Drawing Dalibot: Designing an Art Robot That Switches Colors *
Are you an artist, or do you enjoy the process of making art? What kind of art do you create? Do only humans make art? Not all the time. Robots can create art, too. Robots can be programmed and "taught" to do all kinds of things, such as delivering medications to hospital patients or putting together a car on an assembly line. The Vangobot™, shown in the video below, paints pictures with brushes and paint, and in a distinct, unique style—just like a human artist.
The Vangobot can change its brush length and stroke, and it can vary the intensity of color it uses. But it is different from a human artist in a couple of important ways. First, the Vangobot; requires a computer program to tell it what to paint and to give it a roadmap of how to paint something. It depends on mathematics to figure out how to hold the brush for the next brush stroke, but once it knows this, it can add texture to its stroke. Second, unlike a human artist, the Vangobot has just one eye. The inventors of the Vangobot have said that with their robot's vision system, they are exploring the boundary of human vision.
Can you create your own version of the Vangobot using a robotics platform like VEX® or LEGO® Mindstorms®? What about building and programming your own robot using an Arduino? Since this is an abbreviated project idea, Science Buddies will not give you complete directions to do so. If you want to try an easier robotics project with more complete instructions first, check out Robot Picasso: Building a Robot That Creates Art .
Michelle Maranowski, PhD, Science Buddies
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Last edit date: 2018-04-02
- Innovation First International, Inc. (2012). VEX robotics design system: Think. Create. Build. Amaze. VEX. Retrieved June 7, 2012, from www.vexrobotics.com.
AARON is a software program and robot created by Harold Cohen that makes original art. The following article by Cohen discusses how he started on his path to making AARON and some of the problems he has had to solve:
- Cohen, H. (1995, July 22). The further exploits of AARON, painter. Retrieved June 12, 2012, from www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/cohen.html
The following is a reference containing a tutorial on RobotC:
- Robomatter, Inc. (2012). RobotC Cortex curriculum. Retrieved July 10, 2012, from http://www.robotc.net/education/curriculum/cortex/
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Robotics EngineerHave you watched "The Transformers" cartoon series or seen the "Transformers" movies? Both shows are about how good and evil robots fight each other and the humans who get in the middle. Many TV shows and movies show robots and humans interacting with each other. While this is, at present, fantasy, in real life robots play a helpful role. Robots do jobs that can be dangerous for humans. For example, some robots defuse landmines in war-stricken countries; others work in harsh environments like the bottom of the ocean and on the planet Mars. At the heart of every robot is a robotics engineer who thinks about what a robot needs to do and works with several engineering disciplines to design and put together the perfect piece of equipment. Read more
Computer ProgrammerComputers are essential tools in the modern world, handling everything from traffic control, car welding, movie animation, shipping, aircraft design, and social networking to book publishing, business management, music mixing, health care, agriculture, and online shopping. Computer programmers are the people who write the instructions that tell computers what to do. Read more
Electrical & Electronics EngineerJust as a potter forms clay, or a steel worker molds molten steel, electrical and electronics engineers gather and shape electricity and use it to make products that transmit power or transmit information. Electrical and electronics engineers may specialize in one of the millions of products that make or use electricity, like cell phones, electric motors, microwaves, medical instruments, airline navigation system, or handheld games. Read more
Mechanical EngineerMechanical engineers are part of your everyday life, designing the spoon you used to eat your breakfast, your breakfast's packaging, the flip-top cap on your toothpaste tube, the zipper on your jacket, the car, bike, or bus you took to school, the chair you sat in, the door handle you grasped and the hinges it opened on, and the ballpoint pen you used to take your test. Virtually every object that you see around you has passed through the hands of a mechanical engineer. Consequently, their skills are in demand to design millions of different products in almost every type of industry. Read more
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