Robochop is an emerging robot factory. Users can remotely control one of the robot’s four arms via apps and websites to carve 50 cm2 foam cubes into abstract shapes.
Reed Kram’s Robochop project in Stockholm and designer Clemens Weisshaar in Munich have enabled people around the world to remotely sculpt custom sculptures or furniture from a 50cm square foam cube.
He says Weisshaar. “What we are trying to do is make the most of the potential, which is to do different things each time they are used.”
A custom software was developed to provide users with the handling of industrial robots with an intuitive and simple technique with which they will be able to manufacture products such as automobiles on production lines.
The web application allows users to create designs of their choice using hand gestures on the touch screen. The app then creates an instruction set for the robot, which uses hot cut wire to carve the foam block to a user-specified specification.
At CeBIT, Kram / Weisshaar installed four robotic arms, and the products produced by these robotic arms are designed by users in more than 60 countries. Weisshaar believes that making high-end manufacturing technologies available to people around the world is very exciting.
Robochop built on two previous Kram / Weisshaar projects: Outrace (created for the 2010 London Design Festival) and Breeding Tables (2003-ongoing). Outrace invited users to take over the robotic arms in Leicester Square and use LED lights attached to the heads of the tools to create letter strokes in the air; Breeding Tables created an algorithm to design an infinite number of unique tables within an established font.
ROBOCHOP sees a near future, where users will be able to engage with intelligent systems, with new manufacturing technology eliminating walls in a chain of
Smart systems will allow anyone to interact directly with heavy industrial manufacturing technology. By removing barriers and intermediaries in the supply chain, anyone can design and produce the exact objects they want.
It would be a great solution in the creation of furniture or decoration products in high demand.
Hopefully soon this system can work with much stronger materials.