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Low-Cost Robotic Arm Sketches Faces 93

ptresset writes "A low-cost robotic arm has been sketching faces at the Kinetica2010 art fair in London. Created by the Aikon project research team, the system drew faces non-stop, its creator having to take the role of an automata to repeatedly change the paper. The Aikon project is based at Goldsmiths College, University of London. The main objective of the Aikon project is to implement a computational system capable of simulating the various important processes involved in face sketching by artists. The ensemble of processes to be simulated include the visual perception the subject and the sketch, the drawing gestures, the cognitive activity, reasoning, the influence of the years of training, etc. It is evident that due to knowledge and technological limitations the implementation of each process will remain coarse and approximate. The system implemented is expected to draw in its own style."
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Low-Cost Robotic Arm Sketches Faces

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  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @02:36AM (#31132906) Journal

    at the Kinetica2010 art fair in London...the system drew faces non-stop, its creator having to take the role of an automata to repeatedly change the paper.

    The robot does fine art but the human changes the paper. Something is wrong here.

  • by T Murphy ( 1054674 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:19AM (#31133054) Journal
    It would be interesting if it could watch you draw, then imitate your style as it draws other subjects. It isn't fun to re-draw the same subject over and over just to see how you progress. Instead you could use it to take each of your drawings and show you, say, a lightbulb would look. Plus it would be fun for people like me who like to draw on occasion but quickly get lazy. That way I could just draw half of something and let the robot finish it. Heck, you could use it to do one of those photo-every-day things, but instead of a photo it's a self-portrait based on your current drawing ability.

    Of course, if it became complex enough, it could analyze money and learn how to mimic that drawing style...
  • by iNetRunner ( 613289 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:17AM (#31133684)

    There is an exhibit [] in China Science and Technology Museum that also draws pictures. This is made of four ABB robots, so perhaps the cost is a bit more.. =)

    Sorry, I could not find any representative pictures what this exhibit draws.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:03AM (#31134166) Journal

    Back in the '80s there were a number of books about building stuff to plug into a BBC micro. One contained a plotter. Unlike the traditional design, which uses two motors to position the pen using cartesian coordinates, this used a double-hinged arm (and, I think, a third one for raising and lowering it; it's been almost two decades since I read the book). You could build it from a couple of stepper motors and some wood and a few wires and connect it up to the BBC. The book contained instructions for things that you could build with stuff from a typical school CDT workshop and also included a full code listing for controlling it. Given the tolerances in typical school technology projects, you'd get quite low precision and the double-radial control mechanism meant that some lines (well, some curves) could be drawn accurately while others couldn't (there was a nice description of the algorithms after the code listing).

    Combine that with something that constructs line art from a raster image (which was not really feasible on a machine with a 2MHz 6502 and 32KB of RAM) and you've got something a lot like TFA.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson