When you watch an artist paint, individual brush strokes can seem random. It's often not until close to the very end that the image the painter is after becomes clear. This is doubly true when you watch e-David, the robot painter, at work. David, which stands for "Drawing Apparatus for Vivid Image Display," was created by a team of engineers at the University of Konstanz in Germany. He's a former welding robot who has been retrofitted to reproduce, brush stroke by brush stroke, existing works of art. The robotic arm has access to five different brushes and 25 colors of paint, and after each dab of paint, it takes a photograph of what it has painted so far- computer software analyzes the photograph and tells David where to place the next brush stroke. The strangeness of the process is especially evident when David signs his name at the end. As you can see in this video below, he begins by making the dot over the "i" and then writes the rest of his name backwards- hardly how you or I would do it, and a clear reminder that- once someone else has given you the idea- there's more than one way to make the Mona Lisa.
Images courtesy of Oliver Deussen at the University of Konstanz.
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