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KUKA Robots, Kasperle and Famulus say goodbye to Augsburg Town Hall

After three months in Augsburg's historic town hall, the robotic puppeteers are now moving out again. The robot puppet show particularly made the little visitors' faces light up.

By Ilaria Wollek

To mark the joint 200th anniversary of the Augsburger Puppenkiste and KUKA, the robots "Mario" and "Nette" were allowed to move into the ground floor of Augsburg's historic town hall as puppeteers over the winter months. Behind a large glass box, they brought the characters KUrt KAsperle and the dragon Famulus to life and danced through Augsburg in miniature format from November to the end of January 2024. During this period, the hard-working KUKA robots captivated around 20,000 visitors to Augsburg City Hall with this puppet show of a different kind, combining childhood memories with state-of-the-art technology. Before the installation was dismantled, we enquired on site: How was the project received by visitors?


Positive feedback  from Augsburger town hall

If you ask Richard Zeller, head caretaker of Augsburg Town Hall, the project was a complete success. And he should know - after all, the head caretaker and his team were responsible for switching the puppet theatre on in the morning and off again in the evening. "The puppet show went down particularly well with the children. There were also some kindergarten groups visiting to watch the robot puppet show", he reports.

Richard Zeller and Wolfgang Jaksch report consistently positive feedback from visitors - children in particular enjoyed the exhibition very much. © KUKA Group

Kasperle and KUKA robots especially excite the little ones

One-year-old Malia from Augsburg is also enthusiastic about the waving Kasperl and the smart robots. Although she can't yet tell the story herself, her great-grandparents Christa and Anton Riederer tell her about their daily walk together to the puppet theatre in the town hall. "The Kasperl is Malia's favourite character," says great-grandmother Christa Riederer, while her granddaughter watches the puppet show with wide eyes.

Christa and Anton Riederer visited the puppet theatre in Augsburg Town Hall almost every day with their great-granddaughter Malia in the children's carriage. © KUKA Group

The technology behind the robots is fascinating

Andreas Ströbl is also a regular visitor to the popular installation in the town hall. He works as a puppeteer at the Augsburger Puppenkiste and is fascinated by the delicate movements of the two robots. "It's fascinating what's possible with technology these days," he marvels. "I think the motion sequences of the robots are particularly impressive. It's not just the puppets that move on the spot, they also walk or wave to the spectators."

It's a really interesting symbiosis, this high-tech installation with the handmade dolls in the showcase. I can imagine that this development was very time-consuming

Andreas Ströbl, Puppeteer at Augsburger Puppenkiste
Even the professional puppeteer Andreas Ströbl is fascinated by the robots and their puppetry. © KUKA Group

In the future, the two KUKA robots, together with KUrt KAsperle and the dragon Famulus, will amaze many more spectators in various countries and cities in their show cell. Before the next stop, however, the puppet theatre will first return to the KUKA halls at the headquarters in Augsburg. Here, the hard-working robot puppeteers take a well-earned break.

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