There is a certain intimacy that comes with getting a tattoo. Not only are you decorating your own skin in a unique way, but you’re also sharing that experience with the artist who is essentially making you bleed over and over again.
But let’s say that you don’t want to go to a tattoo artist. In the future, it may be possible to get it done by robot, if a new video uploaded by Autodesk Pier 9 is any indication.
The project, which originally began with Pierre Emm and Johan da Silveira, a group known as Appropriate Audiences. The two, who met at university, are credited with the creation of Tatoue, which is a modified 3D printer that could tattoo with a needle.
David Thomasson, the principal research engineer at the Applied Research Lab at Autodesk, said that the robot shown in the video and the printer have similar processes. The body part is scanned and the tattoo is applied to the scanned surface. That all is exported back to the robot in the form of code.
There are some advantages to having a robot tattoo artist. Machines have steadier hands than humans, for instance. There’s also the promise that you’ll get the exact design you want. But how such a large industrial machine can so delicately pierce someone’s skin without going through we have no idea. Plus, how does it deal with a person who may flinch, messing up the pattern?
Needless to say the end result is simple, albeit pretty cool. Plus, how many people can say that they were tattooed by a robot?