Robotic Action Painter

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.jpgartsbot_web22.jpgRAP 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.”

boy3.jpgRobotlab‘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.