Explore Technology
What's Happening at the Vernier Technology Lab
Tech Lab News
As part of OMSI's Tech Hall Initiative, we've developed several new units for the Vernier Technology Lab to explore the ways technology affects our lives. Each lab unit contains a number of hands-on activities for people ages 8 and up, as well as fun activities for children as young as 5. You can read more about our new lab units below, and check our online Tech Lab calendar to see which unit will be set up in the lab on the day of your visit.
Spotlight: Computers and Robots
Robotics and Computers
} Explore computers and robots, from the oldest mechanical calculation machines to current efforts to use robots to mimic human behavior.

Activities for this unit include:

  • Chatbots: Chat with computer programs, new and old. Can they fool you into thinking you're chatting with a real live person?
  • Robot Doll: Robots are much more predictable than real people, doing only what we program them to do. Compare our robot doll with the behavior of real babies.
  • Build a Bug-Bot! What does nature have to teach us about designing robots? Try building a model robot inspired by insects.
  • Color Code: In this activity you'll program a robot using only colors. Can you figure out what each color means to the robot?
  • Ancient Computers: Before the invention of the electronic calculator, people used mechanical calculators such as the abacus and slide rule for hundreds of years. Are electronic calculators really better? Learn to use an abacus and slide rule, and judge for yourself!
  • Music Bots: Make a musical program, then play it back over and over!

Explore robots and computers online.

Best of OMSI
Best of OMSI
Experience a sampling of some of our favorite Tech Lab activities with our Best of OMSI unit.
Check out all of our lab units:
Security TechnologySecurity technology can help keep us safe, but what are the tradeoffs? Explore this question and others as you delve into the secrets of security technology!...more
Biomedical TechnologyPractice your surgery skills, decide where you stand in the debate over genetic engineering, and much more as you examine the technologies we use on our own bodies and on other living things....more
Communications TechnologyInvestigate the technologies we use to share our ideas with other people in our lab unit on communications technology....more
Household TechnologyWe use all sorts of technologies in our homes every day, sometimes without even realizing it! With this lab unit, you'll look more closely at some of the fascinating technology all around us....more
Explore:Security Technology | Robots and Computers | Communications Technology | Medical Technology | Household Technology | Online Activities
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