STIFF-FLOP goes wild during Robot Safari (EU)


This November, Robot SafariEU at the Science Museum will explore the fascinating world of biomimetic robots. Beginning on Wednesday 27th November at Lates and continuing over the weekend (30 Nov – 1 Dec), visitors can trek through the un-natural habitats of these robots, interacting with creatures that swim, flap, and crawl, in a unique safari experience.


Roboticists from the UK and across Europe will be on hand to demonstrate their creations, helping visitors interact with a shoal of robot fish or stretch the Bat Bot's wings while exploring the latest developments in biomimetic robotics. Visitors can also learn how to programme simple robots and build and race their own robots in a series of interactive workshops.

The Centre for Robotics Research (CoRe) (Department of Informatics, King's College London) will exhibit the STIFF-FLOP project which aims to create a robotic arm based on an octopus tentacle. Its soft and even stiffness-controllable structure will allow surgeons to manoeuvre it gently around organs during keyhole surgery. This means it will be capable of reaching areas inside a patient's body that could not be reached previously. It has not been on display before. The demonstration will be supported by SCHUNK who kindly provided their Powerball Lightweight Arm.
Kaspar Althoefer, Lakmal Seneviratne and Thrishantha Nanayakkara from CoRe and robotic surgeon, Prokar Dasgupta from the MRC Centre for Transplantation, Guy's Hospital, KCL lead the consortium of European scientists and medical doctors.

"Visitors to Robot SafariEU will see not just how nature can inspire innovative robotic designs, but also how these biomimetic robots are actually advancing our understanding of the animals and plants they mimic," explains Nicola Burghall, Content Developer for Robot SafariEU. "We're very excited to be able to showcase some of the latest European biomimetic robotics research here at the Science Museum."

Robot SafariEU is free and suitable for all ages (Lates is adults only). Timed tickets are required on 30 Nov & 1 Dec. These can be booked in person at the Science Museum's ticket desks or via 020 7942 4000.


Invitation by the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy in London (SST)

As part of Robot SafariEU, CoRe is invited to the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy in London (SST) who is participating to Robot SafariEU in collaboration with the French Cultural Institute in the UK (IFRU) and a French robot company: RobotSwim. Thrishantha Nanayakkara will join the meeting to take the opportunity to share expertise from different research backgrounds in biomimetics, and to explore the way the development of new international collaborations can be facilitated.


Robot SafariEU at the Science Museum

When: 27 Nov (Lates) & 30 Nov – 1 Dec
Times: 18:45 – 21:15 (27 Nov) & 10:00 – 17:15 (30 Nov-1 Dec)
Cost: Free (booking required for 30 Nov-1 Dec, via ticket desks or 020 7942 4000)
Who: For all ages; Lates is adults only


Follow the event on twitter via #RobotSafari and tweets from @sciencemuseum

To request interviews, or for further information and images, please contact Will Stanley in the Science Museum Press Office on 020 7942 4429 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Experts available for interviews include:

Nicola Burghall, Content Developer for Robot SafariEU, Science Museum
Peter Eckert, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland (Cheetah-cub)
Prof Kaspar Althoefer, Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and Head of the Centre for Robotics Research (CoRe),Department of Informatics at King's College London (STIFF-FLOP)
Claire Rocks, joint UK Academic Co-ordinator for Eurobotics week


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