The Rise of Creative Roboticists | Evan Atherton

The Rise of Creative Roboticists

Evan Atherton shares both VR and animation-based robotics workflows that anyone can use


When it comes to moving the possibilities of robotics forward, innovation isn’t the only thing that matters—it’s also about access. Evan Atherton, a senior research engineer in the Robotics Lab at Autodesk, talks about his team’s efforts to create robotic interfaces that are intuitive, so users don’t need to write code. One recent project is Mimic, a free, open-source plug-in for Maya that provides an animation-based workflow for programming industrial robots. Where it once took weeks or months to program a robot for a factory cell, with Mimic, filmmakers and other creatives who are new to robotics can learn how to program a robot overnight.

About the speaker

As a senior research engineer for the Autodesk Robotics Lab, Evan explores technologies and trends that will impact the future of automation. He holds a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He’s also a filmmaker. His short film, Artoo in Love, was the runner-up for the 3D World’s CG Awards in the Best VFX category.

Related learning

Want to learn more about the rise of robotics? Check out this related AU content:

Future Workflows for Robotic Fabrication

Heather Kerrick and her colleagues in the Autodesk Robotics Lab are looking for new, more intuitive ways to interact with automation. She steps into the AU Theater and shares how colleagues in Birmingham, England are using Slack, a cloud-based collaboration and chat platform, to communicate with their robots. And she describes how she’s used her team’s Mimic plug-in for Maya to build the CAD-Informed Robotic Assembly (CIRA) tool to enable robots to assemble products from an exploded 3D model.

So, You Want a Robot? Design Robotics for 50K or Less.

Discover the potential for a small industrial robotic arm to replace the need for multiple specialized CNC tools. Autodesk robot-guru Nathan King walks you through the process of procurement, tooling, installation, calibration, and operation of an industrial robot arm.

Dynamo for Design Robotics: An Introduction to Automated Workflows

Nathan King leads another informative class on programming robots in this hands-on lab. Learn to utilize Dynamo to program 6-axis industrial robots, and how to develop tool paths and related robotic movement through Dynamo.


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