Robot Sculptors

Robotic factory workers are commonplace, but we’re beginning to see robots in lots of surprising roles: robot fry cooks, robot manicurists, and now — robot sculptors?

The Elgin Marbles

The story begins in the 5th century BC when the Parthenon Sculptures, a collection of beautiful figures of gods, people, and horses, were created in Athens. In the early 19th century, the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, the Earl of Elgin, quite legally transported the sculptures to England and  installed them in the British Museum.

This was done legally under British Law, and Elgin actually got permission first, but Greece formally requested the return of the sculptures in 1983. They point out that the permission came from the occupying Ottoman Empire and not from the Greek government. The British Museum is not prepared to return the sculptures. Greece does not recognize their claim on the art works. Things are at an impasse.

Robots to the rescue

The Institute for Digital Archaeology has a possible solution. They took 3D scans of a horse in the collection with individual staff members’ phones and iPads while visiting the British Museum, and sent them along to Robotor in Carrera, Italy.

Their Robotor One, a sort of highly refined CNC machine, reproduced the horse sculpture down to the last chisel mark. The copy, made from marble from the same source as that used to make classical sculptures in Ancient Greece, is indistinguishable from the original.

The Institute proposes that the Parthenon Sculptures be replicated by robot, at a cost of less than $200,000. The replicas can be housed in the British Museum and the originals can be returned to Greece.

Motion control

Robots that do amazing things like this rely on amazing motion control. We believe that Rexroth drive and control systems are the best in the world. When you need support and service for your Rexroth motion control systems, we are the first people you should call.

As Rexroth specialists, we can facilitate factory repair and reman, the real solution to Rexroth problems. Your unit returns to you as good as new — or even better.

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