We Wince As Researchers Retask Car-Making Robot To Tackle Tattoos

We Wince As Researchers Retask Car-Making Robot To Tackle Tattoos

Tattooing is a bit of a divisive issue.

Love them or hate them, the idea of permanently inscribing yourself with designs – give or take the intervention of lasers or E4’s Tattoo Fixers – is one that’s almost as old as the human race itself.

Now, in the latest attempt to hasten the demise of humanity, two researchers have created a robotic arm that will do the tattooists’ job for them.

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Pierre-Emmanuel Meunier and Johan da Silveira created Tatoué, an adapted 3D printer which, instead of building up models with resin, uses a needle to puncture and inject ink into the skin.

Teaming up with the San Francisco-based robotics and software firm Autodesk, the pair grafted their device on to a robot arm of the type more usually seen assembling vehicles on an automated production line, then gave it the task of drawing on a live human being.

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One thing we noticed immediately in the video is that the victim volunteer has had his leg duct-taped to a pillow to immobilise it. This does not fill us with hope – an involuntary flinch may spell disaster for your intricate inking.

That notwithstanding, he’s having the tat done on his shin. This may be because of limitations in getting the software to understand a weird surface such as the human body – but even so, we can think of less painful places to decorate.


You can watch the whole video below, safe in the knowledge that when the robots finally take over and humans are corralled into forced labour camps, the process of having barcodes tattooed into us started right here…

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