Central Saint Martins student Charlotte Nordmoen has designed a robotic potter that anticipates a time when human labour is no longer needed. The prototype device has a “human finger” made from silicone attached to a mechanical arm.
The implement is used to shape clay in much the same way a real finger would. The system relies on a design programme that uses machine learning and an algorithm to generate its own creations.
The software gathers images of vases online and interprets their outlines as basic, common shapes to create a “DNA of vases”. It then combines features together to create a new vase that mixes contrasting traits from different designs.
Currently the robot has no feedback mechanism, however, so it’s unable to learn from mistakes or improve on its designs.