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Robot tours

Kasparov Tweets

Meet the Museum robots

It is now possible to visit the National Museum virtually – via laser-guided robots that provide remote visitors with an experience of mobile telepresence.

Groups of school students interact with a museum educator through a robot equipped with a panoramic camera.

Two robots, each with a panoramic camera for a head and a large touchscreen display on its chest
Chesster, left, and Kasparov, right

Each student can:

  • control their own view of our Landmarks gallery – zooming and panning to look where they like
  • discover digital content about objects on display
  • respond to questions the on-site educator poses

We are currently devising interactive, collaborative and curriculum relevant programs for schools – for the latest information, see our blog posts about the robots.

Community groups will also soon be able to access virtual tours using the Museum Robots from computer terminals at the Digital Hubs in libraries and community facilities.

For more details please email the Robot tours project manager, Robert Bunzli.

An innovative partnership

This project is the result of an innovative partnership between the National Museum, CSIRO and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The mobile telepresence technology operates via high-speed broadband connections.

On 17 September 2013 the project won the innovation category of the prestigious ANZIA awards. The Museum robots caught the judges' eye for using a range of technologies – both ‘off the shelf’ and specifically designed for the project – to enable school students in regional Australia to participate in live, immersive, interactive, guided tours of the exhibitions from a computer or smartboard in their school or local library.

Robots in action

See Kasparov and Chesster in action.

In the first video, secondary students from Gungahlin College take a tour from the Gungahlin library digital hub in Canberra.

In this second video, primary students from Kiama Public School in New South Wales take a tour.

Kasparov tweets!

One way to keep up with the robot project is by following – and interacting with – @kasparbot. He loves the Museum collection, and enjoys connecting people to it. His latest tweets are on the left.

For details, see the blogpost introducing Kasparbot