A tattoo has been inked by a robotic arm copying the motions of a tattoo artist over T-Mobile’s 5G network in the Netherlands.
The ‘impossible tattoo’ was needled into actress Stijn Fransen’s arm by a robot controlled by tattoo artist Wes drawing onto a mannequin in another location. T-Mobile said that, due to the speed of the network’s response to commands, the tattoo was drawn in real time.
Prior to the experiment, T-Mobile demonstrated the usefulness of its 5G network for robotic operations, and tested the robot’s inking ability on a range of vegetable and prosthetic skin samples.
Noel Drew, creative technician, explained how the procedure was performed: “Firstly, we needed to work out how to track the tattoo artist’s movements and detect when he was making contact with the surface of a fake practice arm and transmit this data over the 5G network.
“Secondly, we had to develop a robotic platform that could receive this data in real-time and control the robot’s movements in relation to the human arm. Thirdly, we needed to develop a deep understanding of the fine details of tattooing.”