Self-portrait machine


[Jen Hui Liao] created a device that guides the user into drawing a portrait of themselves. Dubbed Self-Portrait Machine, it comments on how much in society is created by machines and we are dependent on them. Unlike previous drawing robots, the user is part of the sketching process. The machine holds the users hands and uses stepper motors and servos to move them around like a LOGO turtle. Liao promises to have more details available soon. Video of the machine after the jump.


  1. Parker says:

    Weird. Cool idea!!

  2. Vince says:

    I would disagree on this being a self protrait machine.

    The robot actually drawing the image, it would be the same as someone else holding the pen, and another person moves the arms. The person moving the arms is directing the drawing.

    However, still a very nice idea.

  3. Paul says:

    @vince I think that is the point of the art exhibit.

  4. andrew says:

    “it comments on how much in society is created by machines and we are dependent on them”

    okay, but:

    1. society is dependent on machines.
    2. machines are created by people.

    therefore, society is dependent on people. which happens to be exactly what a society is supposed to be.

  5. Vash_SIN says:

    thats kul! i like this idea… has tons of potentual if you pay attentuion.

  6. Bill Hates says:

    Built for those who have no talent…

  7. Bill Hates says:

    @ vash_sin learn how to fuking spell

  8. samantha says:

    @ vash_sin,

    learn how to fuk!ng spell. illetartarate prick

  9. Benny M says:

    Well what do you think I’m going to say? I totally agree with bill hates and samantha.

    @bill hates & @ samantha
    Learn to spell. Thank you, come again.

    @The Machine
    Isn’t this basically just strapping someone to a printer?

  10. grovenstien says:

    How long before it goes mental and rips of your arms!

  11. grovenstien says:

    A time lapse of this would look very funny!

  12. SelfSilent says:

    What a load of crap, it’s just a plotter that you lean on.

  13. grovenstien says:

    Hmm i think other posters are not quite getting the idea of this, nor the irony! Also do people really need to slate people for there speeling!

  14. sunjester says:

    i believe we already saw this, except the last one didn’t make you strap into the machine.

    i mean, where is the machine taking his picture or reading his face?

  15. sol says:

    @benny m
    strapping somebody to a printer is a pretty novel hack, if you ask me

  16. Hitek146 says:

    I need one of those face-palm buttons mentioned in the wtf button topic…

    The human element in this project is completely irrelevant and unnecessary. If the marker were mounted to the machine, the image would still be created just the same. Why not just have a cradle for a person’s wrist, and then have the machine just move the paper around under the person’s hand? Kind of like strapping a human to a plotter^^^. This just makes no sense to me… :(

  17. nubie says:

    Why does this remind me of when they strapped workers to a stamping machine so that the machine would yank their arms out before it smashed down?


  18. MDude says:

    But it doesn’t make portraits of itself at at all, just drawings of those lousy humans! It even needs their weak little hands to hold the pen for it. Machines these days are too dependant on people.

  19. skinner says:


    Few of you actually realize what the point of this is. The point is not to draw a picture of a person. If that was the goal a machine could be created to draw much faster than moving humans limbs.

    the point is to show how dependent we are on machines to do things for us. Adding to the list, there are 24 hour dry cleaners that accept laundry 24 hours a day and you can also pick up 24 hours a day. Humans do the work during the day but the machine sorts the clothes and everything else. Soon (as this work shows) we’ll have machines doing everything for us.

  20. hendi says:

    What would Bob Ross say ?

  21. sol says:

    Bob Ross would love this project and would justify it on the basis of the “happy little squirrels” running in the wheels that control the x and y axes of the pen.

  22. TheBlunderbuss says:

    There’s a “in Soviet Russia” joke in there somewhere.

  23. or_muddslinger says:

    Wow…. Strap on or in and go for a ride… Looks like the beginning of a robotic bondage machine to me… I could defiantly see old Bob Ross strapping this sucker on and going all Lawn-Mower-Man on all of the happy little trees, clouds and squirrels in the forest…. Don’t ever see myself strapping into this love machine, but I am sure some would like it.

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