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Museum of Science Highlights Local Innovation

June 12, 2017

New Permanent Exhibit to Celebrate Massachusetts’ Inventive Spirit

BOSTON- This month, the Museum of Science will unveil a new, permanent exhibit celebrating innovations developed in the Bay State and the visionaries behind them. Wicked Smart: Invented in the Hub features many hands-on interactives that showcase cutting-edge tools and technologies from collaborations at Harvard, MIT, and more. The exhibit is now on display in the Museum’s Blue Wing.

“The Museum of Science is located at the heart of the Massachusetts innovation economy in one of the most innovative states in the country,” said Christine Reich, Ph.D., vice president of exhibit development and conservation. “We are fortunate to live among many of the most prominent medical, educational, and scientific and technological institutions in the world, and this exhibit aims to introduce the public to the thought processes these institutions use to develop their innovations.”

Exhibit components showcase state-of-the art innovations including:

Particle Mirror

This large, multi-person interactive explores special effects simulations created by Cambridge-based digital media artist and computer graphics research scientist Karl Sims. Visitors can tryout a variety of Sims' special effects and watch and listen as the simulation responds to their movements.

RoboBees

  • A research lab at Harvard University is currently testing new methods for developing tiny, flying microrobots called RoboBees. At the Museum, visitors will experience some of the unique challenges facing the team in their efforts to develop and control thousands of miniature robots.
  • At the Brain Lab, visitors will become electrical engineers as they balance power, weight, and sensor capability to develop a RoboBee brain.
  • Then, taking on the role of mechanical engineers in the Body Lab, museum-goers will evaluate a pop-up method of constructing RoboBee bodies.
  • Finally, in the Colony Lab, these “guest” computer scientists can test a program that controls thousands of virtual RoboBees as they search for and pollinate flowers.

Freedom Chair

Visitors will have the opportunity to test the latest in wheelchair technology with the "Freedom Chair," a lever-powered off-road wheelchair that can propel over bumps. The wheelchair was created by GRIT, a social enterprise startup created by mechanical engineering students from MIT.

Daktari CD4 System

Learn about portable healthcare with the Daktari CD4 System cell counter from Cambridge-based Daktari Diagnostics. The device measures CD4 counts in patients with HIV and AIDS, providing a snapshot of how well the immune system is functioning.  This information allows both patients and healthcare providers to get near real-time results and make vital treatment decisions.

G3PD: 3-D Printed Glass

See four glass vessels from the Glass I collection, created with a novel 3-D printer called the G3PD. The custom-designed 3D printer deposits molten glass in a layer-by-layer fashion, enabling precise control of the structure’s shape and the resulting optical properties. G3DP was developed by Neri Oxman and The Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with the Glass Lab at MIT.

Cheetah 2

Meet the Cheetah 2 robot from MIT, a biologically inspired robot that looks and behaves like a cheetah and is capable of autonomously running, sensing and jumping over obstacles up to 18 inches high.

Ioannis Miaoulis, the Museum’s president and director, sees this new exhibit as a game-changer. “The tools and technologies that are the stars of Wicked Smart are not only groundbreaking, and beautifully designed, they are really cool. We hope this exhibit will inspire visitors, especially kids, to rethink the role of engineering in the world around them.”

Wicked Smart opens Monday, June 12 and is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission $25 for adults, $21 for seniors (60+), and $20 for children (3-11). For more information, call 617/723-2500 or visit www.mos.org.
 

About the Museum of Science
One of the world's largest science centers and New England's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to STEM via programs and interactive exhibits. An extraordinary variety of learning experiences span the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River, Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. The Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® curricula, including the award-winning Engineering is Elementary, have reached an estimated 10.5 million students and 122,400 educators. The Museum sparks teens worldwide to use digital technology via The Clubhouse Network and has led a $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Visit: http://www.mos.org.

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