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Photos: Museum-goers rub shoulders with robots

Every Thursday in San Francisco, the California Academy of Sciences opens after hours for Nightlife, events where patrons schmooze alongside fish, antelopes, and robots.

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James Martin
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1 of 13 James Martin/CNET

Academy of Sciences entrance

Since opening last year, the new California Academy of Sciences building in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park has attracted attention for its commitment to science.

The building, which includes an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, is the world's greenest museum, having earned the platinum rating (the highest rating possible) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It is also the largest public platinum-rated building in the world.

Every Thursday evening from 6-10 p.m., the museum opens its doors and transforms into a club-like setting, with DJs and cocktails adding to the science experience. This week, a few robots join the party.

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Roan antelope and robots

Stationed by the Roan antelope, cocktail-mixing robot Chapek made an appearance, but was not showing off his drink-mixing skills that evening. But he will be a contestant in next month's RoboGames cocktail-mixing event at Fort Mason in San Francisco.
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Swarm robot

One of six Swarm robots roaming the halls of science greeted hundreds of visitors by the front entrance.
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Where species mix

At the Nightlife events, humans and robots mingle with Hunter's hartebeest, one of the world's most critically endangered animals.
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Beer underwater

Drinking with sea creatures at the undersea exhibits.
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Somali arid zone

Stephen Falk's robot, Sparky, creeps along like a little bug in front of the zebras and hartebeests of Africa's semi-arid zone.
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Waxy monkey tree frogs

The sleeping waxy monkey tree frogs, which appear to never move at all, didn't seem bothered by the Nightlife activity inside the museum.
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Beer Bash

This little robot, Beer Bash, has a protective covering that is, fittingly, a beer keg. But it doesn't offer him much protection during his robot battles, and probably wouldn't provide much protection from lions, either. Beer Bash relies on speed and agility to win his battles at robot competitions.
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Aquarium

Relaxing downstairs beneath the sea.
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Blue jellyfish

Blue jellyfish and spotted jellyfish float along to the sounds of DJ Nako, who played music during Thursday's event.
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Maria Dantos

Maria Dantos takes a break from dancing to sit at one of the many underwater exhibits inside the Academy of Sciences.
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Vivian Ding

Vivian Ding snaps a photo with her iPhone at the Philippine coral reef exhibit Thursday.
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Partying with the fishes

Rather than sleeping with the fishes, every Thursday San Franciscans come out to the Academy to party with them.

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