Robot Zoo at Courtland Center

Sloan Museum is now open at Courtland Center Mall, while the Flint Cultural Center location is closed for renovation. Throughout the renovation project, Sloan Museum will continue to present rotating hands-on traveling exhibits, historic vehicles from Flint & Genesee County history, and the Wisner's Whizbang Emporium family gallery at Courtland Center Mall.

Robot Zoo

May 11 - September 8, 2019

Explore the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work! This exhibit reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer. Robot animals and hands-on activities illustrate fascinating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, how a giant squid propels itself, and how a fly walks on the ceiling.

The larger-than-life-size animated robots include a chameleon, a rhinoceros, a giant squid with 18-foot tentacles and a platypus. Also featured are a house fly with a 10-foot wingspread, a grasshopper, a bat and a giraffe whose head and neck alone stretch 9 feet tall.

Cutaways expose the animals’ insides as a host of easily recognizable machine parts and gadgets, such as shock absorbers and pumps, that demonstrate what makes animals work. Animation in the robots imitates real-life behaviors. The robot chameleon rocks back and forth as it turns its head, looks around and fires its tongue at its insect prey. The front legs of the platypus swim in breaststroke style while the tail moves up and down. The tentacles of the giant squid grip a struggling fish, while the squid’s beak-like mouth opens to reveal a spinning food grinder.

Sensory activities include“Swat the Fly,” a test of the visitor’s reaction time (one-twelfth as fast as a house fly’s) and “Sticky Feet,” where visitors experience what it’s like to be a fly on the wall. Triggering the “Tongue Gun” demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out its long, sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal.

Admission to Sloan Museum at Courtland Center includes access to Robot Zoo, as well as an exhibition of over 30 historic vehicles, and Wisner's Whizbang Emporium, an interactive gallery where families can play together. For more information, call 810-237-3450.

Genesee County Residents* and Members: Free
Non-Residents: $7 adults, $6 seniors 60+, $5 youth ages 2-11
Children 1 and younger: Free
Other Discounts: Free for ASTC, Veterans, Military Families, and Teachers
*Genesee County residents will receive free admission to Sloan Museum at Courtland Center Mall. Please present your driver’s license or ID with your address on it to receive your discount.

4190 E. Court St. Burton, MI 48509
Sloan Museum is located inside Courtland Center, accessible through the Court Street mall entrance, right next to El Cozumel Mexican Grill.

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday: 12-5 p.m.
Last admittance at 4:30 p.m.

Robot Zoo is funded in part by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage. Your tax dollars are at work.

Immersive Displays and Hands-On Fun

Robot Giraffe

The face of a robot giraffe appears to smile at visitors to “The Robot Zoo.”

Mister Platypus

Two girls build a creature resembling a platypus, using model parts from the real animal and others such as an elephant’s trunk.

Robot House Fly

A teacher talks to her class about a robot house fly that features a 10-foot wingspread and multiple visual receptors to simulate the real insect’s compound eyes.

Tortoise Track

Two youngsters wearing numbered shells race like turtles around the Tortoise Track.

© 2018 Flint Cultural Center Corporation. All Rights Reserved.