Darcy Whyte, an inventor/artist, recently came up with drawing robots that can make portraits. Whyte was inspired to create this work after seeing a painting by Chuck Close.
“He used color juxtaposition to achieve additive color mixing. I believe the color gamut is actually wider than a printing process or RGB monitor so the piece is very striking. The additive mixing combined with a unique color system gives an experience not seen with ordinary mixing of pigment or even textiles. It helped me realize that a painting robot was doable. And worth doing because it could be used explore different color systems and paint application methods. A machine would take care much of the labor content since it could do overnight and could run for days without a rest.”
On the way to a painting robot, he came up with one that draws. As Whyte describes how the drawing robot works,
“The drawing robot moves a pen around a sheet of paper using a pair of motors and strings attached to little spools. The strings actually hold up the pen like a gondola. The motors are controlled by an open source micro-controller called Arduino. Image interpretation is done on a computer running open source software called processing.org. The processing.org environment interprets the jpeg image and comes up with commands to move the motors. Arduino sends the commands to the Arduino which in turn controls the motors through a stepper motor controller. I’ve written some software for this and have also used some of the other software such as Sandy Nobles Polargraph software.”
So what’s the next step? Well yesterday Whyte purchased the parts for his first painting robot including linear bearings and some power transmission components. To follow the project, and to learn more about the drawing robot, click here.