Craft & Design
Watch: Robot Band Turns Scrap Metal to Heavy Metal
Photo by Maxwell Stephen Duryea

Kolja Kugler loves to make big sculptures out of scrap metal, which satisfied him until he discovered pneumatic cylinders in 1999. With air power, his sculptures transformed from static pieces held together with blood, sweat, and welding wire, into something much more. “I added the cylinders to the face I was just building, and then, suddenly, the face came alive,” he says.

This face eventually morphed into a full body, now known as “Sir Elton Junk.” This robotic sculpture is the manager of Kugler’s Germany-based One Love Machine Band, which consists of a drummer, a bass guitarist, and a bird-shaped flutist. The band, although more than capable of excellent robo-music, focuses more on sculpture and expression. Kugler gets inspiration from many sources, including The Muppet Show, which seems apparent in the way his robots look and carry themselves.

The robotic band’s show continues to evolve. Kugler’s considered adding human artists, or even building other robot “acts,” like making a pneumatic tiger jump through a hoop. We hope he’ll consider setting that hoop on fire.

rocking robot with guitar
Photo by Kolja Kugler
Boom Tschak, Drummer
Photo by Kolja Kugler

Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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