Robotic arms have long been a common sight in many industries. They are currently making a rapid entry into art and design studios and practices. Yet, at the same time, difficulties remain in accessing the workflows and work methods demanded by these machines given a clear lack of reference resources. Building on this observation, a research project “A Third Hand – Creative Applications for Robotics” was carried out at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. It has been conducted in collaboration with the Studio AATB (Practice for Non-Industrial Robotics).

Following the results of the project, a book will be published by Triest Verlag. This book presents applied case studies developed during the project and defines a set of exemplary work methods, capable of both informing and inspiring future users. It provides an introduction into working with robotic arms and is aimed at designers and artists in the broadest sense. It is aimed to be a manual as well as a source of reflection and inspiration. It presents different projects and views from various authors about the opportunities for the creative community as well as Case Studies helping practitioners, artists, designers, students, researchers wishing to learn more about the processes involved. A series of discussions with leading figures in the field – Gramazio Kohler Research, Madeline Gannon, Rhizomatiks and Ken Goldberg – offers a multi-faceted view of possible developments in uses and practices.