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World's First 5G-Powered Remote Tattoo Completed By Robotic Arm

World's First 5G-Powered Remote Tattoo Completed By Robotic Arm

The campaign was designed to showcase T-Mobile's 5G network

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

The first 5G-powered robotic arm has completed a tattoo via remote control - the future is now, LADs. Watch it happen below:

A brave tattoo artist - and even braver volunteer - took on the challenge as part of T-Mobile's Impossible Tattoo campaign.

The project was created in order to showcase the network's 5G speed and reliability, but also showed tattoo artist Wes Thomas' impressive skills. Dutch actress Stijn Fransen entrusted Wes, who usually works from his Schoffie tattoo studio in Amsterdam, to give her the tattoo - all in the name of technology, and, of course, marketing.

Footage of the tattoo was originally released in September 2020, but has recently re-emerged.

The team behind the project had a big task at hand, especially seeing as the experiment would result in a permanent tattoo, whether it went right or wrong.

First, the team had to configure the robot arm so that it went in at just the right depth, replicating the resistance of skin by trying it out on vegetables and fake skin.

Eventually, they got it just right, meaning that Thomas' tattoo needle went to work on a mannequin arm, linked to a robotic arm which was working remotely on Fransen's arm.


As you can see from the video, T-Mobile's 5G proved just how efficient it is, with virtually no delay between Thomas' movements and those of the robot arm.

Alfie Johnson, director of The Mill - the agency behind the campaign - said: "The most important thing to show was that we were doing this for real.

"I wanted the raw humanist art form to be key in the telling of this story and accentuate the permanence and potential danger of doing this.

"Since this was the first time this has been done, we didn't know for sure if this was actually going to work, so we used this genuine suspense in the narrative to drive the viewer towards the final moment.

"Wes, the tattoo artist controlling the remote rig, said 'tattooing is a connection between two people' and it was important to bring this to life.

"The relationship and bond between the tattoo artist and the tattooed is just as important as the tattoo itself, so I also wanted to highlight this relationship between Wes and Stijn in the film and showcase how it can be aided by technology.

"I believe this is more important now than ever."

Featured Image Credit: T-Mobile

Topics: News, Technology