A reflexion on the (unwanted) future of pregnancy

Unborn0X9 was an initiative by Shu Lea Cheang and Ewen Chardronnet.

Unborn0x9 is an art installation and performance questioning the development of foetuses in artificial wombs outside of the body (ectogenesis) and the cyborg future of parenting. It explores the role of obstetric science in the increasingly technological experience of human reproduction, speculating on new types of bonding that may emerge with artificial wombs.
A robotic arm is performing a real time echography of the baby inside an artificial womb while the data generated is tranformed into sound.

This project was incredibly challenging because it required many different skills and was performed in a really short time !

Hardware design

For this project we had to come up with a way to build an “artificial womb” and fill it with water ! This required designing a transparent sphere and make it watertight… quite a challenge but we managed thanks to custom developed parts and joints.

Another huge challenge was to move the echograph inside the sphere while the robot controlling it was outside. We ended up using magnets on both sides to have a magnetic control.

Embedded software

The magnetic connection between the robot arm and the echograph required that the robot arm did not push or pull to hard, which in turn asked for an accurate programing of each of the arm’s movements.

While challenging, this was also quite a lot of fun !

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