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The Robot Hut Museum: A Celebration of Mechanical Marvels

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Washington State has hidden gems and oddities that surprise even the most seasoned traveler. The Robot Hut Museum is one of these unusual destinations, and even if you’ve lived in the Evergreen State for your whole life, there’s a chance you’ve never even heard of it.

You’ll find the museum tucked away into a lovely spot best described as the middle of nowhere. Getting to the tiny town of Elk is like taking a step back in time: the roads are small and winding, the drivers all wave at you as you pass them by, and you’ll feel like you’re coming home – even if you’re from a bustling city.

Robot Hut Museum

The museum is located in Elk, a little unincorporated corner of the state, just under an hour from Spokane. You’re more likely to see a broken tractor being towed by a farmer than advanced tech concepts on these back roads, yet in the middle of it all lies the Robot Hut, a place you can only tour by appointment.

To visit, you must send John Rigg, the owner, an e-mail with a requested date, time, number of visitors, and everyone’s approximate ages. He’ll let you know if the time works for him.

What to Expect in the Private Robot Hut Museum

His Big Red Barn is a Brand New World

Step into the Robot Hut Museum, and you’ll feel like a time machine has transported you through the history of robotics. You may not realize it, but you’ve probably seen Rigg’s robots on seaQuest DSV, The Big Bang Theory, and Discovery’s Science Channel. There are over 4,000 items in his collection, spanning an entire century of film & TV’s love affair with robots.

Even if you’ve never heard of his name, Rigg’s robot-building skills have reached people near and far – even if he does live in a place where all you can see is farmland. People gather their funds together to own one of these incredible, robotic works of art. When these masterpieces are auctioned, each starts at a price well into the thousands of dollars.

You won’t believe your eyes when you walk into the big red barn – there’s a giant robot right on its side. And talk about innovation: Rigg has a ton of robots, from his most recent ideas to unique finished products he’s so proud of. Step inside and explore an unknown world of creativity like you’ve never seen before.

Get ready for an incredible experience as you wander through the Robot Hut Museum. See up-close and personal all your favorite robots from TV – think of The Jetsons’ Rosie and Star Wars’ R2-D2 and C-3PO – so cool! What a great time you’ll have exploring this section dedicated to iconic robots.

In another corner, you’ll witness how far humanoid robotics has come – unbelievable. Look at ASIMO by Honda and Boston Dynamics’ robots – their lifelike movements and agility will blow you away. There are rows upon rows of unique robots, but there are also full-sized replications of some of Rigg’s favorite robots of all time.

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There Isn’t a Robot That’s Unwelcome

Tucked in with the Santa Claus robots, the God robots, or even Steve, the robot butler, are some very recognizable faces: Tobor, B-9, Johnny Five, R2-D2, C-3PO, and even Huey, Dewey, and Louie from Silent Running. The robots tower overhead yet seem friendly, warm, and inviting.

That’s all because of the love that Rigg puts into the creation of each robot. If you get the chance, ask him to pull out the binder of pictures he has of robots he was commissioned to create. Every picture tells a robotic story.

Then there are the pinball games with robot themes that dominate one corner of the big red barn. While his neighbors work on their farms in the hot summer sun, Rigg is undoubtedly tucked into this cool corner of Elk paradise, having a wonderful time with all his robot friends.

See Related: Things to Do in Seattle, Washington

Travel Tips and Recommendations for Visiting

The Robot Hut Museum is a highly recommended destination if you are a robot fanatic. It’s full of spectacular robotic wonders and treasures, so schedule your visit in advance.

Luckily, John – the fantastic owner – will fit you in if you shoot him an e-mail. So what are you waiting for? Get planning that fantastic trip to the Robot Hut now.

If you’re eager to get the absolute most out of your trip to the incredible Robot Hut Museum, book your accommodations ahead of time. There aren’t many choices directly in Elk, but nearby Spokane has a number of great hotel options. The Apple Tree Inn is a great budget option, while the Best Western Plus Spokane North would be a step up.

While Robot Hut Museum is the cherry on top of your stay in Washington, there’s plenty else to explore and do. Hop in the car and take a short ride from Elk — before you know it, you’ll discover wonders at Riverside State Park or Mount Spokane State Park. Don’t miss out on the outdoor adventure!

See Related: Best Winter Destinations in Washington State


Where is the Robot Hut Museum located?

Based in Elk, Washington, this museum is like an immersive journey through time, taking visitors from the fantastic beginnings of robots to the mindblowing technology we have today.

Is the Robot Hut Museum suitable for children?

Of course! It’s meant for those who are obsessed with robotics and robot history. John Rigg is happy to share his collection with any inquiring minds.

Are there guided tours available at the Robot Hut Museum?

You must schedule an appointment on their website and email the owner for confirmation. He’ll let you know if he’s got any openings so you can check out and tour this awesome spot.

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