MICROMO'S Coreless DC Motors Bring "Life" to Max Dean's Robotic Chair
The Robotic Chair is a generic-looking wooden chair with the capacity to fall apart and put itself back together. With shuddering force, the chair collapses to the floor. With persistence and determination, it proceeds to seek out its parts and upright itself. Powered by MICROMO coreless dc motors, The Robotic Chair is distinguished in the world of objects for its capacity to elicit empathy, compassion and hope.
As an object, the chair has been a constant and trustworthy partner in the history of civil society. We depend on the chair to support our bodies as we depend upon the earth beneath our feet. The Robotic Chair stands in for the individual and a society over the course of a lifetime - falling apart, falling down, gathering oneself together, picking oneself up, again and again. The Robotic Chair articulately and concisely reminds us on a grand scale that there is magic - that there is hope.
The Robotic Chair seat houses a custom robot charged with the ambitious task of locating the scattered parts (legs and back), reassembling itself, then restoring itself to its former chair status. The chair acts autonomously, guided by an overhead vision system and is not dependent on viewer presence or interaction to perform. The Robotic Chair is a collaborative project by artist Max Dean, professor/entrepreneur Raffaello D'Andrea and artist/industrial designer Matt Donovan. D’Andrea is currently a professor at ETH Zurich. During earlier work at Cornell University, D’Andrea was developing his World Championship RoboCup team and suggested using MICROMO motors for the chair.
”After thousands of falls, the MICROMO motors in The Robotic Chair have proven to be rugged and dependable,” comments Dean. “As a matter of fact, not one motor has failed in the over four years we have been working with MICROMO. The motors are beautifully designed from both a functional and aesthetic point of view. Any future chairs we build will definitely be driven by MICROMO motors.” Currently, MICROMO provides fourteen coreless dc motors with graphite commutation (the 2342 and 2657) on The Robotic Chair.
Currently, there are four chairs running. Chair One is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Chair Two is in a private collection in London, and Chair Three and the prototype are in Dean’s Toronto studio. MICROMO and Max Dean look forward to a continued, successful working partnership.