Noboru Tsubaki’s “Penta” vs Stelarc’s “Muscle machine”

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.


image source


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.


3 Responses to Noboru Tsubaki’s “Penta” vs Stelarc’s “Muscle machine”

  1. SOG knives says:

    Interesting ideas… I wonder how the Hollywood media would portray this?

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