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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

Carnegie Science Center: World’s Largest Permanent Robotics Exhibit


Andy, the "RoboThespian"

I married a geek. Three years later, I gestated his miniature. So it’s not a stretch to say that the world’s largest robotics exhibit would be something of interest to these two. But here’s the thing. Even if you’re not a geek (or haven’t outed yourself yet), you’re still going to love roboworld™, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibition,  at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

On our road trip to Pittsburgh, PA last week, the four of us spent the morning at the Carnegie Science Center. NOTE: A single morning was not enough time. I hated myself for having to rush the kids from exhibit to exhibit.

Bad Mommy: “No more Bernoulli Effect for you! Keep moving!”

WHY did you go there, exactly?

Did you know that there’s a $500 billion emerging robotics industry in southwestern Pennsylvania? Pittsburgh, then, was the natural location for roboworld, which opened in 2009. This $3.5 million exhibition occupies 6,000 square feet, with three distinct areas featuring robots sensing, thinking, and acting.


roboworld at the Carnegie Science Center

Okay, what was so cool about it?

The Science Center is four floors of pure geek revelry, but roboworld is on the second floor. You’re greeted by Andy, the life-sized RoboThespian™, who you can program to speak and move via touch screen.

Along one whole wall is a robot Hall of Fame showcasing robot replicas from popular movies and TV shows spanning several decades. The Boy was overjoyed to see C3-PO and R2-D2, while Matt and I related more HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and Robby from “Forbidden Planet”.

Star Wars

"Can I trade my sister for this?"

Practically every exhibit had some interactive component, so you could spend hours just in roboworld. (But you do want to leave time for the other exhibits, especially the model train village right next door).

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