Rockwell Automation Dream Machine

Meet robots. Experience a custom-built automated factory. Make products to take home and show your friends! Challenge a robot (or your best friend) to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Operate the controls of models of the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Miller Park retractable dome.


  • Meet Baxter: Your NEW Automation Ambassador, Baxter is a humanoid, collaborative robot designed by the clever people at Rethink Robotics. Baxter dances, he picks things up, he welcomes you to the Rockwell Automation Dream Machine.
  • The Dream Machine: The exhibit’s centerpiece is a fully automated, flexible die-cutting/assembly line. A circular conveyor system carries materials to a robot for assembly. Using touch screen controls, you create personalized products by selecting from several materials, colors, and product designs.
  • Calatrava Burke Brise Soleil Model: You decide when to raise and lower the wings! The 72 fins that make up the wings control both the temperature and the amount of light that enters the Art Museum.
  • Gladys: The M-430iA FANUC sorting robot. Most robots like Gladys work in factories. Gladys plays tic-tac-toe. Gladys has been programmed to crush all of your tic-tac-toe dreams. You’re welcome.
  • Gary: Gary is an M-1iA sorting robot built by FANUC and controlled by a Rockwell Automation technology. Gary is very good at sorting. Gary can recognize objects, select parts, and track moving objects. And he’s fast.
  • Compression Rheostat: The original Dream Machine, the Compression Rheostat controls the flow of electrical current through a circuit. Lynde Bradley launched Allen-Bradley with the creation of the compression rheostat in 1904, and the rest is history.
  • Miller Park: This scale replica recreates Miller Park’s seven panels, each controlled by a 60hp motor. Like the Miller Park Roof, this marvel of automation can be opened and closed by a single individual. At Discovery World, that person is you!
  • Sensor Sorting Challenge: NEW! Can you beat the machine? Take the Sensor Sorting Challenge and find out! Explore how sensors gather information and help machines make decisions.
  • Hoberman Double Helix: World-renowned artist and inventor Chuck Hoberman designed this model to express DNA’s ability to quickly uncoil itself when ready to replicate. This sculpture – unique in the world – expands from 9 feet to almost 40 feet, and weighs over 900 pounds.

In Memoriam – Tic-Tac-Toe George

For over 25 years, Tic-Tac-Toe George was a loyal and faithful friend to Discovery World. George entertained children of all ages with his, um, deliberate style of play and also by being broken a lot. He will be missed.