Tattoo Robot

Hello there Speakeasy Tattoo readers!

This week in Los Angeles has been one of the hottest I’ve experienced since moving here! Scott says it is extra humid because of the hurricane in Florida. My advice to you all is: drink water, and don’t forget to water your plants! This week at the shop, we made some time to enjoy a beautiful dinner with each other! James however, appeared to be somewhat distracted during dinner, as he was writing avidly in his notebook- I’m thinking he has started writing slam poetry? You can see him below, clutching his freshly written slam poems. While they might not be slam poems, you can check out some of James’s tattoo flash and fine art !

This week, I wanted to write about a strange technology I remember hearing about a little while back- The robot tattoo machine! You may remember hearing about it just a few years back, maybe you even asked yourself wether you would someday consider getting tattooed by a robot? In 2013, an early prototype was created, of a 3D printer that could draw on skin. This 3D printer, which had been hacked by a group of designers, was a project that came out of a design competition, held at a design school in Paris, France.  The initial design only drew with a pen, and was later adapted to work with a needle. The designers main initial challenges, were dealing with the skin as a curved/irregular surface, as well as with skin elasticity.

The French design team responsible for the mostly finished robot, is called Appropriate Audiences. They have named their tattoo robot Tatoué. The most recent version uses a type of robot called a Fanuc M-710ic, which is mostly used in the automotive industry. The arm of this robot has been programmed to move in such a way to create the desired image which is uploaded to it. The software is an adaptation of the original Autodesk 3D printer software. The most recent iteration of the robot also includes a needle equipped with a sensor, which reads the surface of the skin to maintain needle depth.

That’s it for this week! Thank you for reading!

-M.M

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