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Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination

Exhibition Overview

landspeederStar Wars Artifacts
Luke's original landspeeder from Episode IV A New Hope is on public exhibit for the first time, alongside scale models of X- and Y-wing starfighters and TIE fighters. Visitors will also see an original Yoda puppet from the classic trilogy and Darth Vader's actual helmet from Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

Robot Object Theater Debate
Entering a large-scale model of the rusted-steel interior of a Jawa sandcrawler, visitors meet C-3PO and (via video projection) real-world robotics engineer Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Robotic Life Group, MIT Media Lab. The robot and the roboticist debate the merits of R2-D2 and how researchers try to duplicate traits such as mobility, perception and cognition.

Building Communities and Augmented Reality
Visitors build a spaceport, moisture farm community and walled Jawa town. Placing cards on a table—the physical landscape—a computer superimposes a building on a site in virtual reality and real time.

Real World Starships
Visitors will see actual vehicles and prototypes researchers and engineers in our own world have developed.

Real World Robots
Today's task-oriented robots and humanoid robots like Troody are on display in the exhibit. Visitors will get to see a floor-vacuuming Roomba that can sense its surroundings and plug itself in to recharge, as well as early ancestors such as the Johns Hopkins Beast, developed in the 1960s.

Exhibition Themes

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination is organized around solving human needs with two technology themes: "Getting Around" and "Robots & People."

TroodyGetting Around (transportation)
After examining Luke Skywalker's landspeeder and other hovering vehicles from Star Wars, exhibit visitors find out how things move without touching the ground in the real world, from models of flying cars to commercial spaceplanes.

Robots & People (getting along with even smarter machines)
Visitors meet C-3PO and R2-D2 and explore how people relate to the robots in Star Wars. The exhibition also features the creation of real-world robots that navigate and sense the world around them while communicating in increasingly sophisticated ways.

The exhibit culminates in two multi-station Engineering Design Labs where visitors design, build and test solutions to challenges.

Maglev Engineering Design Lab
Visitors experiment with magnetic levitation - imagining, creating and testing a floating maglev car by propelling it along a magnetic track.

Robot Engineering Design Lab
Museum-goers become robot designers. Select wheels or treads, choose different kinds of sensors, and many other custom choices!