Reclining StickMan

with Stelarc (2020)

Reclining StickMan is a 9m long robot, actuated by antagonistically bundled pneumatic rubber muscles. Visitors at the AGSA can insert their own choreography from a control panel. Anyone, anywhere at any time can remotely access and actuate the robot. A background algorithm intermittently animates the robot if no one intervenes. The droning motor sounds, the solenoid clicks and the muscles compressing and contracting, extending and exhausting are amplified, registering the limb motions and extending the physical presence of the robot.


photos by Saul Steed

Concept & Performance: Stelarc
Design Engineering: Wayne Michell, Ternay
Pneumatic Muscles & Technology: Mark Harrison, Festo
Robot Fabrication: AITI, Flinders University
Interactive Software & Electronics: Steve Berrick
Technical Coordination & Video Streaming: Steven Alyian

Special thanks to Leigh Robb, Curator 2020 Biennial of Australian Art
Erin Davidson, Project Officer
Dan Von Schutt and the installation team, AGSA

2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres

Reclining StickMan continues on from previous collaborations with Stelarc, combining local and online interactivity with algorithm based robot control.

I built custom electronics to interface with the Festo pneumatic systems, drive the rotational motor and allow local control via a button panel. This is all backed by a software stack (openFrameworks, MeteorJS) allowing control poses to be sent in realtime via the web.