After the shopping assistant, the farmer and the teacher, another case of a machine taking over a human job. An industrial robot tattooed the first person ever in San Francisco. French designers Pierre Emm and Johan da Silveira teamed up with Autodesk engineer David Thomasson to develop the tattoo bot. With a speed of 150 stings per minute, the robot is 50 needlepoints faster than its human counterpart.
Thomasson states: “Our research is really focused on this more intimate relationship that people are likely to have with machines in the not-too-distant future”. However, we have to take into account that robots do not handle the procedure like humans would. Even though industrial robots have “steady hands”, they are not responsive. For that reason the tattoo recipient was taped down to the bench to prevent unexpected movements, for his own safety.
In order for the mechanical tattoo to succeed, the team first scanned the designated body part and sent it to the design program. By way of vector drawings, the tattoo was mapped out over the person’s leg. At this point one might wonder, what did the robot draw? A simple spiral, but it was sharper than ever.