For this month’s Creative Cafe we are joined by Rusty Squid Creative Director, David McGoran

David is a robotic engineer, puppeteer and designer who has been leading Rusty Squid; an experimental robotic art and design studio for the past 5 years. With a BSC in Robotics, a graduate National Theatre School of Canada,  and having performed internationally as a puppeteer, David’s work explores the no-man’s land between art, design and engineering. From this crucible of different skills, experience and knowledge, Rusty Squid are creating moving public encounters across the range of the human experience.

Heart In Your Hands, for The Royal Society, saw David and the team working with cardiologists to develop a soft robotic heart to hold in your hands beating in time with your own, and discover its surprising bio-mechanical function.

With Puppet Presence, the Rusty Squid team worked closely with Telly-Presence robotic researchers. They built a unique puppet motion capture device that turned the motions of professional puppeteers in to a stream of data that could then be turned in to software to improve the expression of robotic platforms.

These projects however only tell part of the Squid story. The studio has been working hard to go back to first principles of how motion can trigger emotion buy designing new technology, new mechanisms and algorithms to sculpt the physical and emotional space between body and machine. And at the heart of the studio is the dedication to developing a genuine working practice to more effectively integrate their team of artists, designers and engineers that could potentially give rise to a entirely new industry.