Renowned Swedish choreographer’s new dance partner is one of the world’s largest industrial robots

Renowned Swedish choreographer Fredrik "Benke" Rydman performed a delicate duet with the IRB 6620, a 900kg industrial robot from ABB in the premiere of a groundbreaking new work on Friday night (Sept. 7) in Stockholm. The performance is a powerful reflection of the changing role of technology, automation and artificial intelligence in society and the advanced, collaborative interactions now possible between humans and robots. The premiere, which received a standing ovation, was lauded by critics.

Photo: Håkan Larsson
Photo: Håkan Larsson

The ABB IRB 6620 robot with which Benke performed is more typically used in heavy manufacturing facilities, like automotive plants, where it performs spot welding and complicated assembly tasks in close collaboration with plant employees. It is one of ABB’s biggest, strongest and heaviest industrial robots.

Commenting on his partner in this performance, Benke said, “It’s very precise, of course…and that’s the perfect partner. It always has perfect timing.”

Erik Hellström, one of the engineers who worked on the performance, said, “Making a seamless connection to the music was difficult but working together with Benke, we made incredible strides. It is remarkable how the IRB 6620 now seems to truly sense both the music and the dancer.”

Performances of Benke’s new work continue at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm, one of the largest and most prominent culture centers in Northern Europe, through November 30.

Link to b-roll footage

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com

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