Robots in Architecture @ KUKA CEE

Robots in Architecture @ KUKA CEE

On March 1st, KUKA CEE celebrated the opening of its new robot college in Linz, Austria. Robots in Architecture was invited to provide the evening’s robotic entertainment using the on-site available KUKA KR16-2 robots with the new KRC4 control unit and SmartPAD interface.

Usually at such events, the robots are programmed to do one task over and over again – however, we really wanted every guest to have an individual object to take home and to remember a great robotic evening. Using our custom-developed KUKA|prc plugin for Grasshopper – which is available for download here – we developed parametric definitions that immediately transformed individual input data into robot toolpaths.

The first robot performed parametric punching using gradients that the guests were drawing themselves on an iPad, while the second robot had a milling spindle with a conical milling tool as an endeffector. Due to the shape of the tool, variations in toolpath depth resulted in holes of varying diameters – an effect that was amplified by using white polyurethane blocks coated with black acrylic coating, resulting in a stark contrast between the black surface and the white holes. Portraits of the guest themselves, shot just a few minutes before the milling of each piece, were used to control the fully automated toolpath generation. As you can see in the video, the result was not abstract art, but immediately recognizable portraits done in a way that only a robot can do.

Many VIPs from industry and politics enjoyed the Robots in Architecture show, taking their portraits immediately to their next appointments instead of having them sent via mail. It is great to have KUKA as supporting members of our Association and we expect more great leaps forward in the near future!