Carlo ter Woord

Experimental Robotics Engineer

Creative Technologist

Multidiciplinary Designer



AA–RO (2022) is a research project on abstract robotics. I designed and developed my own robot, AA-RO (Abstract Autonomous - Robotic Object) for my graduation thesis at Leiden University. I developed a method to explore and evaluate its potential for locomotive and gestural qualities. The rectangular-shaped abstract robotic object (AA-RO) contains three actuators, each with a custom gear mechanism, that allows various rotatory movements.


The developed evaluation method uses three experimental approaches, each containing specific procedures using animation techniques to generate motion. I used personal observations to assess the resulting movements by their locomotive and gestural qualities. I used qualitative mapping and visualizations techniques to structure and reflect upon these observations.


The results show that the method effectively develops rudimentary locomotive movements. The method seems to be less effective in realizing, and thereby revealing recognizable gestures. It remains to be seen whether this is due to the used method or inherent to the robot’s qualities. From an artistic perspective, the developed evaluation method could contribute to discovering the movement potential of an abstract robotic object containing linear or rotary actuators.