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Industrial robots star in projection-mapping video

'Box' is an amazing live performance, mixing robotics, computer graphics, and choreography.

Box video
Objects seem to defy the laws of physics. Bot & Dolly

Industrial robots are inherently bad ass. But when programmed as part of a work of art, they become magical.

With a nod to Arthur C. Clarke, San Francisco design and engineering firm Bot & Dolly understands this concept well. It spent two years working on "Box," a five-minute film that explores the nexus of man, machine, and art.

The video employs projection-mapping techniques, a human actor, and several large robotic arms to spectacular effect.

"'Box' explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection mapping on moving surfaces," the firm states. "The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large-scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations and define new genres of expression."

Embedded below, the video shows the two robots wielding flat-panel displays that also serve as projection screens for high-res computer graphics.

Meanwhile, an actor interacts with the screens as they go through a dizzying series of motions and tricks, both graphically and physically.

Part prestidigitation, part technical tour de force, "Box" is not unlike the recent slow-aging video "Danielle" in its spellbinding transformations.

No doubt it will inspire creative minds working in different industries. What do you think?

(Thanks, Matt)