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ROBOCHOP: The robotic arm that creates furniture in minutes

A German design firm has created a robotic arm capable of creating furniture and art objects in a matter of minutes.

ROBOCHOP has been designed, coded and manufactured by KRAM/WEISSHAAR and is able to sculpt a prefabricated 40 x 40 x 40cm foam cube into a huge variety of shapes.

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Using a needle gripper to hold the foam cube in place, ROBOCHOP uses a hot wire to precisely create the object, with additional sensors monitoring wire tension and other factors. ROBOCHOP ultimately hopes to break down the barriers to engaging with heavy machinery.

All of the designs that ROBOCHOP creates come from a specially crafted app, available on the project website. Anyone can design their own unique object for ROBOCHOP to sculpt, with 2,000 lucky individuals having their custom product shipped to them free-of-charge.

Although the app only allows users to create viable designs, within this restriction they have the freedom to create objects of any appearance and for any use.

One of ROBOCHOP’s creators Clemens Weisshaar believes that ROBOCHOP builds on his company’s previous work combining robotics and design.

“In 2010 OUTRACE enabled people all over the world to take over these giant robots to write messages in light - with ROBOCHOP we are taking the next logical step to let users manufacture and own real world objects instead of media,” he said.

ROBOCHOP will be on display later this month at this year’s Code_n event, which showcases 50 of the most promising digital startups from all around the globe. The event will take place in hall 16 of CeBIT, the world’s largest computer expo.

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To be in with a chance to have ROBOCHOP create your very own design, individuals must use the web-based app, available here.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.