Every so often, the Durango Discovery Museum proves its not just for kids. Like when the staff brings in a robotic bartender, for example.
The Robot Rumpus is the museums fall fundraiser this year, starring Benny the Booze Organ. The machine is the creation of local genius tinkerer Ryan Finnigan, who will loan Benny to the museum for one night only. Benny will be programmed to make margaritas; the robot creates drinks based on musical notes for example a D might prompt him to pour tequila while an A brings a flood of sweet and sour mix or lime juice.
Finnigan, a metal artist by trade who owns his company Carbonform, also will give a robotic musical performance with fellow techno-geek Alexi Car. Among the instruments in Finnigans arsenal is an X-Box controller modified to create musical notes through a computer.
Im self-taught in robotics and electronics, and Ive been teaching and volunteering at the museum because its so great to have a space in town thats centered on science and technology, Finnigan said.
Community Outreach Manager Ashley Hein said much of Bennys work will be demonstrational; with an anticipated crowd of 150 Benny might have trouble keeping up. But for the event, which is definitely a grown-ups-only affair, there will be a full range of food and drink available. Nonrobotic music will be provided by DJ Matt Ralph. Money raised will benefit the museum for education programs and materials.