Soft Machines: A cross-disciplinary conversation on soft robotics, art&desi...

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Location

Lecture Theatre 1

Royal College of Art

Kensington Gore

London

SW7 2EU

United Kingdom

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Event description

Description

Soft and bio-inspired robotics offers new ground for designing interactivity. These are machines that have an organic appearance and produce analogue movement. What are the phenomena brought about by such robotics? What critical questions do we ask about our relations with such machines? Robotic engineers focus on functionality, while artists and designers are starting to experiment with the perceptual and aesthetic properties.

This seminar brings together pioneering researchers from robotics engineering, art and design to share their practice and research. It is part of an initiation to facilitate a space for cross-disciplinary researchers and practioners to converse, debate and catalyse critical questions.

Supported by IED, the event is initiated by Julie Freeman, Caroline Yan Zheng and sponsored by the college Research Office.

A pop up exhibition from the Sentimental Soft Robotics AcrossRCA group is acompanying the event at Courtyard Gallery 1 from 3-9pm.

Speaker

Dr. Helge A. Wurdemann
Lecturer and leader of the #SoftHapticsLab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universtiy College London

Dr Wurdemann's research interests include the design and application of bio-inspired, soft and stiffness-controllable medical and haptic devices and robotic art.

Julie Freeman
TED Senior Fellow, Art Associate at the Open Data Institute, QMUL doctoral candidate on the Body Language of Objects, using soft robotic techniques.


Dr. Michael Wihart
Lecturer in Emerging Technologiess at Liechtenstein Universtity, Co-founder of Adaptalab Products, Senior architect at Patalab Architecture. Michael investigates the relationship between architecture, human being and technology through the agency of soft machines. He has completed his design-led doctoral research at the Bartlett School of Architecture, titled “The Architecture of Soft Machines” in 2015.

Respondent

Dr. Maya Oppenheimer

Dr Maya Oppenheimer is a design writer, researcher and educator. Her work focuses on the influence of tools, instruments and methodologies on experimental outcomes in behaviour studies and design research as well as design pedagogy and criticism. She teaches across the History of Design and Critical & Historical Studies programmes at the Royal College of Art and is a Trustee of the Design History Society.

Panel discussion chair

Professor Kaspar Althoefer

Professor Kaspar Althoefer is a roboticist with a keen interest in soft and stiffness-controllable robots. He likes to apply his octopus-inspired creations to areas such as keyhole surgery and human-robot interaction for the factory of the future. On occasions, he has collaborated with artists, designers and architects on soft robot installations. He works at ARQ(Advanced Robotics @ Queen Mary).



Photo: 'This is Nature Now' by Julie Freeman, obvs. Photographer: Brian Kavanagh.

Date and Time

Location

Lecture Theatre 1

Royal College of Art

Kensington Gore

London

SW7 2EU

United Kingdom

View Map

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