Hybrid Digital Crafts With Collaborative Robotics

Alan Burden Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Jared Donovan Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Glenda Caldwell Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Müge Belek Fialho Teixeira Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Bespoke manufacturers that provide fabrications for architecture and design rely on skill artisans such as patternmakers to remain profitable. New technologies such as collaborative robotics and augmented reality (AR) offer new options and approaches that can integrate with existing artisan techniques. Can these technologies provide productive and practical assistance to skilled handcraft artisans? This research presents an original approach to robotic fabrication that uses AR robot control, and artisan techniques to fabricate and assemble an original design. The method includes documenting artisan ethnography, designing a custom cutting end effector and an AR control interface, aiming to make a design based on the capabilities of the robot fabricating system. The outcome of the research is a hybrid digital craft approach to collaborative robotic patternmaking and handcrafting. The fabrication system reduced the amount of time and physical exertion of designing and cutting out patterns from various materials. This demonstrates that robotic tools can expand the capability of existing artisan occupations, helping to strengthen resilience in local industries and promote new innovations.

Keywords: Collaborative Robotic Fabrication, Hybrid Digital Craft, Artisan Manufacturing, Augmented Reality, Sdg9.

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