Australia

Perth professor gyrates on huge robotic arm

Media captionThe robotic arm propelled the professor in various directions for 30 minutes

A university professor in Perth has allowed himself to be gyrated by a giant industrial arm for 30 minutes to demonstrate his latest innovation.

The academic, known as Stelarc and nicknamed by the tabloid press as the nutty professor, strapped himself to the $80,000 robot and allowed it to propel him in different trajectories.

The aim he said was to show the interaction between human and machine.

The Curtin University professor is also famed for growing an ear on his arm.

Cyprus-born Stelios Arcadiou has said that the ear, made of human cartilage, is an augmentation of the body's form.

He first dreamed up the idea in 1996, but it took another 10 years to find a medical team willing to put into action.

'Artistic system'

Stelarc said he was a bit sore after his latest "jarring" gyration experience.

He said that the development of robotic technology meant that humans and robots could soon become more intimate and interactive.

"The human is responsible for programming the robot, but it's that connection between the body and machine that generates an artistic system," he told ABC News.

The professor said there were some safety risks associated with being flung about by a robot, which is why engineering programmers were on hand during his performance in a warehouse south of Perth to "hit the kill button" if anything went wrong.

"The body is propelled in different trajectories. Sometimes my body is totally upside down, sometimes it's rotating on its axes and sometimes it's spun around," he said.

The arm-lifting performance was done ahead of the DeMonstrable exhibition at the University of Western Australia, which opens in Perth on Friday.

More on this story