Comment to Art 2.0

Introduction: Comment to Art 2.0

About: Hi, we’re Dane & Nicole, two makers that create stuff, which we happily share with you!

We're going to improve a somewhat older project. To be precise, we're revamping the Comment To Art, a project where we took user comments, passed them through two AI's and turned them into Art.

We're planning to add two things, a Twitter gallery and solar power. All this to create a sunshine fuelled, totally independent art robot!

Supplies

Knowledge Applied

Each of the above items has a link with a nice tutorial.

Hardware

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Software

Miscellaneous

  • Wifi

You don't need everything from these lists, check what is useful for your project :)

Step 1: Project Video

A snazzy project video

Step 2: Setting Up

First to be brought to life is the Raspberry Pi Zero W. It's one of the smaller boards out here, but has wifi connectivity and a low power consumption, which makes it a perfect fit for this project. An extra bonus for the Raspberry Pi is the fact that there's a fantastic guide on setting up your Raspberry Pi.

Next up is DeepAI, they provide API accessible artificial intelligence models, making it straightforward to build something with AI. Besides cool AI related APIs, they also provide deeper knowledge and research for those interested. Swing over to their website, and get yourself an account.

Remo.tv is an open platform designed for controlling robots online and in real time. This is where the comments are left, the art is generated, the tweet is added to to the Twitter gallery, and the premiere showcasing takes place. Surf to Remo.tv to get started with all this, and more!

Twitter also requires an account to access to their developer portal. So, yeah, create a profile?

Besides these platforms we also use Atom to write the python code, FileZilla to transfer the files and Putty to access the Raspberry Pi.

After all this setting up, the world of internet robots is veeeeery close, like, three steps away, max!

Step 3: Twitter Connection

In the previous comment to art, images were only stored locally on the Raspberry Pi and previewed for a short amount of time on Remo.TV. This means you couldn't look back at all the previous works of art, which is a shame, as there are a lot of cool pictures worth sharing.

Hence the Twitter connection, a clean solution to store and display all the generated art for as long as the sms of the internet exists. Yes, you read that right, Twitter is also called the sms of the internet...

However, the folks from Raspberry Pi made our lives very easy by providing a great guide on connecting to the Twitter API. Side note, it's also excellent example to get familiar with APIs.

The full code file, CommentToArt2.0Clean.py, is attached to this article. Change the API keys in the code, copy and replace the file to the hardware subfolder of Remo, and our robot is ready create!

Next up, making our creative machine solar powered.

Step 4: Solar Power

Adding solar power to anything makes it, like, a thousand times better. So we opted for a Arc 20W Solar Laptop Charger Kit. But to be honest, any solar set or kit can work. We opted for this one because it's durable, reasonably priced, and should provide enough power to run the Pi.

You can also pick something completely different, just make sure that the battery can provide at least 2 Ampere at 5 Volts. You can find more information on the exact power usage of a Raspberry Pi Zero W here, it was a great help for picking the solar setup.

We also want to change some settings, like, restarting the script every time the Pi starts. This makes sure that after some dark days, the robot revives itself when the sun starts shining.

Another area to improve is the power usage of previous version. We streamed 24/7, wasting a boatload of energy. But, because we now have a permanent Twitter gallery, we can stream for a just little while, and then let the Pi go back to sleep, saving a lot of electricity during the slower times by not streaming.

Last but not least, we put all our electronics in a waterproof-ish plastic tub, and the solar panels in a sunny place.

Step 5: Congrats!

We now have an open source, solar powered robot, creating art based on user comments by processing them through two different AIs and storing them in a Twitter gallery. Or in short, a sunshine fueled art robot!

Important not to forget, the link to the bot itself and the Twitter page.

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