Science news at the speed of thought

Robot dinosaurs to roam in real Jurassic park

December 26, 2007

The Natural History Museum has been appointed by the rulers of Dubai to help to create a “Jurassic park” of life-size robotic dinosaurs pounding across a primeval savanna.

The park will feature more than 100 giant animatronic creatures from 40 species ranging from tyrannosaurus rex to prehistoric fish. They will cover a 165m-year period from the Triassic to the Cretaceous era, which ended 65m years ago. The Jurassic period was between these two.

Visitors will be able to walk close to the dinosaurs, whose intelligent technology will allow them to roam freely. They will be able to respond to the environment around them, for example snapping their necks round at sudden movements made by visitors or lurching at people wearing red shirts.

“We wanted to create a hybrid of a theme park and a museum which would allow people to experience a Jurassic-era habitat in a scientifically realistic environment,” said Audrey O’Connell, the museum’s project director for the Dubai development, to be named Restless Planet.

The museum was invited to draw up the plan for the attraction by the Al-Maktoums, Dubai’s ruling family.

Read full story in TimesOnLine