Clear the track, a robot makes its debut.
St. Clair College embraced the future by showcasing all of the fashion models created by the students on a bespoke robot.
The annual student fashion show, usually attended by 500 people, was held at the center of student life at the college last week. Due to public health restrictions, only 10 people have been allowed into the public this year.
“We weren’t allowed to have audiences, models, stylists, students, anyone. It was pretty much the team,” said Elaine Chatwood, design program coordinator of fashion at St. Clair College.
Chatwood decided to get creative and came up with the idea of modeling the designs on a robot.
“I was just looking at an ad with a Roomba the little robot vacuum and at the time I had my dress in the room and I looked and thought I was going to put a dress on a Roomba,” said Chatwood.
The boxer Judy
The designs were modeled on a custom-made robot, which the team named “Judy Boxer”. It consisted of an Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AVG), a Roomba, known as a robotic vacuum cleaner, and multiple clothing forms.
The dress form, also known as Judy in the fashion industry, is a type of mannequin used by designers and tailors to pin and size new models.
Al Douglas, the robotics program coordinator, designed the Judy Boxer and controlled it with a remote during the show.
“It was pretty amazing how much life looked like,” said Douglas.
The only problem Douglas could remember was when the microwave was being used by staff or students.
“The controller connects via bluetooth, so every time someone walked into the center of student life, where we would run them and go in and try to use the microwave behind us, every time they did. operating the microwave, we were actually losing connection with the robot, ”said Douglas.
Douglas said that although it was a challenge, he was up for it.
The show must continue
Last year, graduate students were not allowed to host their fashion show due to COVID-19.
Chatwood said the fashion show is very important to students as members of the fashion industry typically see the original designs and some students are hired directly from the show.
Krishna Adhyaru, a student in the fashion design program, said using the robot throughout the show was a good idea.
“I think it’s a great idea and it creates an opportunity for both programs,” Adhyaru said.
“They come up with new ideas and with that, the fashion show is possible this year, just thanks to robotics.”
The show will air live at 8 p.m. on Friday on the St. Clair College website.