Photo above: Håkan Larsson.
Renowned Swedish choreographer Fredrik “Benke” Rydman performed a delicate duet with the IRB 6620, a 900 kg industrial robot from ABB in the premiere of a groundbreaking new work on Friday night (Sept. 7) in Stockholm.
The performance is a powerful reflection of the changing role of technology, automation and artificial intelligence in society and the advanced, collaborative interactions now possible between humans and robots. The premiere, which received a standing ovation, was lauded by critics.
The ABB IRB 6620 robot with which Benke performed is more typically used in heavy manufacturing facilities, like automotive plants, where it performs spot welding and complicated assembly tasks in close collaboration with plant employees. It is one of ABB’s biggest, strongest and heaviest industrial robots.
Commenting on his partner in this performance, Benke said, “It’s very precise, of course…and that’s the perfect partner. It always has perfect timing.”
Erik Hellström, one of the engineers at Robotdalen who worked on the performance, said, “Making a seamless connection to the music was difficult but working together with Benke, we made incredible strides. It is remarkable how the IRB 6620 now seems to truly sense both the music and the dancer.”
Performances of Benke’s new work continue at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm, one of the largest and most prominent culture centers in Northern Europe, through November 30.
Robotdalen is a Swedish robotics initiative with the mission to enable commercial success of new ideas and research within robotics and automation.
Robotdalen focus on solutions for the industry, service and healthcare sector. Robotdalen is financed by VINNOVA (the Swedish Innovation Agency), the European Regional Development Fund and a number of public institutions, universities and companies in Central Sweden.