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15 robot portraits taken with an 1880s camera

Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

Amsterdam-based photographer Wanda Tuerlinckx feels inspired by the slow style of classic photography. So influenced, in fact, you can find her observing all her subjects through an old-fashioned lens, an authentic 19th century ‘camera obscura’ (Latin for “dark chamber”).

Initially, she began by taking portraits of people. Now she concentrates her artistic endeavours photographing robots, cleverly juxtaposing these unlikely high/low tech companions, to create visually stunning black and white images.

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“Robots through the eye of a very old camera can be an extreme combination. It gives the robots a type of personality, or soul. Robots are not typically defined as being ‘romantic,’ but looking at these images the robots feel more alive,” said Tuerlinckx.

“I find it fascinating how people in the tech world react; they find the robots beautiful. The lens doesn’t have a hard effect, like with digital cameras, the focus is softer. The camera I use is not a cold camera, it’s a warm camera made out of wood.”

Wanda hopes to document robots in their evolution over the next 10, 20+ years using her portrait method. “With a camera this old you need to have patience — not always easy to find in our fast-paced world.”

Check out a collection of her photographs below. All images copyright Wanda Tuerlinckx.

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Source: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Interact Centaur Rover. European Space Agency. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
SERGIO. Second Edition Robot for Generic Indoor Operations. Tech United/ University of Technology Eindhoven. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Dual-hemi Continuously Variable Transmission. Project: ROSE, University of Twente, RaM. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
KASPAR. Therapeutic robot for children with autism. EIZT/Zuyd Hogeschool. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Robird Jerrie. Clear Flight Solutions. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) Demonstrator Module. European Space Agency. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Nao. Robots.nu. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
ReflexLeg. Project: ReflexLeg, University of Twent, RaM. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
TUlip: Tech United/ University of Technology Eindhoven. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Underactuated hand prosthesis with compliant control. Project: MyoPro, University of Twente, RaM. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
PARO. Seal robot for people with psycho geriatric disorders. EIZT/ Zuyd Hogeschool. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
TURTLE. Tech United RoboCup Team Limited Edition. Tech United/ University of Technology Eindhoven. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Cheetah, Fast Running Energy Efficient Quadruped Project: FREEQ. University of Twente, RaM. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
AMIGO. Autonomous Mate for IntelliGent Operations. Tech United/University of Technology Eindhoven. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

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Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx
Aerialtronics Altura. Clear Flight Solutions. Copyright: Wanda Tuerlinckx

By Kassie Perlongo

Kassie is the Managing Editor at Robohub, where she helps coordinate the best editorial process and marketing promotional activities. Kassie is a science communication grad student at UWE, in Bristol. She has been involved in marketing, branding and communications in higher education since 2010 and has worked for UC Davis Medical Centre, Sacramento State University, and more recently at University of Oxford, Saïd Business School.