A robot with it's arms spread outwards, and a large grey and white information panel behind it with the title 'Robo Q Robothespian'.

Control how this humanoid sings, speaks and makes gestures.

How it works

Use a nearby touch screen to control RoboQ's actions and speech.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • What causes that hissing sound?
  • Can you identify parts of RoboQ using the rear information wall?
  • How many pistons are controlling RoboQ's arms?
  • How do the pistons move to control its arms?
  • How does RoboQ track your movements as you walk past?


RoboQ is a mechanical humanoid originally named RoboThespian™.

RoboQ is an adaptive robot that receives input from sensors to perform physical movements or produce vocal responses. Its parts can be classified as either Sensors, Controllers or Actuators.

Servomotors in RoboQ's joints are motors that use negative feedback and adjust RoboQ's body by comparing where his body is actually positioned to where it is supposed to be. Pneumatic pistons within RoboQ's arms, wrists and fingers are responsible for raising and lowering each limb and digit.

Finding the science in your world

Animatronics use pre-programmed commands to control mechanical devices (such animatronic dinosaurs) to repeat the same actions over and over again, regardless of environmental conditions. Animatronics are commonly used in theme parks, or within household appliances.

Robots detect changes in their environment (such as changes in light levels, colour, or temperature) and they respond appropriately, sometimes with the assistance of humans, sometimes under the robot's own decision making algorithms.

Robots perform important work in modern society, particularly in detecting and defusing explosive devices, or in the exploration of space and planets.