This Robot Will Never Stop Drawing

The biggest fear of most any artist (honestly, of most people) is that, after they die, they'll wind up forgotten. Their creative work will fade into obscurity along with their name and, quite possibly, their style. Los Angeles-based artist/programmer Matthias Dörfelt has tackled this fear in a very unique way: he's created a robot

Robo Faber, as it's known, is an autonomous Arduino robot programmed to sketch random pieces of art using its creator's aesthetic style. Each drawing is the result of a number of predetermined parts coded using a Javascript library known as Paper.js, which is used in the creation of complex web animations.The idea behind the project is simple: long after its creator has moved on to other things, Faber will keep drawing. 

Much of the work that went into Faber comes from some of Dörfelthas's previous projects. Most notably, he has in the past used Paper.js with Arduino to create both a "weird faces vending machine" and a scrapbook randomizer. This experience went a long way towards helping him build the robot - thought he still had to construct and program it.

Due to the way it stiches together the pre-determined components from Paper.js, it's next to impossible for the little bot to create the exact same design twice. That said, Faber still has its own unique sense of style - one which is undeniably reminiscent of its creators.

"I really like that it is in a way a portion of my creative thinking and practice distilled inside of Robo Faber, frozen in time," said Dörfelthas of the project. "Even if I won't like the drawings thirty years from now, Robo Faber will still draw and create in a way I though about things now, thirty years earlier."

On the mechanical side of things, Faber is a differential drive robot which consists of two DC motors with built-in encoders at each end of their shafts. The custom Arduino driver software within Faber approximates its position based on the positioning of the encoders, allowing the robot to draw out the designed pulled from Paper.js. 

All I can say is that either Dörfelthas has a bit of a dirty mind, or I do. Many of the drawings created by Faber look remarkably phallic in nature. Still, it's an impressive accomplishment, and I can't deny how interesting it might be to look back several decades into one's own state of mind and creative style. The next step, I suppose, is phasing out real artists altogether, no? 

Hey, it could happen. 

Via Creative Applications