Radiona – Association for Development of ‘do-it-yourself’ Culture – Makerspace lead by Deborah Hustić, organised a robotics workshop and put me in charge of it. Since I am a huge fan of old SF movies and vintage culture, we came up with the title Robotics Noir – a pretty undefined name that could be understood in numerous ways. I decided that the object of the workshop will be making of a film prop, a steel and copper functional animatronic arm, which would likely have appeared in an old SF noir movie.
By having participated in numerous workshops of this kind, I realized one thing – most of them are focused on the knowledge of theory and they all offer ready-to-use kits and all of the needed elements for making a machine or a circuit. I decided to take this into another direction, to mash up the theory and practice, with the emphasis on the practice. I see more and more people who forget basic technical skills and aren’t aware of their own possibilities, especially when it comes to DIY projects. The future is already here, there are kits for almost everything, the technology and production will be brought down to a simple click of the mouse, and people generally forget how things used to be made before. Back in the day, if you needed a wooden element, you would have taken a saw, sawed the wood, shaped it… that was just the start, but you understand what I am talking about.
Thinking about the workshop concept, I started with the things that I like to get and learn on such workshops – and that is a simple basis that will stimulate me to go further in next ventures. For Robotics Noir we did „half-kits“ (elements were partially completed – purely because of the time limit of the workshop) that still required drilling holes, cutting threads, tinkering and assembling it all together into a functional machine.
In the end – two great days, with 6 hours of casual and fun atmosphere each day, during which participants learned the basics of manual processing, assembling, the need for patience, and how a steady arm and the accuracy can be important. From the start the idea was that the participants would take home the things they made at the workshop, so everyone got a robotic arm they made by themselves. Here is how the final product looks, the rest of the photos are available in the gallery.