Robotor: a new technology that allows an ever-widening audience to observe works that cannot be transported from one museum to another.
A project that combines art and science with the aim of promoting Italian sculptors worldwide through a combination of technology and multimedia.
A manufacturing process conducted by an innovative robot that, in a relatively short period, has the ability to recreate any sculpture perfectly.
Robotor is the name of the invention that has gained so much success: a mechanical arm that, starting from a 3D scan of the original work in plaster, creates an identical copy in every detail. The robot is equipped with software that analyzes the raw marble block, identifies key points for sculpture insertion, plans the workflow, and selects the type of tool to use in different stages of processing.
The work that marked Robotor's entry into the art world is the sculptural group "Cupid and Psyche," famous from the narrative by Apuleius in his work "Metamorphoses." This masterpiece was commissioned to Antonio Canova by Colonel John Campbell in 1987 and completed by the artist in 1793.
While Canova took 5 long years to create this sculptural masterpiece, the robotic arm took just over 10 days: to be precise, 270 hours.
The finished work was exhibited in Rome, in the courtyard of Palazzo Braschi, as part of the art exhibition dedicated to Canova called "Canova. Eternal Beauty" in March.
The choice of the artist to recreate was based on the replicability principle of the works, studying the creative process behind them. Given that the process used by Robotor is very similar to what Antonio Canova used for his works, the decision fell on "Cupid and Psyche."
However, not everyone approved of this innovation. Some criticized it, arguing that it robs artists of their unique and subjective inner artistry, something a robot can never emulate.
"It is true that the great artists developed their skills by living their works firsthand through study and not with the help of a robot," read comments on social media in a discussion about the topic.
While it's true that a robotic arm will never be able to recreate the typical aura of original sculptures, it's also true that this invention represents a different and innovative system for bringing art to a larger audience compared to the traditional method. Through the traditional method, individuals are forced not only to visit the museum where the artwork is stored but also to make these journeys for all the artworks they intend to see. In contrast, with Robotor's reproductions, it would be possible to bring multiple artworks to the same location, reducing the need for people to travel and allowing art enthusiasts to see the works in person.
At this point, it is inevitable to realize that the evolution of technology is changing, for better or worse, the concept of art and its accessibility to the public. This is yet another invitation to the world to adapt to the changes caused by science, which lately has been setting the pace for everyone's lives.