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l'automate: Robotic Controlled Apparatuses for Circus Performance

This project, supported by the Ryerson FOL!E Lab, re-imagine apparatuses used by Cirque du Soleil (external link)  in their various performances by re-engineering them as custom end of arm tooling for a KUKA robot. Apparatuses may include the Chinese pole, tightrope, footholds, platforms, projection mapping equipment, and integrated lighting solutions. This will be done by starting with a few primary end of arm apparatus designs and see how the interactions between the apparatus and the performer are furthered by the introduction of a six-axis industrial robot arm.

Through precedence studies, brainstorming sessions, and iterative designs, 100 proposed concepts were presented to Cirque du Soleil, and distilled to 3 at various levels of complexity. The group is moving forward with a first proof-of-concept video skit involving Blue Man Group.

Long term, this project will look at creating novel end of arm tooling that expands the possibilities of Cirque du Soleil performances.  The intention is to test the end of arm apparatuses and robotic control with live performers in a controlled environment.