Italian startup carves sculptures with robotic arm guided by AI

“Our robots are born from sculptors for sculpture,” says the artist.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The Robotor device and one of its creations.jpg
The Robotor device and one of its creations.


A new startup called Robotor is seeking to revolutionize how sculptures are made by simplifying the sculpting process with the use of robotics and artificial intelligence. Founded by Filippo Tincolini and Giacomo Massari, the new company aims to make these works of art faster and easier to produce and even more sustainable.

The new technology allows for the development of structures that were once deemed inconceivable, according to a report by TNW published on Friday.

Although still a relatively young company (it was started in 2004 under the name Torart), Robotor has worked with world-renowned artists such as Barry X Ball and was even behind the creation of the Arch of Palmyra replica after the original was destroyed by ISIS in 2015.

“Our robots are born from sculptors for sculpture,” Massari told TNW

“They are born from those who perfectly know traditional sculpture in a territory, Carrara, which is the homeland of sculpture.”

The idea behind their creation is “to entrust a robot with tiring work,” Massari explained. “But the entire Robotor project is born from a precise philosophy that is the ‘daughter’ of 18 years of experience in stone processing.”

How does it work?

Robotor uses a mechanical arm to create the sculptures. This robotic device uses electro-spindles of various sizes and capacities and boasts an automatic tool change function to adapt to a variety of structures.

A uniquely efficient software

But the machine could not function without Robotor’s proprietary software, called OR-OS. This software can either be programmed by expert operators or work fully autonomously.

OR-OS boasts the unique ability of taking a 3D model and automatically generating an optimized workflow and tool paths without the need for any human intervention. It then communicates with the robotic chisel that proceeds to construct the final sculpture.

The software tackles every step of the creation of a new structure from sculpting, to polishing and even cleaning. It expertly highlights the best and most sustainable paths to developing any figure.

Now, its founders hope it will usher in a new era for sculptures.

“The history of art is a continuous history of innovations,” told TNW Massari. “Artists have always relied on technological knowledge and ingenuity to find the materials and tools they need to express their dreams, thoughts, visions, or beliefs. And innovation has always had an impact on the way art is made.”

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