During the British and Irish Lions South Africa tour during the pandemic, Vodafone used the power of 5G to connect the players with their fans back in the UK. They achieved this by allowing the players to sign the fans jerseys in realtime while chatting with them over video call.
Working with Wing London my role was to bring their creative vision to life by enabling the technology behind the setup. This involved creating a custom writing app and video call app, setting up the end to end network connection over 5G and designing, fabricating and programming the robotics system at the London end to faithfully recreate the movements of the players stylus on the tablet into pen marks on the jerseys.
The robot arm itself was an existing model but the motorised pen gripper and all the controlling software was designed bespoke for the project. The prototypes were machined by myself in my London workshop.
The entire project took a little over a month to complete culminating in a three day setup at Vodafones London office and on location in South Africa.