Čapek and Robots at the Brno Technical Museum

One hundred years ago Karel Čapek used the word robot for the first time. Now, the Brno Technical Museum will celebrate his work by bringing together art, literature and the world of robotics. Robot 2020 promises to be an eclectic journey for all ages. Photo credit: Luděk Žalud.

Czech Rep., Dec 9 (BD) – The fact that Karel Čapek was the first to use the word ‘robot’ is a well-known quirky piece of Czech trivia. This month, inspired by the centenary of the first edition of Čapek’s drama RUR, where we first came to meet these robots, the Brno Technical Museum will inaugurate an exhibition on the topic of robotics and its importance in industry, science and technology.

“In the beginning there was a word, and that word was ‘robot’” is the motto of Robot 2020, the exhibition which opened to the public on December 8th, lasting until the end of May 2021. Seven sightseeing tours opened the door to the world of robotics, but history, film, art and literary fantasy will also fill the rooms of the museum, in a multidisciplinary approach. 

“The Brno Technical Museum will face an invasion of robots not only in its exhibition spaces, but also in the ​​permanent exhibitions, which is a somewhat untraditional concept of museum presentation. The installation may seem very eclectic at first glance, but everything has its exact place and destination”, explained Klára Šikulová, designer of the exhibition.

A giant statue of the Golem, the first artificial man in the Metalworking, works of art by Krištof Kintera, Jaroslav Róna, Adolf Lachman, Prokop Bartoníček and Benjamin Maus, steam engines, turbines and industrial robotics – all coexist in this project that promises to engage people of all ages, from children to robotics experts. 

Prototypes of robotic systems from the research centers of the Brno University of Technology (BUT) will also form part of the exhibition: “One of the robots will come from the time of Čapek’s RUR, while the others will represent present and modern technology. In the joint dialogue, the robot will explain the main milestones that robotics has passed in the last hundred years,” said BUT’s Luděk Žalud.

It is not yet clear if Robot 2020 will be in full operation by the end of this year, as some of the interactive parts have been suspended due to the Covid-19 measures. Still, for those who enjoy robotics, literature, or both, the exhibit promises to be an enticing journey.

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