Pisa Robotics Festival: Sant’Anna School Tecip Institute Coordinator shows robots designed to interact with humans as creative collaborators

One of the goals of the first Robotics Festival in Pisa organized by Comune di Pisa, Fondazione Arpa, and Sant’Anna School Biorobotics Institute - Centro di Ricerca “E.Piaggio” with the support of Università di Pisa, Scuola Normale Superiore, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Irccs Stella Maris, Centro di eccellenza Endocas dell’Università di Pisa, is to investigate the interaction between Robotic Art and Robotic Technologies in Entertainment. “This will be a Frontier Research program, to accelerate practical applications, combining the talents and creativity of national and international scientific community” says Massimo Bergamasco, professor of Mechanical Engineering - Theory of Mechanisms and Machines and director of Sant’Anna School TeCIP Istitute (Communication, Information and Perception Technologies). “We have been working with Fondazione Carnevale - Viareggio, Parco di Pinocchio - Collodi and the Accademia Teatrale - Firenze, and this Festival reflects upon some key challenges and new experimental paradigms in humanoid robotics”.

The “Robotica e arte – Robotic Art” conference on September 9 (Palazzo Blu, 9.00 am-1.00 pm, free admittance) will focus on robotics as artistic medium and robots as theme of the artwork. Bill Vorn of Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), will attend the conference and present his work. He has been working in the field of robotic art for 25 years. His installation and performance projects involve motion control and cybernetic processes. He pursues research through artistic work based on anthropomorphic robots acting as “performers”. Lecturers will include: Louis Philippe Demers of School of Art, Design and Media NTU - Singapore, who investigated the impact of digital media on humans and correlation of computer interfaces and human body at various levels of digital domain experience, art and design; Elizabeth Ann Jachum of Aalborg University, who will give an insightful look at the concepts and technology of robots in contemporary art beyond disciplinary boundaries and academic education; Lorenzo Bruni, teacher of History of Art and Visual Arts / Graphic Design at the Academy of New Technologies of Rome and the coordinator of non-profit space BASE – Projects for the art of Florence, who will lecture on myths about robots and fear of robotic creations: Dada artists fabricating icons out of life-size dummies in 1916 and the “post-Internet enhanced landscape” at 2016 Berlin Biennale.

The “Tecnologie robotiche per lo spettacolo – Robotic Technologies for Performing Arts” conference on September 11 (Palazzo Blu, 3.00 – 6.30 pm, free admittance) will focus on animatronic applications and robots in entertainment environments. Marialina Marcucci, president of the Carnival of Viareggio Foundation, will lecture on the cutting edge robotics used for the allegorical floats of the carnival. Pier Francesco Bernacchi, president of the Carlo Collodi National Foundation, will present the new animatronic applications for the Parco di Pinocchio (Pinocchio Park – Collodi).

Pietro Bartolini, director of Florence Theatre Academy, will talk about the Florence and Pisa co-sponsored events and performances dedicated to immersive virtual reality environments applied to performing arts and real-time simulations coupled with live actors.

By introducing robots into a variety of new venues including performance and event entertainment, Alessandro Filippeschi, researcher at Sant’Anna School PERCRO (Perceptual Robotics) Lab., will give his lecture on the synchronized motion behavior of Viareggio Carnival floats. Marcello Carrozzino, researcher at Sant’Anna School TeCIP Istitute (Communication, Information and Perception Technologies), will lecture on virtual environment technology for drama and acting. Anna Maria Monteverdi of Macerata Fine Arts Academy will give a talk on interactive videomapping for theatre; Mariana Tanaka of University of Tokyo, visual installation artist, will give a talk on multiple projected images and sounds using real time computer graphics. She will offer a presentation of the Florence META activities and performances coordinated by Pietro Bartolini with the support of Comune di Firenze at Teatro della Pergola; Eva Pietroni of CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie applicate ai Beni Culturali (Istitute of Technology Applied to Cultural Heritage) , Rome, will lecture on the travelling digital application exhibition “Connecting European Early Medieval Collections” as part of the EU funded project CEMEC.

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