Like when tech dissolves into ink, and not any kind of ink, but the skin permanent one: a few months ago, the first tattoo Industrial robot made his first body piece of art. Being tattooed by a robot may sound like a very wild idea, but the reality is that a machine can be much more accurate than a human.
The Eternal Paradox
There are still those who fear that robots will someday take control of our planet; others, do not give so much importance to the subject; and the rest is very excited about the possibilities that robotics could offer us shortly.
As part of this last group, we can found two geniuses, pioneering spirits, the artists Johan Da Silveira and Pierre Emm from the Appropriate Audiences design studio, who were only looking to test, in its own words “this subtle interaction between an industrial robot and a human.”
Those two designers know that outside there are many stories about tattoo artists: you can run into some who do not have any problems in making whatever you want, others need a poignant reason to tattoo, and others refuse to do particular types of symbols (for different reasons)…
Thus there are endless types of body permanent painting artists, but the one they want you to interact with will surprise you, because it is nothing more and nothing less than a smart robot, Tatoué.
A Robot Who Was Born That Way
All started in 2014 when the two French designers created a tattoo machine to modify a 3D printing device and add the necessary parts for tattooing. Later they worked together with Autodesk to change an industrial robot (commonly used to assemble machines or automobiles) and that this was the person in charge of tattooing.
Now awake, Tatoué –which name means tattooed in French–
premiered with some circles in arms and legs, and the result was a spotless, simple spiral shaped tat.
Flesh and Bones vs. Industrial robot Tattooist
How much time will it take before we are confident when tattooing with a robot and not a flesh and blood tattoo artist? Let the battle begin!
- Letting a robot tattoo you can be a bit scary, but is not it more frightening to trust the imprecise hand of a human being who can have a bad day? —Point for the robots.
- Before the process begins, a person (the professional tattooist) has to use a three-dimensional scanner, part of the 3D printing system, to create the image of the part where the tattoo will be made. —Another one for the machines, plus they are not just ‘stealing’ the job!
- Although Tatoué has commercial longings, there is still much to improve on him. One of the biggest shortcomings is the need for the person being tattooed to remain strictly immobile during the whole process: everything would fail if the user moves —Ugh, scary! Match point for humans.
- Getting a tattoo can mark an important moment in your lif, but one of the most uncomfortable things about this process –of course, besides the pain it causes– is having to converse with the tattoo artist while a needle punches a picture on your skin —Point for the speechless robots.
So the scoreboard ends with the victory of the machines upon humans: 3 – 1.
I wasn’t corrupted or bought, and to demonstrate that, my calm message for tattooists is that we’ll always need you for a bunch of tasks that go from designing and getting our complex artistic ideas to the point of kick-start your automatic, robotic new futuristic pointer.
I’m not pretty sure if I would prefer to be tattooed by robots because of its accuracy or by other human beings because of its bohemian, passionate artistic touch. What is crystal clear for me is that I love the people who keep trying to clean the bad reputation on robots.