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KUKA robot dances on stage at the Augsburg State Theater with a ballet dancer

Virtual reality ballet in 360 degrees: KUKA robot on stage at the Staatstheater Augsburg

Man and machine dance together on a virtual ballet stage: A KUKA industrial robot is one of the main actors in this unusual piece at the Staatstheater Augsburg. The 360-degree production is watched by the audience from home using virtual reality glasses.

May 31, 2021

Usually, the KR IONTEC from the Augsburg-based automation specialist is used in industrial production for tasks such as welding, palletizing or assembly. But this time, on loan to the Staatstheater Augsburg (State Theater Augsburg), the robot is interacting with 17 dancers on a theater stage. The focus of the production is on the subject of human-machine interaction, with technical programming juxtaposed with human consciousness.

The KR IONTEC is one of the actors of the piece. © Staatstheater Augsburg| Jan Pieter Fuhr

The premiere is on September 10, 2021, from which day "kinesphere" will be available for order. As an innovative ballet experience, the piece is part of the virtual reality productions of the Staatstheater Augsburg. The VR glasses will be delivered to audiences' homes throughout Germany. Viewers can immerse themselves in the 360-degree performance from the comfort of their sofa at home.

Combining technology and art 

This is not the first time that KUKA industrial robots have been used in the cultural scene outside of production halls. The Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, for example, combines the thematic fields of art, technology and society. Among other things, the "Creative Robotics" exhibition – a collaboration with KUKA – showcased industrial robots away from the factory floor and explored them as a tool for creative expression. 

In 2019, choreographer and dancer Huang Yi danced with a KR CYBERTECH during a festival in Düsseldorf. And at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, as part of an art installation, a KUKA robot used a quill and ink to write Hebrew letters on an approximately 80-meter-long roll of paper at the speed of human handwriting. 


Press photos of the Augsburg State Theater on "kinesphere" can be found here.

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