The Smithsonian's Museum of National History announced it has added a number of robot technologies to its collection. The technologies come by way of donation from Sandia National Laboratories, which gave its first minirobot, the Miniature Autonomous Robotic Vehicle (MARV). The robot is 1 cubic inch in size and one of the only miniature robots designed in the U.S.
MARV and other donated robots will be on display in Spark!Lab, which is the museum's self-described hands-on invention space. The museum will unveil them during National Robotics Week next week April 9 through 16.
Technological advancement has always been a strong theme running through American history, said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum, in a statement. The donations made today not only reflect the historical record of robotic development, but offer a glimpse of-and inspiration for-the future.
Other robots that will be on display are a battlefield scout robot by the name of Dixie and a descendant of MARV, a hopping robot also from Sandia. Also, the exhibit will feature Robbie, an Autonomous Robotic Manipulator (ARM) from DARPA. This tool is used by researched to enhance the types of tasks robots can perform while minimizing the amount of human input necessary.
Spark!Lab has always been a place for our young visitors to ignite their imaginations and creativity, Arthur Molella, director of the center, said in a statement. The activities offered for National Robotics Week are an exciting new way to pique their interest in science, technology, engineering and math.