KUKA Robot Setup

KUKA Robot Setup

KUKA Robot Close-up

KUKA Robot Close-up

Event at MADE

Event at MADE

MIKI

MIKI

KUKA Robot and Wax Object

KUKA Robot and Wax Object

Wax Object Close-up

Wax Object Close-up

Valse Automatique is a design perform­ance made to illus­trate the symbi­osis between humans and tech­no­logy by trans­lating music to form over the use of a KUKA indus­trial robot.

This project explores how data from compu­ta­tional musical anaylsis can be used to create objects as ›finger­prints‹ of a musical score in the context of an indus­trial manu­fac­turing process. For this purpose Mihalj »MIKI« Kekenj composed and performed five vari­ations of a waltz theme created specific­ally for the event at MADE — a plat­form for creative people from different discip­lines in the heart of Berlin.

Invited to the project by Hermann Weizenegger and MADE in Berlin, we have designed an inter­face and gener­ative design prin­ciple according to which objects were live-manufactured during the perform­ance. In a first manu­fac­turing process, the robot milled these objects from wax giving them a finish in the second process using a bunsen burner. Wax was chosen as a base material since it allowed rapid manu­fac­turing during the perform­ance and provided the option to cast the objects in many different mater­ials later in the process.

We had the pleasure of working together with Chris Jeffs, a musi­cian and compu­ta­tional artist based in Berlin, who was respons­ible for the music analyis in SuperCollider. Additionally, Wolf Deiss and Roman Kühnert of artis GmbH joined the team to plan and operate the KUKA setup and manu­fac­turing process.

Process & Design Tools

Variations

Variations

Process-Renderings

Process-Renderings

Rhino-Grasshopper-01

Rhino-Grasshopper-01

Rhino-Grasshopper-02

Rhino-Grasshopper-02

Work-in-Progress-Projection

Work-in-Progress-Projection

An initial design iter­a­tion based on MIKI’s first draft of the compos­i­tion was carried out using Processing/Java in combin­a­tion with various 3D mesh libraries (Hemesh et al.). These early sketches provided a basic set of formal rules for eval­u­ation with the team from artis GmbH and HAW. As a result, this first test made it clear very quickly, that we would need more accurate data for manu­fac­turing due to the require­ments of the robot and its related soft­ware tools.

We have then started to use a combin­a­tion of Rhino/Grasshopper with some custom scripting in order to read in the music analysis data from Chris’s soft­ware in SuperCollider. In the end, we tweaked the move­ment of the robot with KUKA’s own program­ming language (KRLKUKA Robot Language).

Project Video

Direction: Matthias Maercks