Robot Zoo

How do chameleons change color? What does a fly see? How far can a squid squirt water? The best place to find out how real animals work will be at “The Robot Zoo,” on display at the Explorers Hall museum at the National Geographic Society from September 21, 2000, through January 7, 2001. The exhibit is part of the 25th birthday celebrations of the children’s magazine, National Geographic WORLD.

Exhibit-goers can interact with a three-dimensional, computer-aided design rhino model in a Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) environment. VRML is the same technology that brings 3-D, animated worlds like this one to the World Wide Web.

Other hands-on activities include triggering a “tongue gun” to catch insects for the chameleon; hanging like a bat from an overhead bar; and viewing the world as a chameleon does, through eyes that work independently of each other.

The exhibit is based on the book “The Robot Zoo,” conceived, edited, and designed by Marshall Editions of London.

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