Saturday, June 14, 1997

Robo Zoo

Contact: John Cristofano, Silicon Graphics Voice: 415-933-2646 Email: or Contact: Nancy Kearney, TIME Voice: 212-522-4859 Email:


Traveling Exhibit Uses Biomechanical Robots, Computer Technology to Reveal Form and Function of Real-Life Animals

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: SGI) and TIME (NYSE: TWX) announced they will jointly sponsor "The Robot Zoo," a new traveling exhibit of giant robot animals that uses biomechanics and interactive computer demonstrations to show how animals function. At the unique 5,000 square-foot exhibit, children will discover how and why a chameleon changes colors, a housefly walks on the ceiling and a grasshopper hops and flies. The Robot Zoo is scheduled to visit approximately 30 major science and natural-history museums across the country over the next five years. It debuts at Space Center Houston on May 23 and the Milwaukee Zoo on June 14, 1997.

"With a cast of dynamic, mechanical animals, The Robot Zoo is a tremendous vehicle to capture children's imaginations and ignite their interest in science and technology," said Edward R. McCracken, chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics. "We're proud to join TIME in sharing this compelling, interactive exhibit with kids of all ages across the country. We believe children who are excited about science and technology will grow to become more informed adults, and in some cases the engineers and scientists of the future."

"The Robot Zoo is a unique, new opportunity for TIME to excite children about the world of technology and relate to them on a very engaging level," said Jack Haire, Publisher of TIME Magazine. "Our partnership with Silicon Graphics is an innovative opportunity to provide kids with hands-on exhibits and the wonder and science of technology."

The exhibit, based on the popular Marshall Editions children's book of the same name, reveals nature as a master engineer by utilizing robotics and Silicon Graphics(R) O2(TM) desktop workstations. Eight larger-than-life biomechanical robot animals and more than a dozen hands-on activities demonstrate fascinating characteristics of real-life creatures. The robots include a bat, a chameleon, a grasshopper, a housefly with a 10-foot wingspread, a platypus, a rhinoceros, a giant squid with 18-foot tentacles, and a giraffe whose head and neck alone stretch nine feet tall. Machinery in the robot animals simulates the body parts and functions of their real-life counterparts; pistons represent bones and joints, funnels portray nostrils and computers act as brains.

Children will use O2 workstations to interact with and learn more about three animals: the chameleon, rhino and giant squid. Young exhibit-goers will use a paint program to construct digital color patterns that will instantly appear on television monitors covering the giant robot chameleon's body; navigate a computer-aided design (CAD) rhino model in a Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) environment using the same technology that brings compelling 3D environments to the World Wide Web; and manipulate the nervous system of a digital giant squid to simulate the animal's propulsion abilities.

Scheduled venues for The Robot Zoo include The Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia; The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, Calif. (tentative); the Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul; and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

Throughout its nearly 75-year history, TIME has been a staple in American homes and classrooms. The TIME Education Program was created 30 years ago to provide high school and college students with copies of TIME Magazine to use in their social science curricula. Most recently, TIME launched TIME for Kids, an award-winning classroom news publication for kids ages 10-12. With the news-gathering resources of TIME, TIME For Kids brings the week's latest news to over 1.2 million children each week in an engaging and lively format. In conjunction with The Robot Zoo, the editors and staff of TIME for Kids have produced a 12-page complimentary, take-home exhibit guide.

TIME has also been a leader in new media, both in its coverage of technology and its pioneering online programs. In 1993, TIME became the first newsmagazine to go online and in 1994, was the first newsmagazine to launch on the Internet. In addition, TIME Digital, TIME's technology magazine with a 2.5-million worldwide circulation (the largest of any technology magazine on the planet), gives the magazine unprecedented reach.

Silicon Graphics, Inc. is a leading supplier of high-performance interactive computing systems. The company offers the broadest range of products in the industry -- from low-end desktop workstations to servers and high-end Cray(R) supercomputers. Silicon Graphics also markets MIPS(R) microprocessor designs, Alias/Wavefront(TM) entertainment and design software and other software products. The company's key markets include manufacturing, government, science and industries, telecommunications and entertainment sectors. Silicon Graphics and its subsidiaries have offices throughout the world and headquarters in Mountain View, California.

NOTE: Silicon Graphics and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks, and O2 is a trademark, of Silicon Graphics, Inc. MIPS is a registered trademark of MIPS Technologies, Inc. Cray is a registered trademark of Cray Research, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Graphics, Inc. Alias/Wavefront is a trademark of Alias/Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited. TIME and the Red Border Design are registered trademarks of Time, Inc.