Smithsonian Channel

Rise of the Robots

Fig 548a. Smithsonian Channel

Format: Installation c.2014

Scroll through this science fact and fiction timeline to learn about film and television's history of androids, robots, and mechanical men which has inspired real modern-day  science.

Inspired by the construction of The Incredible Bionic Man, the world's first fully-functional humanoid, the Smithsonian Channel prevailed upon us to create an interactive timeline exploring the history of cinematic sci-fi robots, androids, and modern-day cyborgs. The show explores the futuristic robotics, prostheses, and cutting-edge medical advances that comprise The Incredible Bionic Man, so it seemed logical to examine the robots of the past as well.

Featuring a cast of more than 70 robots, androids, and cyborgs, Rise of the Robots: A Sci-Fi History of Mechanical Men & Hybrid Humans is a high-tech love letter to 100 years of cinematic dreams of the future. This beautifully illustrated timeline floats by on parallax layers of responsive HTML technomancy, complete with factoids about the characters and the symbiotic relationship between science and science fiction.

Project Services

  • User Experience
  • Conceptualization
  • Copy and Content
  • Illustration
  • Design
  • Development

Portable Sci-Fi History

Thanks to its HTML architecture, Rise of the Robots can be viewed on just about any device. We optimized the experience to work on touch devices, including mobile phones and the large touchscreen installation that eventually became part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collection.

  • 2013 NY Comic Con

    2013 NY Comic Con

    The touchscreen version of the interactive made its debut at the 2013 New York Comic Con as part of the Smithsonian Channel's "The Incredible Bionic Man" booth.

  • Smartphone Browsing

    Smartphone Browsing

    We made sure that the mobile version of the experience was complete and compelling for those who wanted to explore the content on-the-go.

  • National Air and Space Museum

    National Air and Space Museum

    The large touchscreen version of the interactive found a permanent home in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

  • The Evolution of Style

    The Evolution of Style

    We prototyped several different visual styles before settling on the technical schematics that made the final cut. Learn more about the decision in this blog about the process.

Explore a Century of Sci-Fi History