Processing Robotics
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The Center for Counter-Productive Robotics – Human-centric approach to automation

Created by Media & Interaction Design students at ECAL during a one week workshop led by Thibault Brevet, The Center for Counter-Productive Robotics is a collection of experiments where a robot was programmed to perform counter-productive tasks, with intention to develop a more human-centric approach to automation and robotics.

“In this day and age, robots are presented as the embodiment of precision, speed and efficiency. And they are: working relentlessly, day and night on factory floors around the world, churning out goods faster than ever. Interestingly they are also a sort of untouchable object, shadowed by a haze of technical complexity, capital and infrastructure costs and general logistical headache. Industrial robots in effect are out of reach for most people out of the industry and academic fields. As a consequence their practical use is mostly limited to capitalistic logics expecting return on investment, or academic logics expecting research publications. The Center for Counter-Productive Robotics is an island where these concerns are thrown out of the window, and robots are deliberately approached with failure, laziness and clumsiness in mind.”

The workshop was organised around studio AATB’s Universal Robots UR10 robotic arm. The robot was equipped with a pneumatic gripper and air blast, controllable by software. It was also possible to control the robot via Ethernet access by sending urscript commands from a Processing sketch. Each student was taught the basics of robotic systems and motion programming, and then allowed to use the robot by themselves to try out ideas. Once the projects were clearly defined, final programs were implemented on the robot’s touch console and could then be played-back at will.

Project Page | ECAL

Project by: Barras Antoine, Bellier Maya, Bellon Pablo, Chestopaloff Ivan, Claessens Bastien, Giraud Guillaume, Guyot Léonard, Kelly Evan, Kishtoo Lisa, Luginbühl Kylan, Noël Paul, Pellegrini Aurélien, Sidler Yaël // Workshop led by Thibault Brevet and assisted by Marc Dubois.

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