The exhibit is designed to challenge perception and explores the societal impact of the robot revolution. Over 100 unique specimens are on display including highlights from Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) like the ‘TacTip’ – an award-winning robotic ‘fingertip’ built at the lab in 2012.

But what about the men and women behind the machines? This is explored in the ‘Build’ section of the Robots exhibition, which is inspired by the ethos at BRL.

Over the last few decades, technicians and researchers have concentrated their efforts on developing technology that could allow robots to experience and respond to the world as humans do.

Sam Forbes is a Robots Research Technician at BRL. One of his current projects involves the design of a collaborative robot, fondly known as Baxter (who you can meet at the exhibition).


Sam Forbes, Bristol Robotics Laboratory with ”Baxter'”


“The idea of collaborative robots is that they work in close proximity to and interact with humans. Industrial robots traditionally have been dangerous to work around, but robots like Baxter feature proximity sensory that allow them to detect the presence of people and react accordingly.”

Presented in a workshop like setting, ‘Build’ provides exhibition visitors with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into robotic research.

“Build allows visitors to meet the roboticists and technicians behind the amazing pieces at the exhibition from robotic heads, legs and hands right down to robotic skin and fingertips.” Ling Lee, Robots Content Developer, Science Museum.

Bristol Robotics Laboratory joins more than 25 industry leaders including the BBC, Royal Air Force and Mercedes in backing Technicians Make it Happen to showcase the diverse roles available for technicians across the UK. You can read Sam’s case study here:

Bristol Robotics LaboratoryRobots runs from 8th February – 3rd September 2017 at the Science Museum in London. For more information on the exhibit, visit: