Robothespian: Robot Actor Plays Lead Role in Play in the UK

A robot actor debuted in London but he only works if there’s a human around

Robot takes to stage in British ‘Spillikin’ play

When Judy Norman walks on stage for the play “Spillikin”, she performs beside a somewhat different cast member – a humanoid robot.

Featuring a “robothespian”, the play brings love and technology together for a story about a robot maker who builds a robot to keep his wife company after he dies.

Cornwall-based Pipeline Theatre, which has worked with robotics company Engineered Arts for the project, is touring across England.

Robot Actor is Treading the Circuit Boards

Meet Robothespian: Robot plays a lead role alongside human actors in Spillikin as it tours the UK

When Judy Norman walks on stage for the play ‘Spillikin’, she performs beside a somewhat different cast member – a humanoid robot.

The robot can talk, make facial expressions, blink its eyes, move its hand and turn its head.

It has even been described as ‘affectionate’ by leading lady Norman, who works closely with the robot throughout the performance.

Featuring the bizarre ‘robothespian’, the play brings love and technology together for a story about a robot maker who builds a robot to keep his wife company after he dies.

Cornwall-based Pipeline Theatre, which has worked with robotics company Engineered Arts for the project, is now touring across the UK.

‘We have pre-programmed every single thing the robot says and every single thing the robot does, all the moves,’ writer and director Jon Welch said.

‘So the robot will always say the same thing and move in the same way depending on what cue is being triggered at what particular time.’

The robot is connected to the theatre’s control room, where a laptop transmits cues for its performance.

…On stage, Norman talks to the robot and even kisses it. In return, the robot replies, displays facial expressions and moves its hands.

…’Spillikin’ runs in London until March 19 and continues its tour until April.

RoboThespian is the creation of Cornish engineer Will Jackson who had an idea to develop an artistic robot that could react with its audiences.

Six years ago he embarked on a project to create a robot that would save tour guides from tediously repeating the same script each day.

Today, more than 35 RoboThespians are delighting theatre-goers and tourists throughout the world.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s