These two similar robotic artworks (both 2003) explore different conceptual directions, Tsubaki’s work examines the entertainment military complex, and Stelarc’s explores the extension of ‘the body’. Tsubaki’s is sold to a the take art collection and Stelarc’s funded by university research grants. Reminisant of Predator vs Alein perhaps? (2004)
‘Penta’ is a large scale five legged robotic vehicle designed and programmed under Tsubaki’s direction, to traverse terrain and clear land mines. The work is one of a number of individual projects that started as one show – ‘UN Boy’ and is now part of a larger ‘UN’ project scheme, which includes several applications. This is a mimicked UN organisation, a critique of the UN that meets in Brussels, and Tsubaki’s version comes complete with anti Bunker Buster Cluster Bomb clothing monograms. The ‘UN Boy’ installation included a red wall covered with real life fake automatic rifles and machine guns – a critique of the UN’s Peace Keeping Forces who ironically are often armed to the teeth.
The Muscle Machine is a six-legged walking robot, five metres in diameter. It is a hybrid human-machine system, pneumatically powered using fluidic muscle actuators. The rubber muscles contract when inflated, and extend when exhausted. This results in a more flexible and compliant mechanism, using a more reliable and robust engineering design. The fluidic muscle actuators eliminate problems of friction and fatigue that were a problem in the previous mechanical system of the Hexapod prototype robot.