Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Robots at Life

Mini Scientist Mission 6

Would we like to come along to have a spy at the new restaurant in Life and see Robot, the newest exhibition?

Big fat yes please was our response, we are, as I'm sure you know, huge fans of Life Science Centre you may not know that I'm a bit of a Robot fan though! I cant even explain 
why but give me a robot movie any day of the week and I'm a happy Mammy! So 'Robot' may have caused a large amount of anticipation and excitment for me! What is it all about, let me share Life's info for you .....

Sci-fi fans can rejoice, as one of Europe’s largest privately owned collections of model robots, cyborgs and androids is coming to Life Science Centre.
Robot – or to give it its full title - Robot: a collection of robot models, cyborgs and androids from TV and film, will officially open to the public on Saturday (23 January). Venture into this motley collection of sci-fi characters at Life this January, and you might just find the droids you’re looking for!
As the name suggests, this fascinating new exhibition will display model robots, androids and cyborgs from TV shows and films from the past 60 years, and features over 40 full size robot models, heads and robot toys; including replicas of famous robots that you may recognise from the big screen.
Brave visitors can face off with some of the scariest bots from TV and film, including the terrifying Terminator T-800 model and a laser-damaged Battle Droid. However, it’s not all doom-and-gloom! Robotic heroes such as C-3PO and R2-D2 are on hand to represent the ‘good’ robots, alongside a life-size Iron Man replica and everyone’s favourite robotic police officer, Robocop.
“Even when they’re trying to destroy the human race, there is something about robots that has delighted audiences for decades.” said Ian Simmons, Science Communication Director at Life, “We expect Robot to be a highly popular addition to Life; there’s a real thrill that comes from getting to see these iconic robots up close!”
Visitors can also learn about the popularity of robot toys throughout the years, with classic 80s R.A.D robots (originally designed to serve drinks!) and some adorable robot dogs adding to the diverse characters on display.

We arrived around lunch time and Life was quite busy, having left the house much later than expected(after a very early breakfast too) we were all hungry absolutely famished (and a little grumpy in the case of certain male's!) So we headed straight into the newly refurbished cafe, you may remember the old cafe was very bright primary colours, these have been replaced with natural but light tones giving a very relaxed feel to the space. 

We normally avoid visitor attraction food because its usually overpriced, processed junk and not much choice for a child with allergies BUT we always always enjoy eating at Life. The staff are helpful and friendly and always happy to accommodate our dairy and soya free child! Sunday was no exception, a quick chat with a cafe host and chef was preparing a dairy free sandwich for us while the kids chose from the packed lunch section. They had a choice of Milk Shake, fruit juice or water, sandwiches, cheese, carrot sticks, cake, cake bar, and yoghurt. Now then as Termite is tricky with her selections it would have been nice to have some more fruit or raisins on offer, but the big kids were more than happy with carrots, cheese, yoghurt a sarnie and a drink. I opted for a Sunday carvery because I never get the chance to have someone else cook one for me as the Mr 'doest really like going out for a roast' obviously because I'm such a cracking cook (pa ha). The Mr wanted a sandwich AND a sausage roll (because we are truly sticking to slimming world obv!) and I bought drinks for us and some crisps for the kids. I have to say the tray was full as can be when I took it to the checkout so I was braced for expense but I'm surprised and pleased to say that 3 kids meals and the grown up food plus drinks and snacks came to only £27!!!! Now there was enough food for the 5 of us and then some,  so that to me is good value for money. Especially considering the last attraction we bought food at came to £32 and wasn't nearly as healthy or tasty

The Mr enjoyed his pulled ham and boiled egg sarnie and hi (posh and giant ) sausage roll which was shared with the gannet who is the Golden Child, I swear I can see that boys ribs yet he never stops eating! The kids never said a word during lunch which is always a promising sign of enjoyment  and my carvery was delicious, a great big fresh yorkie pud roast potatoes with 2 thick slices of pork, fresh carrots, potato and swede mash, sweetcorn and gravy, real pork crackling and apple sauce. There was also peas and cauliflower cheese on offer which I didn't have..

The cafe offered a lovely selection of baked items, sandwiches and jackets with fillings, soup, cake and fruit and snacks. There really was loads to choose from and I love the new look it feels very natural and bright, peaceful even. Which is surprising given that it was rammed. Yet we didn't feel like it was noisy or overbearing. 

Robot was next on the list so we headed straight over, the exhibition isn't huge but is crammed full of information and there's lots to look at. The kids didn't know who some of the models were but they were happy to listen to us explain. They loved the Star wars collection and us grown ups found it all very interesting. There were some robots I'd never heard of, and strangely I was most impressed with the more random exhibits like the robotic head used as a disguise in Total Recall and Sonny's head from I-Robot. And yes the Trekkie geek in me did totally love Seven of Nine and Jean Luc as a Borg (if you did not understand that last sentence you will not be excited as I was to have a selfie in front of the Borg but its still fairly cool even if you are not a trekkie)

The rest of the attraction is operating as normal with the exception of the Big Brain Theatre which will be re opened after it's makeover in the spring, shows from here are running in another part of the attraction though and are as popular as ever. As always we had to have a play upstairs in the pre school area, we also joined in some experiments down stairs in The Experiment Zone and spent quite a while simply watching the live feed from ISS and talking about how Tim Peake was seeing what we were, which led to questions of why he couldn't see earth as a circle? Much discussion later I promised that Tim could in fact see the whole circle of earth if he looked out of a different window! Blumming kids honestly sooooo many questions!

Next we joined in Stomp Rocket making and then launched our very own rockets which the kids loved.

and just enough time for a space picture before we headed home ...

Robot will be at Life until 17 April  and there are some special events over February half term....

February Half Term 2016
During half term from 13-21 February, Life will be celebrating everything sci-fi with some special guests across the week featuring Jedi, rebel soldiers, robotics experts and everyone’s favourite bad guys the Daleks!

  • Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 February:  Meet Rebel Legion, renowned Star Wars costume specialists.
  • Monday 15 February: Meet the Experts from York Robotics Lab who’ll be bringing humanoid robots as well as their swarm bots (we’ve heard of swarming bees but swarming robots……)
  • Tuesday 16 February: Think Physics: Robot orchestra drop in activity
  • Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 February: From the team that brings you Robo Challenge, enter the Robo Arena
  • Thursday 18 & Friday 19 February: Northern Charity Daleks: let the invasion commence!

I've been made to promise we will return for Rebel Legion! So I guess the kids enjoyed it plenty enough for a return visit!

Have you been to Robot yet or are you planning a visit? Id love to hear what you think


North East Family Fun


  1. It looks like a fab day out....We haven't been to the Life Centre for a few years...I think it might be time to visit again :D x

    1. Its a lovely day out, and so many hands on activities!

  2. This looks like so much fun and my three (actually make that four if you include hubby) would have a ball! Food looks like very good value for money too x

    1. it really was, Im sure your famiiar with the sinking dread of approaching a visitor attraction cafe till!

  3. This looks brilliant. I'd love going for a geekout at the robots and a good meal. I need to go back to the Life Centre. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hope you have fun it certainly was a good geek out for me

  4. I'm ALWAYS up for a sausage roll and a sandwich!! If I ever walk into Greggs I find it very hard not to come out with both!

    We went to Life recently and enjoyed it but felt like we needed to borrow a couple of kids to get fully into it. I think I'd quite like to visit one of their adult only evenings! x

    1. Id LOOOOOOOVE to beable to go to one of the grown up events!

      This sausage rll and sandwich thing is quite alien to me, although obviously perfectly delicious in their own right ;-)

  5. I love Life! Absolutely LOVE the place. I've not been since the Robots arrived, but we will have to correct that very soon - and probably I'll be brave and go in half term!
    The cafe has always been a good one for choice, but I'm surprised at no raisins or fruit - we always share a tangerine and get a bag of giant raisins/sultanas for later. How strange they'd take that option away.
    The staff in Life are so patient and good with kids, too, it really makes a day special when even toddlers and preschoolers can join in with the experiments.
    Looks like you all had a fab time! Thanks so much for linking to #daysoutwithatoddler

  6. This looks so much fun, we went during half term but it was so busy we couldn't get near the robots. Will have to take a trip back soon.

  7. Can't wait to visit again soon. We haven't been since summer.