AirArm – An Anthropofunctional Robot Arm with Inherent Flexibility
Professor Dipl.-Ing.(Univ.) Axel Thallemer
Deputy Head (Research)
Division of Industrial Design
School of Design & Environment
National University of Singapore
For both innovation and strategic design management education is shown via a case study how to teach through research in a multidisciplinary manner. Blurring boundaries of professional compartmentalisation and fragmentation of knowledge is leading towards a new era of innovation by not mimicking nature.
Visualisations clearly depict the design process, the managing of both the conceptual development and the alternative morphologies resulting in the final prototype in comparison to the common industrial solution.
A humanoid industrial robot arm inspired by nature has been researched, designed, developed, fabricated and demonstrated by bachelor students* of scionic® I.D.E.A.L. curricula in Austria. The presentation spans from natural sciences in industrial design management, materials- and production technologies to purpose-driven Gestalt.
*Three of these students, Dominik Diensthuber, Aleksandar Kostadinov, Bernhard Rogler are currently Ph.D. students at NUS SDE DID tutored by above mentioned author/presenter.
In contrast to purely aesthetic design with its emphasis on subjective values, the focus of the innovation origination process here is on the rationalised formulation of functional shape in harmony with materials, production and environmental technologies. This is the opposite of prettifying or pure styling.
It is also for this reason that there will be no dressing up of a predetermined technical package for the purpose of providing marketing or advertising with better sales or promotion arguments, but instead – and from the start – a concentration on the devising of analytic solution variants.
Procedures: Taking inspiration from prototypes found in Nature, inductive reasoning will be used to open up a larger range of strategic solutions than would generally be available in the context of traditional engineering sciences, due to their compartmentalisation of specialised knowledge. With respect to suitable functional shapes, the wider range of deduced scenarios that thus arises, leads into the so-called morphology box. Working from the basis of the respective scientific aims, a combination of appropriate properties will be addressed on a multifunctional and interdisciplinary basis.
The history of science also plays an ever more central role in the cultural history of humanity. The structuring of human artefacts existed long before the term "design". Coming as it does from the English-speaking world, it has only been since the 1970s that this term has come to be used to refer to the job description of those who were previously known as "Formgestalter" in the German-speaking world. The congeniality that existed in the Renaissance between art and science led to technological innovations. In Roman times, Vitruvius identified the quality characteristics of design as being "firmitas – utilitas – venustas" (stability, usefulness, beauty). In the wake of the increasing shift away from innovation, functionality and scientificality towards superficial prettification experienced in the design sector in the last decades, this natural sciences research and teaching approach is intended to effect a repositioning in the purpose-driven implementation of human artefacts, ranging from materials selection to associated fabrication technologies, taking into account sustainable environmental aspects. The research and development result is a robot arm with anthropofunctional motion patterns for both industrial automation applications and assisting humans directly due to its resilience.
AirArm, with a professional dancer, in smooth and dynamic motion
Prof. Dipl.-Ing.(Univ.) Axel Thallemer is Full Professor with tenure at National University of Singapore and Deputy Head of Research for Industrial Design. In his fifteen years of employment by industry he designed at research and development center of Porsche, followed by founding and being Head of Festo Corporate Design, afterwards freelance consulting in industrial context. Previous professorships were in Munich, Hamburg and Austria (Dean and Chair of Industrial Design at Linz university, scientifically repositioning under the brand “scionic®”), currently there are some 16 additional visiting professorships and circa 35 patents. Life Fellow of The RSA in London, founded 1754 and i/IDSA, ICED/IEEE as well as ICoRD reviewer.
Organized by Advanced Robotics Centre, NUS
Supported by Singapore Industrial Automation Association
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
There will be time for interaction with the speaker at the end of the seminar. Light refreshment will be served.
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