University of Sydney

We’re the RoboLions and we’re a dinky team of undergraduate engineering students from the University of Sydney Robotics Club. The inspiration for our project comes from Chinese ink paintings and everything that makes this artistic style so distinctive – fluid lines, expressive brush and ink textures, and the creation of a sense of movement through shape and form. Our project seeks to imitate this art form. The problem we have been trying to tackle with the Robot Art Competition is a computational and anthropomorphic one – how can we transform an image into executable, physical brush strokes? Is it possible to convey human warmth and beauty through a robot? In the two and half months since we have started working on this project, what we have accomplished is program which can take any image as input and output g-code , though some input images would most definitely perform better than others, particularly those with plain backgrounds and distinct strokes and lines. The program then processes areas of similar shading to produce a skeleton for each area. Some areas, however, cannot be traced by a single stroke, so the skeleton becomes branched and the area is painted over a number of brushstrokes, even if it appears to be one brushstroke to the human eye. Once the skeletons for each brushstroke area are computed, the last thing to do then is to sequence them up into executable commands for the xy-plotter – and then voila, we have a robot that can paint for us! You can find our code on our Github repo: Beware of undocumented and esoteric code pushed on the night of the competition deadline :~)

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