How would you like to get an industrial robot to build something that you designed, which you then get to keep? Well, you'll have your chance next month. That's when Germany's GFT Group will be presenting Robochop, an installation of four foam-carving robots that can be controlled by regular people via the internet.
Robochop will be on display at the CeBIT computer expo in Hannover, where it will serve as a demonstration of the Internet of Things. Part of GFT's CODE_n tech development program, the installation was created by designers Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram.
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The four robots will have access to a total of 2,000 polystyrene blocks, each measuring 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per side. Starting on March 5th, people all over the world will be able to use the Robochop app to design three-dimensional objects, that they wish to have one of those blocks carved into. These could be abstract sculptures, pieces of furniture, or anything.
At CeBIT, from March 16th to 20th, the robots will then proceed to make some of those objects, by carefully lowering the blocks down onto an external hot wire tool. The finished creations will subsequently be sent to the people who designed them.
According to GFT, Weisshaar and Kram see Robochop as a precursor to future systems, in which consumers will be able to directly access industrial production equipment using the internet.
One of the robots can be seen in action, in the video below.