This is a performance using industrial robots. The whole production is done by choreographers MIKIKO and Daito Manabe. Technical director is Motoi Ishibashi. YASKAWA Electric Corporation started its business with builttoorder manufacturing of coal mine machinery. They have achieved over 400 billion yen in sales, a leading global company with large market shares, and the most advanced technologies (such as robots). This performance was developed for the centenary celebration of YASKAWA.
The theme of this performance is “The harmonization of human and robots”. As YASKAWA has its roots in motors, we incorporated their use on stage by driving flying cubes. As one robot hands over a cube to another, the industrial robot arm dances along with human dancers. We choreographed robots to alter their “machinelike” motions to mimic “natural human” motions through programming. In this way, we tried to address the challenges presented in the theme of this performance.
In terms of the creation, first, MIKIKO composed the choreography for the robots and we created CG movies of it. YASKAWA’s technical team was able to input the motions or the robots by using a programming system developed by YASUKAWA. Yet the challenge from a technical perspective was how we could control the robots to move in a “humanlike” manner to music.
In the future, the demands for “robots as entertainment” seem likely to expand by technological evolutions such as this one. This project attempts to comprehend the capacity of motion capable by robots, and also aims to sublimate our understanding of robot’s capacity to express and be entertainment.
Firstly, we programed the motion of the robotic arm with music on MAYA 3D software, to fit the staging of the show. Afterwards, we imported this data into YASKAWA’s special software: monoSim. Then we finally adjusted the timing and speed of the actual robotic arm while setting them in motion.For the projection mapping of the hanged cubes, these are based on the location information provided in real time by camera analysis of retroreflection sheets. These sheets, which are placed on the cubes, help to map images that are reflected precisely.
Also, by using MAYA’s motion data, we generated a mask shape for the robotic arm and composedthis mask image onto the background image. As a result, we devised a way to avoid exposing images on robotic arms.
In order to fly 10 cubes on stage, the cubes themselves are attached with wires form each side of the stage. These are controlled through stepping motors that regulate the length of wires, allowing for vertical and horizontal movement across the stage.The movements of all six robotic arms are triggered by the sequence of music. However, the actual speed of operation changes all the time. Therefore, to avoid delays, we divided the sequences that trigger the movement for the robotic arms.By dividing the sequence in the middle we were able to perfectly synchronize the robotic arms with the music at the breakpoints.Robotic arms are customized and installed with an adsorption material on their hand.
This enables them to hold cubes and while moving around.Robotic arms are customized and installed with an adsorption material on their hand. This enables them to hold cubes and while moving around.
cube (Acrylic * 6
Projector * 4
Optitrack Prime17W * 2
12m x 8m x 5m stage
Dance company directed by choreographer & art director, MIKIKO. ELEVENPLAY was founded by MIKIKO in 2009, in the hopes of creating dancers who posses highly artistic sense and creativity on top of exquisite techniques, body and spirit. Composed of female dancers from a variety of genre, ELEVENPLAY's methods of expression are diverse, including stages, video works, and still photos.
Rhizomatiks Research mainly takes up projects focusing on the field of research and development, and sets priority in opening a new expression for the future. The team which is leading Rhizomatiks Research, has produced projects with artists such as Perfume and Elevenplay in addition to media-art and data-art projects, and is also in charge of all processes through the projects―planning, implementation and operation.