Graffiti Robot Spray-Paints Murals On Its Own
Assisted painting system reproduces images with positional tracking and old-fashioned spray paint cans. Continue reading →
Banksy, stand aside. A robot is storming the world of graffiti art.
Well, kind of. In a rather inspired bit of DIY tinkering, a team from Dartmouth has rigged together a mural-painting system using a computer, two digital cameras, positional tracking technology and modified spray-paint cans. The "smart" paint cans spray giant, wall-sized murals with impressive results.
Call up the image you want to paint on the computer, wave the spray paint can in front of a wall or canvas, and the nozzle triggers on its own - putting just the right amount of paint in just the right spot. Switch cans to add new colors, and before you know it you've got a giant frog mural.
It works like this: The two calibrated cameras are set up on either side of the user to track relative position to the canvas or wall. The spray paint cans, meanwhile, are fitted with small actuators attached to a 3-D printed mount. When the user holds the spray paint can in front of the canvas or wall, radio signals trigger the actuator's servo-motor which operates the spray nozzle.
The computer keeps track of everything in real time, dispensing the optimal amount of paint to the desired location. The user - "painter" at this point, I suppose - keeps an eye on the monitor to see approximately where the can needs to be positioned next.
The system is designed to let non-artists create large-scale murals, according to Wojciech Jarosz, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth and former senior research scientist at Disney Research Zurich.
"Our assistive approach is like a modern take on ‘paint by numbers' for spray painting," Jarosz writes on the project page. "Most importantly, we wanted to maintain the aesthetic aspects of physical spray painting and the tactile experience of holding and waving a physical spray can while enabling unskilled users to create a physical piece of art."
The research - a collaboration between ETH Zurich, Disney Research Zurich, Dartmouth College and Columbia University.– is documented in the journal Computer & Graphics. You can dig into it all at the project page. There's also a pretty cool demo video there if you're having trouble visualizing exactly how this all works. I know I did.
Sometimes referred to as earth art or earthworks, land art is a movement that started in the 1960s in which large-scale sculptures were created from the landscape itself. To achieve their designs, artists working in this area often use multiple, overlapping disciplines of science and technology -- from architecture to crop sciences to landscape engineering. Above, a figurative earth sculpture of Sultan the Pony at Penallta Parc in Wales.
Kansas landscape artist
recently completed this rendition of Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Olive Trees." Commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, it covers 1.2 acres near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and is designed to be viewed by passengers in incoming airliners.
GET MORE: B
Herd has created works all over the planet, including this three-acre piece in Sao Paulo, "Young Woman of Brazil," part of a larger initiative to raise awareness on poverty issues in the country. The artist is currently
through Indiegogo to finish the piece.
In 1979, artist James Turrell acquired the land around the three-mile-wide volcanic cone known as Roden Crater in Arizona. This satellite photo shows his ongoing land art project, which involves turning the inner cone of the crater into a giant naked-eye observatory.
The Desert Breath, located in Egypt near the Red Sea coast, is made from a spiraling series of earthwork cones. The above-ground cones were created with sand from the depressed cones dug into the surface. The piece covers an area of about 25 acres.
Created by artist Robert Smithson in 1970, Spiral Jetty is a 1,500-foot long art work that extends toward -- and occasionally into -- the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Depending on water levels, the sculpture is sometimes partially or totally submerged under the lake waters.
Part of a planned series of artificial islands off the coast of Dubai, Palm Jumeirah is shaped to resemble a palm tree and was created by moving more than 7 million tons of rock. Designed as an exclusive enclave for the wealthy, the controversial project crosses elements of land art with blunt commercial development.
Depending on how you define your terms, land art has potentially been around for thousands of years. The famous Nazca Lines in southern Peru are ancient geoglyphs created between 500 BC and 500 AD. Hundreds of individual figures were created by removing surface rocks and pebbles to expose the ground underneath.
Crop circles used to be the domain of hoaxers and alien conspiracy theorists, but in recent years they've become a kind of subset of land art for legitimate artists and groups. Hundreds of creative designs pop up annually around the world, like this 2007 collaborative effort in Switzerland. Crop circles are typically created by flattening crops using wooden boards and lengths of rope extended from a designated anchor point. GET MORE:
Certain kinds of land art aren't meant to last. Artist
community-based Snow Drawings series involves recruiting local volunteers to transform freshly fallen snow into temporary artworks by way of snowshoes and some very long, very specific strolls through the snow.