UliK is a visionary artist who joined the Industrial Revolution 4.0 by designing the world’s first RoboCircus. It is an industrial robot that he modified for the entertainment and amusement industry. The combination of inventions, their distinctive humor and their spontaneity make the RoboCircus a real pleasure and the most outstanding thing at festivals. His first show with an industrial robot happened around the year 2000 with a robot that was programmed in an auto parts factory. That interaction encouraged him to buy his own robot in 2013.
For the anniversary edition of the Tête-à-Tête Festival in Rastatt and for an Adagio event, he redesigned the robot two artists. In 2014 he continued working on the robot theme using different plugins such as the plug-and-play format. He underwent special training with Yaskawa, the robot maker, and then refined his programming ability by making the “RoboPole” robot a powerful visual program. It all happened when he used the programming that generates harmonious movements.
This time the monumental robotic arm acted alongside Martin Riedel, a pole artist, who graduated with a diagonal Chinese ACAPA mast act in Tilburg – Netherlands, in 2014. Inspired by Roberto Magro, he was focused on the German market in Varieté, and carried out shows at GOP, Palazzo, Galas and also organized some corporate concerts. But then he decided to look for other options like with the Circus Next of 2015. This desire left him animated to continue preparing in this area. He was already the winner of Cirque Du Soleil – Performance & Artistic Innovative Vision “at the World Festival of Cirque de Demain.
Martin Riedel along with UliK found a quite interesting challenge when working with an industrial robot. It opened his mind to undefined options where he could see the evolution of the circus. UliK is the one who programmed it and adapted it to the movements and positions that Riedel visualized.
How does the artist proceed to perform pole acrobatics on a bar held by a robotic arm?
The RoboPole is connected to the end of a six-axis robotic arm and the more you move up, the more extreme and difficult the limit becomes for the artist to stay sustained. The pole can rotate, move up and tilt at the same time. But you’ll need to practice a lot to achieve adequate resistance. At the same time, body weight is a limitation for the machine and the material, since leverage works in both directions. The robot comes to life and literally elevates the artist to the new level. It is when the subject of security acquires a concept of great importance. Previously, an execution protocol was organized and planned that took more time.
RoboPole is made for shows such as street theater that requires high artistic skills and caters to specific requests from clients such as congress openings with the big drum, the delivery of a cornerstone in official ceremonies or any other special consultation that requires programming it according to the conditions of the environment and needs.
UliK said “RoboCircus” is the quintessence of his research on the subject of robots and artists. A very special appointment in which the spectators no longer experience the robot as a simple machine, but as a companion in the game with the various artists. The artists with their skills as a bench, Chinese pole, stunts are literally taken to a new level by the robot.