3D Printing

Gaga Tributes Bowie with 3D Printing, Projections, & Robots

My wife and I began the morning by watching one great artist honor another with Lady Gaga’s Grammy tribute to David Bowie. I didn’t know at that time that, to pull off what was a pretty stunning stage show, the Oscar-nominated pop icon used a handful of technology and help from Intel.


As the Grammy’s tribute begins, Lady Gaga sings “Space Oddity” with paint pouring down her face, finally forming the legendary lightning bolt associated with Aladdin Insane. To produce this unique effect, Intel first practiced the projections on a 3D printed copy of Gaga’s visage. Then, during the actual live performance, the epic display behind the performer was partially controlled by the “Curie ring”, a ring containing Intel’s tiny Curie microcomputer. As a result, the projections would track her movements, a concept that the musician urged the projections’ designer, Asai Nobumichi, to achieve. This would be the first time that Nobumichi had done such projections during a live show.


And what would a tribute to a sci-fi artist be without robots? As Lady Gaga jumped into “Suffragette City”, Intel’s trio of industrial robot arms, hooked to her keyboard and mic, began to jump with her. Their movements, too, were powered by the Curie system. Their dancing was initially programmed via the show’s choreographer, who strapped eight Curie modules to his body to record his movements, which were then translated into machine language to control the robots during the performance.  Though it looks as though not much of that dancing made it into the final production.

As shameless as the plugs are for this performance, it’s hard for me not to appreciate the artistry of the stage show that Gaga and her large team put on last night. If you, too, wept for the Starman when he returned to outer space, then you may also love the show above. If you love advertising, you’ll also love this behind-the-scenes look at the project, as well.