Robotic Action Painter

Somehow related:
Recent articles:

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

Bring me home, please

RAP (Robotic Action Painter), designed by Leonel Moura (with IdMind) for Museum or long exhibition displays, is completely autonomous painting robot that need very little assistance and maintenance.

RAP creates its own paintings based on an artificial intelligence algorithm, decides when the work is ready and signs in the right bottom corner with its distinctive signature.

The algorithm combines initial randomness, positive feedback and a positive/negative increment of 'color as pheromone' mechanism based on a grid of nine RGB sensors.

rap000.jpg artsbot_web22.jpg
RAP and ArtSBot

A "sense of rightness" --that determines when the painting is ready-- is achieved through a kind of pattern recognition system.

Two years ago, Moura and Henrique Garcia Pereira developed unmanned painting-vehicules, each supporting two color marker pens. At the beginning they move on the white canvas in an indifferent manner imprinting here and there small ink dots. As these casual strokes meet to form small patches, the robots become more active. When colour is recognized, they choose the pen corresponding to the same shade and reinforce it. The excitement grows and soon forms emerge filling the canvas. At a given moment, determined by his sense of rightness, the human partner decides to put an end to robots’ activity.

MIT's students Jessica Banks and Daniel Paluska have also worked on a robot arm and a computer able to make portraits.

"The robot shoulder and elbow inside the booth holds LEDS in its "hand." The arm sits about three feet away from a Polaroid camera that was modified so its shutter can remain open for an arbitrary amount of time. When the robot 'draws' in the air in front of the camera, light traces are recorded on the long-exposure film."


Robotlab's Autoportrait robot is given a pen to draw a human portrait. With both technical ability and the capability to recognize the characteristics of a human face, the robot hand forms his own style. After the drawing process the robot wipes out the drawing by its own hand (more images).

Jonah Brucker-Cohen's Drawbot is a drawing system that anyone can use without having to learn electronics. The bot mixes magic markers with weighted motors and plastic cups. When the cups vibrate, they draw circles and lines depending on their overall weight and power.

Check also: the grass drawing robot, The Teleoperated Drawing Robot, Hektor the graffiti machine (UPDATE2: check it this week at the OFFF festival in Barcelona).

UPDATE: i'm sure i've missed many drawing robots, thanks to mister "anonymous" for pointing to the Institute for Applied Autonomy's GraffitiWriter, a tele-operated robot which sprays text messages on the ground at a rate of 15 kilometers per hour. GraffitiWriter can be deployed in any highly controlled space or public event from a remote location.

Via networked_performance, MIT news office and artbots.

2 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Robotic Action Painter.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

» RAP: robotic action painter from Popgadget: Personal Tech for Women

Do you remember Logo? No, not the gay Viacom cable channel. Logo was a programing language from the 80s developed at MIT. Using Logo, you could control the robot Turtle. By entering commands, you were also able to use... Read More

» links for 2006-05-18 from proprioception

Mighty Magic Tricks Magic Tricks Explained (tags: blog howto magic tricks reference) MAKE: Blog: HOW TO - Make a rubber band helicopter "how to make a rubber band helicopter similar to toy that inspired the Wright brothers to build... Read More

Sponsored by:


I really need one of these robots because I'm to busy to make art.


and of course, let's not forget the institute for applied autonomy's graffitiwriter

I recently had an idea of a project called (something along the lines of) iPollock, using a robotic painter to produce similar Abstract Expressionist paintings. The twist was that instead of using batteries, it would be powered via a model-aeroplane-engine based generator fuelled by hard liquour.

(I suppose it's possible we could add greater verisimilitude to the project in v2.0 by creating another robot called the iKrasner, that iPollock periodically whacks with a specially designed appendage.)


You can also found a humanoid robot drawing portraits here (with videos).

also have a look at this bikes against bush thing.
Site: bikesagainstbush
Mov: bikesagainstbush movie


i blogged the brilliant bikes against bush a while ago, but it's not exactly an autonomous robot, is it?


And you can check out the already classic Hektor the Graffitti Machine this week in Barcelona at the OFFF Festival...


AARON is the first fine art screensaver to utilize artificial intelligence to continuously create original paintings on your PC.

Check out Fernando Orellana's drawing machines at:

They are somewhere between a mobile and drawing machine..most beautiful and engaging


hi thanks! i should have thought about Fernando Orellana! i love his work


Here you can find everything that I can found about art and robots.

I hope you like it.

sponsored by: