Interior of the renovated 1964 United Airlines Boeing 727

Science Centers

Roto was created to serve the demanding needs of modern science and technology-oriented interactive museums. By deliberately integrating creative design and technical execution services within a single, flexible team and elevating both to world-class standards, Roto offers science museums unparalleled depth, breadth, and service.

The gallery spans 250 feet in length, with a vaulted ceiling at 45 feet, that dangles a display of the exhibition’s primary artifact – an SR-71 Blackbird
Science Museum of Virginia, Speed, Richmond VA View Case Study →

Passionate about science and technology

As a former in-house science museum exhibit department, Roto evolved with a deep curiosity and strong enthusiasm for science learning. This passion drives popular and effective design solutions while celebrating the power of science thinking and all its astounding accomplishments.

Fantasy Spaceship with captain's chair surrounded by immersive media display that can be controlled when visitors interact with the exhibit
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Space Odyssey, CO
Child interacts with touch media display while immersed by space themed exhibits and experiences
Clark Planetarium, Beyond Earth, Salt Lake City UT

There’s a big audience for authenticity

More than ever before, science centers need innovative, high-value experiences that contemporary visitors demand. Roto works at the leading edge of science museum planning and execution on a global scale, delivering fresh ideas in architecture, exhibits, programs, and events.

Roto's Science Center Clients
Rover Interactive Mars Landscape Denver Museum Of Nature And Science
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Space Odyssey
Two boys enjoying the rover interactives in a space themed museum
Cincinnati Museum Center, John Glenn Space Gallery
Boy hangs his painting among others in the Maker Space at the Science Museum of Virginia
Science Museum of Virginia, The Forge, Richmond VA
Woman touches interactive media installation in Nashville, Tennessee
Adventure Science Center, SoundBox, Nashville TN View Case Study →

Good news for science centers seeking change

Thriving science centers are continuously evolving and reinventing on a foundation of long-term permanence and reliability. The platforms require thoughtful, strategic investments, while the basis for change is as varied as the whole world itself, viewed through a science lens.

Kids watching science interactive in motion with a renovated authentic plane in the background
Exploration Place, Design Build Fly, Wichita KS
Kid plays with interactive on the wing of an authentic airplane at Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas
Immersive media display using 1,600 water bottles illuminated in a gradient of colors shows the amount of water used by our choices.

Services

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    Danville Science Center, Master Plan, Virginia

    Master Planning

    Roto’s extensive planning leadership unites comprehensive knowledge with spectacular innovation, helping communities build an exciting and reliable, yet flexible foundation for future development. Core services cover new museums from the ground up as well as major renovations of existing institutions over a wide range of architectural, exhibit, fundraising, and operational needs.

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    Exploration Place, Design Build Fly, Wichita, Kansas View Case Study →

    Concept Design

    Roto excels at identifying and guiding next steps. Conceptual design begins where you are now, pulls together strands of input, creates big ideas or refines your existing ones, and delivers a fully-realized, coherent, and compelling overall vision. Outcomes can include brilliant renderings, visual storyboards, narrated bound books, walk-through models, and more.

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    Perot Museum of Nature and Science

    Exhibit Design

    Truly effective science exhibit design does not emerge from drawings, but from people. The ideas we generate, the sincerity with which we put those ideas to the test, the audiences whose curiosity we seek to spark, and the expert labor put towards ensuring feasibility, access, communication, and reliability are inherent human investments in Roto exhibit designs, from environments and interiors to interactives and graphics.

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    Interactive Engineering

    Often lost in the dichotomy of “designing” and “fabricating” exhibits is the core electromechanical engineering function at the heart of most science center exhibits. Roto’s largest department is devoted to this practice, with extensive capabilities in custom electronics, mechanical systems, precision machining, and assembly from early prototypes through final QC, with industry-leading warranty and post-warranty service.

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    Prototyping & Evaluation

    With design, engineering, and fabrication professionals working together daily under one roof, Roto’s design practice naturally incorporates an extensive array of mock-ups and prototypes for interpretive and interactive elements throughout the development cycle. A unique partnership with Dublin City Schools brings hundreds of K-12 visitors inside Roto’s facility (averaging more than one visit per week) to participate thoroughly in these efforts.

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    Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Space Odyssey, CO View Case Study →

    Design - Build

    Roto is both a design firm and a design-build firm, with equal passion. However, the company evolved its highly-efficient design-build model expressly around the critical needs of interdisciplinary, multi-sensory science exhibits. By erasing the awkward and inefficient scope divide between “detail design” and “fabrication” for exhibits requiring extensive interactive engineering, a single, focused project team problem-solving together under one roof can deliver projects of any scale to fixed, guaranteed budgets and deadlines.

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    Museum of Science and Industry, Take Flight, Chicago IL

    Fabrication

    With its 60,000-square-foot, advanced production facility, Roto is one of the most versatile exhibition and specialty fabricators working in the museum field. Precision 3D engineering models feed multiple computer-controlled mills, producing high-quality parts for expert assembly, up-fit, and finishing by highly-experienced builders and artists. This leading edge of manufacturing work-flow makes increasingly sophisticated forms and structures possible using a rich array of materials and methods.

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    Science Museum of Virginia, The Forge View Case Study →

    Media Design

    Media design services at Roto encompass the full breadth of possibilities in digital software and content-rich media with in-house 2D and 3D design coupled with advanced development in numerous coding environments across multiple platforms. Rare in the field, however, is Roto’s deep capacity for building custom hardware and interfaces, employing components like RFID, VR, gesture cameras, range and touch sensors, and emerging technologies not yet in the museum mainstream.

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    Select link below for sampling of exhibits View Case Study →

    Catalog Exhibits

    Roto is the largest builder of high-quality, museum-grade science exhibits in North America, including hundreds of proven interactives which have delighted science center visitors for a generation. Available singly or to fill multiple galleries for new or renovated science museum projects anywhere in the world, no firm builds and warranties these classic exhibits with greater quality and reliability. Topics for these catalog exhibits range from motion and fluid dynamics, to sound and light, energy and simple machines, earth science and much more.

    Explore the Roto Catalog to find out more!