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New York Times Features Catie Cuan's Project With ThoughtWorks Arts

Posted by the ThoughtWorks Arts Team
Tuesday, 10 November 2020

The New York Times has published an article exploring the contemporary use of robotics and A.I. in dance.

Catie working on-site with the industrial robot arm
Catie working on-site with the industrial robot arm

The piece prominently features ThoughtWorks Arts resident Catie Cuan and her project OUTPUT.

In the article, writer Genevieve Curtis says:

What is clear is that a dance is being made, and that one partner is 9 feet high, more than 500 pounds. Called ABB IRB 6700, it is one of the largest industrial robots in the world.

This is a reference to Catie’s work exploring the human-machine relationship with respect to industrial robotics, which was also featured on PBS and in an Engadget video feature.

ThoughtWorks developers working at the Consortium for Research & Robotics
ThoughtWorks developers working at the Consortium for Research & Robotics

The New York Times article goes on to explain how Catie’s movements relate to that of the robot:

The dancer and choreographer Catie Cuan is the human star of this show, “Output,” which is part of a collaboration with ThoughtWorks Arts and the Pratt Institute. And while dancing with robots may sound a bit like science fiction, to Ms. Cuan, who is completing her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Stanford University, it “feels like an extension of my body.”

The piece also notes our collaboration with the Consortium for Research and Robotics, which is hosted by the Pratt Institute. To bring this research to life Catie worked with machine operators alongside ThoughtWorks developers who developed 3D visualization and body-motion tracking software.

The OUTPUT project is continuing in new directions involving Augmented Reality and A.I. to be announced in the coming months.

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