Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Canvas Robot at the Watershed

Demo-ed my drawing robot (which has yet to be named) at the Creative Technology Network's ‘Real Robots’ event at the Watershed in Bristol.

The main theme of the event was the Heart Robot project though members BRL were invited to bring along a robotic prop as a conversation starter.

I used the opportunity to demonstrate my recently completed canvas robot prototype. The robot uses a light source manipulated by a simple robot to draw fading patterns onto a photo-luminescent canvas. The Robot and canvas are fully self contained so can (and are usually) hung on a wall like a regular picture. The Robot is shown to the right of the photograph below.




The robot, and the fading images it produces can be interpreted in a number of ways though the transience of symbols is the main theme. In particular this robot relates to the graffiti trend of tagging where writers cover an urban landscape in hastily drawn / written tag. These tags are usually illegible and rarely persist in the memory.
This was my first experience of presenting work that is purely aesthetic and the reception was mixed. Some attendees seemed to be disappointed by the simplicity of the device while others described the machine as 'beautiful'.


Acknowledgement must be made to Peter Bennett, Richard Crouch and the rest of the 2003 undergrad swarm robot project at Reading Uni who used light to draw on a glow in the dark surface years before I built this project.

2 comments:

Guy Gregory said...

No name yet?! How about:

Michelandriod
- or -
RoBotticelli
- or -
Pablo PIC Microcontroller

I should really get back to work...

Laurence K said...

The Graffiti Research Lab came up with some great stuff, too, where they can temporarily tag the whole side of a building using a laser and a projector:

http://graffitiresearchlab.com/?page_id=76#video