ROBOT CHISEL "ROBOTOR" FROM CARRARA, ITALY
Works of great artists can now be replicated – and potentially replaced – using a robot chisel in Italy driven by self-programming software. Named Robotor, the automated chisel carves its way into the new era of sculpting. Users can feed data into a robot that can produce magnificent and thoroughly detailed marble and stone sculptures. Better yet, the robot itself can just work on its own.
Co-founders of Robotor Filippo Tincolini and Giacomo Massari – who also man TorArt, a contemporary art studio that provides facilities for sculpture, design, and architecture – believe that with their robot chisel’s technology, manually working on marble sculptures, which can be ‘tiring, risky, and dangerous for humans,’ can be made easier. They see the entrance of their technology as an era where sculptures are no longer ‘made of broken stones, chisels, and dust, but scans and draws.’
‘It was in the heart of the quarrying district of Carrara, the very same that produced the prized marble which Michelangelo used to carve his statues, that our company developed an advanced solution drawing on research and interaction between art, the local area, tradition and technology,’ the co-founders write.
Robotor can weather heavy loads even in the most hostile environments since its hardware and build have been designed to brave through flying marble shards and bulldozing extra sturdy materials. If the user is experienced with programming, they can easily direct the robot chisel with complex data and it can handle the workload with ease.
Self-programming the robot for its speed, effort, and power of milling can occur in real time through the installed technology. The software installed in the robot chisel, called OR-OS, plays a major role in the creation of artist-made-like sculptures as it simplifies the production of complex sculptures as much as possible in less time.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Robotor first analyzes the stone or material it is going to work on. After reviewing the properties, corners, and shape of the material, the robot chisel will identify the points around the material where it can carve and begin the (re)production. The users step in planning the workflow, starting with the scan of the product they want the robot to produce.
It is also possible, thanks to the self-programming software of the robot, that it goes on its own sculpting the product it wants to shape. After planning the workflow, the software nudges the robot chisel to select the types of tools it will use during the different stages of the process, from sculpting the material to polishing it and even dusting it off with bursts of water.
Robotor states that the technology can help reduce material waste – the robot might be able to repurpose the discarded materials during the production by turning them into other sculptures – operating costs, energy consumption, and production times.
The software also checks the processing phases, the status of the robot, and the components in real time and informs the users any anomalies as soon as it receives them. Users can simply wander around as they wait for the robot chisel to finish the detailed sculptures, preparing themselves for the wow factor the Robotor can birth.
Robotor is equipped with a mechanical arm that uses electro-spindles and automatic tool change. It stands over a base that is inspired by the lunar modules and contains electrical and hydraulic components. The rotary table the robot chisel is on can support workpieces up to 50 tons, and the co-founders believe it is an essential accessory to take advantage of the robot’s flexibility.
Software-wise, the OR-OS allows users to use the robot chisel from any 3D shape, even just by scanning original work clients and users want to reproduce. The system has the ability to program itself so it can work autonomously and manage and control the reproduction all by itself (intervention by the users is still more than welcome).
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