issues at the boundaries of the human realm. It's also relatively small for an exhibit carrying a separate charge. The rest of the museum is the same old stuff, more engineering than science although they are doing a large scale refurb of the 1st floor to introduce some medical science into the picture. Good for a rainy day but hope to see more science being put back into the Science Museum.

Date of experience: February 2017
3  Thank arborfieldman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 11, 2017

Young children with us and lots for them to see and do . Toilet facilities handy and good, clean. Food areas for purchase or bring your own good.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank kathleenharrisson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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