When robots get creative

KUKA robots laser and weld cars, pack and load machines. In an industrial environment, they are an integral part of the production process. But would a KUKA robot also have creative potential? According to Karl Singline, yes. And he is very successful with this approach.

Singline lives and works in Tasmania, Australia. He is an architect and designer and has worked on major projects such as the Burj Khalifa or the Dubai Mall – buildings that not only have functional significance, but also place high demands on design and creativity.

Design and high technology

But Karl Singline doesn’t just see himself as an architect. If you click through his Instagram account, you will immediately see that this man combines both: his enthusiasm for great architecture and his fascination for robotics. Sometimes Singline poses in the photos at lunch with one of KUKA’s orange industrial robots, sometimes they mingle between images of striking buildings and creative designs from the LBR iiwa or a KR Quantec robot.

What’s it all about? Karl Singline not only links design and technology to Instagram. The creative potential of industrial robots plays an important role in his daily work as an architect and designer. It is not so much his characteristic style that distinguishes him as an architect, but above all the focus he places on combining his work with high technology. “I have abandoned classical methods of architecture and design,” he says, “I want to devote myself fully to the possibilities of robotics in this area. Because the use of robots makes designs possible that would not be possible with traditional methods, he says. And the robots help to turn these ideas into reality.

Architecture with robotic assistance

Starting with simple applications in the two-dimensional range, in which the robot produces sketches on paper, for example, up to complex processes such as extrusion or pick-and-pack tasks: Singline recognized early on how he can use KUKA robots for the special requirements of architecture. Using software such as Grasshopper or special KUKA tools such as KUKA prc or HMI, it can draw, mill or position robots – precisely and reliably. “Milling with a five-axis robot leads to more uniform results with fewer edges,” he says, in contrast to CNC with three axes.

Singline has also become something of an Internet star in the industry. He first had contact with KUKA robots in 2015 while preparing for his master’s degree – and quickly recognized the potential that extends far beyond the industrial environment. “At the time, however, there was very little information available,” he says. And that gave Singline an idea: he wanted to share his findings with other architects and students. To this end, he still produces small films and explains in these tutorials, which he distributes via his YouTube channel, how robots can also be used in creative processes. KUKA became aware of Karl Singline and his YouTube films, and the result was a cooperation that continues to this day.

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