Robots as Design Tools
As a „Digital Artisan“ my tools change fast, and to stay up to date I regularly attend lectures, fairs and workshops. Recently robots often crossed my path and I discovered that not only my software and modeling skills are also suited to control robots, but that there are many intersections with what I do and interests me.
In May I attended a conference in Basel dedicated to "Applied Robotics in Art and Design Education“ (http://www.hyperwerk.ch/robotics/). A few weeks later in Milan, where I visited the „Technology Hub“ fair (http://www.technologyhub.it/en/), I met again a robot involved in an experimental project that explores robots as a powerful design tool for designers (http://robotrip.it). Finally last Saturday I participated in the “Kuka open traces” workshop organized by Caracol Design Studio and WeMake Fablab in Milan, where we were introduced to using Grasshopper, a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3D modeling tools, to create designs that can be read and executed by an industrial Kuka robot (http://wemake.fikket.com/event/kuka-open-traces). The outcome was a parametric design then processed by the robot holding a pen: a nice example of a machine made work with a "hand made" touch. The limitations of the tools and the errors contributed to make the digitally designed and produced result particularly interesting, something I have also observed and explored in my 3D printed work.