“Caracol Design Studio is the meeting point among 3 different worlds: Design, Engineering and Rapid Prototipation.” WeVUX already interviewed the team last year; we had another talk few days ago to speak about their new project, Robotrip, in collaboration with WeMake and Eutro Log.
– Hi guys, can you explain us what is Robotrip and how did your collaborations start?
Robotrip is an experimental research project on the application of robotics in art, design and architecture. The project aims to explore the different possibilities of robots applications to find new ways to use them: not only repetitive work for industrial production, but real complex and customizable systems for digital manufacturing applied to design, art and, in general, the creative craftsmanship. The research is specifically focused on the realization of alternative tools “plug and play” for humanoid robots and the development of flexible workflows that use different softwares and programming languages.
The collaboration with Eutro Log began last autumn: while looking for an anthropomorphic robot we met the Company President, he gave us confidence about the project and allowed us to work on a robot that the company had in stock. The relationship with WeMake started well before the arrival of the robot: in this Fab Lab we have taken the first steps in the world of 3D printing and digital fabrication; we got to a research point we needed an advanced engineering support and we have started a collaboration with WeMake, which had available space in the Fab Lab to install the robot. Caracol subsequently moved in the Fab Lab space.
– What is a “plug and play” tool?
A “plug and play” tool is an easily interchangeable robotic terminal with an intuitive feature and friendly interface, developed for creative applications, not only for industrial processing. An extruder for example, or a support for brushes, hot wires… The Robot is the brain, the terminal is the “tool in the hand”.
– Can you tell us an example of the robot applications in the creative industries?
The practical applications are several: the additive manufacturing of large volumes, unique graphic artworks, milling machines, the new possibilities in the field of construction techniques, assembly and customize. It’s a world to explore that changes depending on the tools installed on the Robot: we research for its complete movement freedom and for its precision, in order to automate non-standard jobs that men can’t achieve in a sustainable and cheap way.
– What have you developed so far?
We got access to programming only a few months ago, since then we quickly learned to master completely the anthropomorphic arm movements. Thanks to this, we immediately looked for a real recognition of our exercises and experiments, transforming the robot in an handwriting drawing machine, collecting in a short amount of time several unique graphic expressions. These days however we are finalizing the extrusion test with the first version of a polymer fuser: our robot will soon print in 3D!
– What are your future goals?
On one hand the Robotrip goal is a deep experimental research in order to identify the most interesting applications, sustainable, cheap, fluid and customizable, to create more advanced design products. This involves the development step by step of integrated software and hardware systems for future market and it will allow us to offer an absolutely exclusive service. On the other hand, it is our desire to set innovative and professional trainings (stage that we have already taken with the first workshop at the WeMake Fab Lab) to spread this new “post-industrial” way to design.