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Robotic Arm Tattoo Machine

Pierre Emm & Johan Da Silveira

Johan da Silveira and Pierre Emm, known as “Appropriate Audiences” are leaders in the space of robotic tattooing. As part of the pier 9 residency, the artists worked closely with David Thomasson from Autodesk’s Applied Research Lab  to successfully complete the world’s first tattoo by an industrial robot. 

Extensive safety protocols were followed in every step of their project. Using Fusion 360, a custom end effector was designed for the robotic arm. Pierre’s leg was mapped with a 3D scanner to create a mesh surface in order to accurately project the spiral tattoo design around his leg curvature. Finally, Autodesk’s parametric design program, Dynamo, was used to locate and control the robotic arm with extreme high precision to move the tattoo needle. Their work pushes the edge of what is possible when technology meets the human body and bring us closer in intimate contact with industrial robots.

See Pierre’s other work

See Johan’s other work

  • 3D CAD design ” Noodle” by Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald