Monday, October 10, 2005

Robotic Sculptor

Why spend days chipping away at a granite block when you can have a robot do ninety percent of the work for you? Studio Roc offers up its robots, computer controlled milling machines that can do the same amount of work in a matter of hours. They use either laser-scans of an original or prototype sculpture or a CAD file to direct the machines. Once the busywork is done a human artisan can put the final touches on by hand. This technology sees most of its use doing the busywork or changing the scale of a pieces for individual sculptors (present a ten-inch prototype and get a twenty-foot sculpture back), and with architects and contractors who want custom carvings but don’t feel like spending the time and money necessary for it to be done by actual people. Of course there are the common questions being asked, such as whether or not these pieces qualify as art and whether it’s ok to replace the craftsmen with machines (you know, the same questions people ask every time a new “art” technology comes out). Pretty soon it will just be the way things are done. via Engadget

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