The amount of common sense that tells a person not to stick a group of spiders in the path of an Enlargement Ray is the same amount that should keep that person from giving a robot a chainsaw. Luckily for all of mankind, this robot appears to be geared towards carpentry instead of creating a planetary massacre. For now.
German designers Tom Pawlofsky and Tibor Weissmahr, both of the Karisruhe University of Arts and Design, gave a robot a chainsaw and told it to make furniture. Specifically, Pawlofsky designed the nameless robot to perform its chainsaw wielding with precise accuracy, while the pair conceived the look and process of creating the finished product, which comes out to be a couple of stools, called 7Xstool, and a nice little table or two. Made from real wood, right in front of your eyes, with only sawdust left behind. Check out the robot in action, and try not to be bothered by the ominousness of it not having a name.
As in a good movie, that final reveal actually shocked me into saying “Aha!” This innovative act of construction is being shown off in Cologne as part of an exhibit from Kkaarrlls, a collection of works from University students, who recently entered into a partnership with Echtwald, a wood-and-forestry-minded company out of Berlin. The robot’s “performances,” were held twice a day, involved no limb-severing fatalities, and the furniture made was sold right away to onlookers.
It really is one of the more impressive displays of non-excessive craftsmanship I’ve seen in a while. This thing uses nearly all the parts of the tree trunk it’s working with, and I throw away the crust from my daughter’s sandwiches. Shame on me. I wonder when the robot will adapt a mind of its own and start working on its own projects, like carving out a wooden Aryan race.