Muscles/Motors: Performance for Body and Robot

A Collaboration between the Alternate Anatomies Laboratory at the School of Design and Art, and the Intelligent Robots Group at the Department of Computing. Watch this performance at the Curtin RoboFair, 10am to 2pm on the 30th of November at the Engineering Pavilion!

This will be a performance for 4 arms, 2 human ones and 2 robot ones, each controlling the other. Stelarc will perform with a cutting edge robot known as Baxter from Boston-based Rethink Robotics, which represents a new generation of intelligent manufacturing and research robots- recently acquired by Curtin University. This will be the first time the robot is being used for an art performance, where the robot and the human performer each interactively control the other.


The robot arms and Stelarc’s arms will be wired for sound. Contact microphones will amplify the robot’s motors and Dr Raymond Sheh, head of Curtin’s Intelligent Robots Group, will stream telemetry data from the robot to generate synthesized sounds. The sounds will be composed by the choreography of the human and robot limbs.

Increasingly, robots and humans will interact socially and need to be safe to do. The Baxter robot detects your presence and responds to your touch. Prof. Stelarc and Dr Sheh are also working to improve Baxter’s creative capabilities in understanding, interacting and exploring new possibilities in art and science.

There will be a series of performances throughout the day for Robofair, on Sunday 30 November.

Stelarc is an internationally recognized performance artist who is also a Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Alternate Anatomies Lab, School of Design and Art at Curtin University.