Robo-craft: Machine explores new arm of design

25.06.2012 Royal College Of Art : Robot : Robotic

London – Royal College of Art graduate Alexander du Preez has created Machine Craft, a robotic arm that mimics the motions of a human.

The arm holds a pen, scalpel or other craft implement that is moved by a craftsman to draw or cut material such as clay or paper. The machine features an analogue control that switches between ‘record’ to log the movements, and ‘play’ for the machine to replicate those movements. The material is placed on a movable plate, which also records movement.

‘Is there a way we can co-exist with machines, rather than let them replace us?’ asks du Preez. ‘We need to explore a future in which, instead of replacing human input with sophisticated machines, we co-exist with them through collaboration.’

The machine raises new possibilities for the mass-production of hand-made objects, and shows how to balance a reliance on new technologies in design. For more on how counter-intuitive ideas are gaining ground in the Turbulent Teens, read our Anarconomy Decade macrotrend.

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