Would you trust a robot to give you a tattoo? What if the robot reflected the actions of a professional tattoo artist? Well, thanks to a collaboration between T-Mobile Dutch, London-based engineer Noel Drew and tattoo artist Wes Thomas, this is now a great (or terrifying) reality.
Technically, this tattoo was still given by a professional artist, but it̵
The robot has undergone intensive testing for weeks at Drew’s design studio, The Mill, where it resolved the kinks and refined the software. Dozens of tests were conducted on poor, unsuspecting pumpkins, and after that, the robot was just as accurate and subtly refined as Thomas when he does tattoos in his shop.
Part of the testing phase was to account for things like the artist who dipped the needles in ink and understood how deep to press into the skin. After taking all these small factors into account, the robot was finally ready for the main event: giving a tattoo to Dutch actress Stijn Fransen via Wes Thomas, who was in London.
The event was a way to showcase the limits and possibilities of (T-Mobile’s) 5G cellular technology and of remote communication. And while there are currently no plans to make remote tattoos normal, it’s pretty cool to know the option is there, especially if you live in one country and your favorite tattoo artist in another.