Scholarship Idea

I've put a lot of thought to the whole robot 'thing'. My immediate instinct in reading about this is an art making robot. I can easily see why there's so much interest in 'what can a robot do FOR me?' (hauling things for you, cleaning up, fetching) but I'm more interested in 'what can a robot do WITH me?' Printers are great, but they're still just a static digital output of art. And they (primarily) print in ink on paper. That is a very tiny sliver of the art making world. I spent some time searching for robots that make art and didn't really come up with much that seemed to take full advantage of what is possible. Hektor is great, but well beyond what most people are willing to even attempt (the documentation implies that it was months of full time work and even speaks to the complications of programing it) and only works in spray paint. There are various other 'snippets' of work made by robots around, but nothing that seems to be more than a proof of 'hey, I can program a robot'. There doesn't seem to be much interest in making a series of really beautiful finished artworks, but rather a collection of demonstrations from trade shows and videos of robots at work. I'm very confident that I can program the iRobot to travel in some great looking paths. It appears to be more than capable of beautiful curves, spirograph like spinning and sharp corners. I'd really like to work a lot with setting the iRobot up to use lots of different mediums - more than just dragging a pencil or marker, or just spraying spray paint. There are many options for mediums, including: pencil, marker, pen (as mentioned above) paint with a brush paint dripped or squeezed from a tube or syringe (similar to how the Fabber and other "3D printers" work) spray paint charcoals and pastels pure pigments rolling paint (similar to how wall paint is applied) Each of these would require a different method of attachment to the iRobot. Focusing on this would allow me to turn it into a very versatile piece of equipment where I would be able to program a path, choose a medium and go. Another benefit to working with the iRobot over a printer is that it can run over a number of different surfaces in many sizes. Printers are primarily limited to paper that's less than a foot wide for home printers, and less than a couple feet wide for most commercial printers. A robot could apply medium to any size space (theoretically), and that surface could be paper, canvas, wood, metal, or anything else it could physically move over. This literally allows for infinite combinations, and allows for layering of different mediums/colors in ways a printer could never achieve. I definitely intend to work on programing the robot start and stop applying mediums in addition to just dragging them, but I don't want to commit to doing with within the 2 month time frame. I definitely would NOT intend to stop work on the project just because the contest ends. My end goal would be to modify an iRobot to: hold and apply a variety of mediums (ideally in a quick-change way) travel on a variety of carefully planned and adjusted paths, taking advantage of straight lines, curves and corners and, potentially, program it to start and stop applying a medium Here's an idea that I'm not really interested in working on that I wanted to share anyway: Start with a vacuum style Roomba, attach some sort of cat attractant (feather, mouse, catnip, etc) to it, and set it up to run from the cat. That would allow the cat to get some fun exercise during the day (when there's likely no humans to entertain it) and it would help keep up with the cat fur vacuuming. I would probably buy something like that.

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Goodhart10 years ago
Are you looking for something along these3 lines to start with?

3-D models from CAD


This fabber maybe ?
technoplastique (author)  Goodhart10 years ago
I've wanted to make a fabber for so long! As soon as I have a couple thousand dollars unaccounted for it's mine!
Aye, I know what you mean
ll.1310 years ago
I forget the website but my brother was looking at one where this guy attached pens to tree branches and stuck canvas near the pens, a suspended pen (on rails) and raced around the indy 500 track with it in his boot of his car, I gather that this is what you're idea is, or at least similar?
technoplastique (author)  ll.1310 years ago
Sort of, but I want a little less random (like the tree version) and a little more structure. Tying brushes to a tree feels more like taking yourself out of the process completely.
Yes. so you'd need something like a printer with servos to move the rails across maybe rig the servos up to a chip, if you are able you could try dismantling a printer to get some inspiration. :)
technoplastique (author)  ll.1310 years ago
I've already got a torn apart printer earmarked for use in this project ;-)
SacTownSue10 years ago
oh yeah I was also thinking... I have no idea how difficult this might be yet. how about have someone enter something like their initials and use those parameters as direction or something. The easiest thing to do might be like a spirograph.
technoplastique (author)  SacTownSue10 years ago
I'm not entirely sure what paths I would work with at first - that will partly be affected by the medium. Marker dries almost instantly and should be no problem going back over (like the spirograph) but paint would be another story.
SacTownSue10 years ago
In general, I'm hoping that the judges sort the projects by type. And there isn't much entered for the ART category. The more variety in type will give us lots of information to use in the future. A better knowledge base.

I, of course, can't find it right now, but I saw something about art with markers or perhaps loaded brushes. I would get that working first. I think its in the demo package that is included with the Create. I searched for "art" and got p"art"s etc... So try searching for something like - irobot create paint - on google or or...
Here are the sites I have been researching: - they are co-sponsors with PopScience as well as the obvious, I think - user manuals and such
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