Robots Paint 85 Bucky Statues Displayed Across Madison
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Bucky on Parade

Madison, WI – Anyone visiting Madison, Wisconsin between May 7 and September 12, 2018 will notice an array of 6-foot-tall Buckys scattered all over the city. Bucky on Parade is a free public art installation featuring 85 statues of the UW-Madison mascot painted in a variety of themes.

The statues are a unique draw for visitors. Parade maps guide them on a tour of the beautiful city of Madison. 

Visit the University Book Store and see #GameDayBucky in his bibs and Jump Around shirt ready for Badger Football season.

Or stop by Bascom Hall to see Graduation Bucky decked out in his cap and gown and ready to graduate.

Last Friday, August 17th witnessed the unveiling of the 85th statue, Crazylegs Bucky, at the UW Police Department.

While the installation adds an aesthetic touch to the city, the story behind the idea is particularly intriguing. 64 local and regional artists were selected to paint the statues to depict iconic figures, events, and places around Madison.

So where do robots come into play?

In preparation for the artists to begin their work, the fiberglass statues were first painted with a white base coat at Madison College. While the real art was hand-painted, the base coat was layered on by FANUC robots.

Bucky statues were painted with a white base coat by this FANUC robot

Seeing the work done behind-the-scenes to prepare the statues adds a unique perspective to the collaborative process. From design, to manufacturing, to robotic painting and hand-painting, the Buckys passed through the hands of a number of skilled workers and students to reach their final destination.

“We welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Madison College on this important project,” said Renee Kirchner, LAB Midwest’s CEO. “To see the skills gained by Madison College’s students used in such an industry-relevant way, and to see the product of their work displayed across the entire city of Madison, was quite rewarding for our whole team, and we felt privileged to participate.”

FANUC’s Paint Robots are built in their facility in Rochester Hills, Michigan. They are the only industrial robotics company with domestic manufacturing capabilities. LAB Midwest, FANUC and a paint robot integrator collaborated in providing the robot to Madison College.

Led by Peter Dettmer and Rick Jacobs, the college is a FANUC CERT School and FAST training site. And it has one of the most advanced industrial robotics programs in the United States. LAB Midwest proudly partners with Madison College across a wide variety of programs.

To learn more about FANUC robots, contact LAB Midwest.