Human Achievement of the Day: Robot Learns to Sculpt

If you thought all robots were good for is mass producing Coke and zippers, think again.

The KUKA robot, an industrial German robot arm typically used for manufacturing, has broadened its horizons to sculpting. Wax sculpting, to be specific.

Product designer Hermann Weizenegger, Studio NAND, and MADE in Berlin developed this interesting project, called Valse Automatique, as a way to integrate multiple disciplines in an innovative way.

The best part is, the KUKA robot designs his (her?) sculptures to the sound of classical music. How it works: violinist Mihalj “Miki” Kekenj plays an original waltz while the KUKA robot listens, analyzes the sound, and creates a sculpture out of a blank shape of wax. Each creation is unique and brings out the machine’s interpretation of that music’s “character.”

Stephan Thiel of Studio NAND believes the sculptures are not meaningless abstractions, but more like transformations or visualizations from one medium (music) to another (wax). In the future, KUKA robot may expand its repertoire to include some of the most famous pieces in classical music.

Watch a video on KUKA below: