Scientist gives new meaning to concept of robot dancing
3 Feb 2021
A quantum physicist seeking to break down the walls between art and science has put theory into practice – by performing ballet with an industrial robot.
Award-winning Dr Merritt Moore hopes to demonstrate how humans and robots can collaborate outside functional tasks and their manufacturing role.
The academic, who is also a trained ballet dancer, turned to Universal Robots for a partner. The firm supplied her with one of its cobots – collaborative robots for a debut performance [see video below].
Moore said she was hopeful the experiment would overcome perceptions about both robotics and perceptions among women about STEM careers.
“I believe that arts and STEM should not be considered separate disciplines. To be a scientist or engineer, creativity can benefit your work immensely,” she explained.
“Similarly, as a dancer, the ability to be technical and analytical has allowed me to hone my practice. I hope that the next generation of women will be inspired to defy expectations of how a career in STEM should look.”
Universal Robots’ country manager UK&I, Mark Gray said the performance would help overcome prejudices about robotics demonstrating cobots are intended to augment rather than replace humans.
“Our cobots have been designed to collaborate seamlessly with humans, so we are incredibly excited to see how they can be easily appropriated for more complex tasks, such as dance and choreography.”
A recent report by supply chain specialists Balloon One suggested that the UK is lagging significantly behind its industrial competitors in the use of industrial robots, to the detriment of its productivity.