Artbot Brings Technology to Canvas

Posted on 17. Dec, 2009 by in Arts and Culture, Jeremy Caplan

Who needs fingers when you can paint with robots?

Creator Oscar Torres built his first art robots – or artbots – as an open source project while attending the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. Open source means that the source code for the project is made available to the public, who can then make modifications. Torres IMG_0853continues to make all of his source code available to the public, and hopes that modifications will be sent back to him.  Through this collaboration, Torres thinks the artbots will become more refined.

Jackoon is at the base a Bump and Go toy car, taken apart and fitted with a painting arm, paint brush, paint cup and the technology necessary to make art. A computer communicates what should be painted via a camera above the painting surface, and Jackoon receives the image and moves accordingly. Jackoon’s name is derived from Jackson Pollock, because the initial prototype would splash paint as the arm swiveled. The motion has been stabilized, but the name stuck.

The paintings do not closely resemble the original, and must be modified by a human artist for the relationship to be recognizable. Greater precision is a goal for future models, but according to Torres, “the artbot is an exercise in creativity and collaboration, with a little art on the side.”

Jackoon Painting from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

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