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Blending humanity & technology

15 March 2021

UNIVERSAL ROBOTS (UR) is pleased to announce a new partnership with award-winning quantum physicist and ballet dancer, Dr Merritt Moore. In her examination of how the arts can take technology beyond the laboratory, Dr Moore has developed ground-breaking dance performances alongside a UR collaborative robot (cobot). The cobot has been named 'Baryshnibot' by her Instagram followers.

The dance performances demonstrate how humans and robots can collaborate beyond practical, day-to-day functions and transcend perceptions of robots as simply tools for manufacturing. Moore believes that the arts and sciences should not be mutually exclusive, and aims to inspire young women to consider how a career in STEM can be a creative endeavour.

Dr Moore chose a UR cobot due to the flexibility and dexterity of the technology, as well as its ability to react safely and intuitively to human movement. Whilst Moore has a background in engineering, the UR cobot can also be easily and quickly programmed to respond to movements and dance sequences.

Dr Moore said: “I believe that arts and STEM should not be considered separate disciplines. To be a scientist or engineer, creativity can benefit your work immensely. Similarly, as a dancer, the ability to be technical and analytical has allowed me to hone my practice.  I hope that the next generation of women will be inspired to defy expectations of how a career in STEM should look.”

Mark Gray, country manager UK&I, Universal Robots said: “Our cobots have been designed to collaborate seamlessly with humans, so we are incredibly excited to see how they can be easily appropriated for more complex tasks, such as dance and choreography. Automation does not have to be a daunting concept, as cobots are intended to augment humans rather than replace them.”

After lockdown, Moore plans to turn the performance into a live, interactive show, staged in a central London gallery.