“Akilles” (“Achilles”)

In Greek mythology he was the greatest warrior; to me, he’s a symbol of the desire to perform and deliver our best in everything we do – but not at the expense of the Earth’s natural resources.

Akilles, Photo: Pontus Ersbacken


The metal itself is a stable old sustainable substance – steel sheet from SSAB, which delivers some of the sturdiest steel available today.

The steel is a metaphor for Achilles’s supposed immortality. With a hard outer shell combined with a sharp, scruffy impression, to me it illustrates the capacity of human beings to build up strong infrastructural solutions as well as to forcefully destroy our surroundings.

The robot is a reference to modern society, where we strive to optimise and automate our tasks. Made in our mechanical image, tirelessly working round the clock and increasingly replacing physical labour, so that in the long run we will be able to focus our lives on developing ourselves. We’ll spend more time on culture and philosophical thoughts about humanity’s place in the universe.

As technology and research advance, new and innovative solutions will arise, which will eventually lead to the end of wars over resources. When everyone has access to the most basic needs, infrastructural tools and work will be something the machines do on their own and I believe we’ll have a more tolerant, accepting society.

The rusty patina that will develop on the steel over time is a reminder to us that nothing lasts forever. We need to think of others – if a sustainable society is to work, everyone must be aware of the consequences of wasting the Earth’s resources.

Robotics is also proof of the incredible collaboration between many engineers from many nations with a variety of specialties to make the big picture work. If we want to save the planet, it will take far greater international collaboration.

Robots may have a frightening aura, but as with all new industrial technology that has terrified the populace throughout history, most likely the next step in technology will frighten us even more.


Inspired by film and video gaming culture. Manufactured in 2009. Steel sheet from SSAB, 10/12 mm, oxy-fuel cut and arc welded.
Height approx. 4.5 m
Length 2.5 m
Width 2.5 m
Weight 2 tonnes