Air Giants

by By Emma Powell, Richard Sewell, Robert Nixdorf, Jazlyn Pinckney, Andrew Bachelor

Air Giants is a project which brings large-scale soft robotics to life. Whether with towering tortoises or pneumatics newts, this project aims to bring a sense of joy and wonder to large audiences.

The team will create huge, interactive and expressive creatures, using inflatable technologies to create wiggling, squishing and other creepy-crawly contortions not usually associated with robotics.

The project makes these novel movements possible by applying robotic software approaches to make inflatable systems expressive and controllable. Giving the creatures some autonomous behaviour allows a level of control and expression far beyond the scope of a single operator working with traditional controls.

Air Giants have potential for deployment as part of installations, street performance and community events as well as at stadiums shows and international festivals.

About the team

Emma Powell is an artist with experience designing for robotics projects. Richard Sewell and Robert Nixdorf are roboticists who have worked on projects of all scales. Producer Jazlyn Pinckney will join the team to lead user-testing, and Andrew Bachelor will provide modelling and analytical support.