Wireless painting

[Tom Shannon] uses science as part of his art. One of his methods when painting is to use this radio controlled paint pendulum. He gave an interview at his studio, which we’ve embedded after the break, and goes into detail about this device. It has six different reservoirs that hold the paint colors. Each gravity-fed canister connects to a central nozzle with flexible tubing. The hand held control box has a slider for each color that moves a servo pinching each supply tube. This ingenuity keeps him creating even though Parkinson’s Disease has started to manifest itself with tremors in his hands.

It’s hard to make out the paintings seen above, but the ones on display in the video are pretty amazing. He mentions that anything can be loaded into the hoppers, including tomato sauce. Is anyone else thinking about large scale pizza constuction? This also reminds us of the mechanical bartenders we’ve seen in the past.


  1. fenwick says:

    Is it mean to say that abstract art could be created just as easily WITH Parkinson’s?

  2. Blind says:

    Yes, it is mean, though the mindset is understandable. Problem is that it isn’t true. Any money can throw poo at the wall and some might stick in such a way that it would be considered good art. It takes a skilled monkey to throw the poo that way on purpose.

  3. firetech says:

    For a few moments.. I thought the top picture was of a pneumatic paint launcher. The wireless comments would make sense, I wouldn’t want to be near one when it went off.

  4. mess_maker says:

    It would be interesting to add the ability to trigger a small air blast as well. That would create a disruption in the pattern that could be neat. maybe.

    I thought it was an interesting idea, I like the concept, but I would like to see him explore it a little more. I wonder if he is taking it a little too one-dimensionally…

    I know it is his invention, but that is precisely why he needs to have others explore his invention. I always find it interesting to see what other people come up with when using a tool in a way that might not have been intended.

    Good post.

    No, it isn’t mean to say. It is you impression.

    I have never really been a fan of abstract art (I do see the art aspect of abstract), and much of what is considered performance art (I do not see the art aspect of this form, I just see people wanting attention and wanting to be freaking weird, for the most part). Just my opinion, though.

  5. Alex says:

    I’m always wary of ‘artsy’ things like this, but some of his finished works are actually really cool looking.

  6. Marco says:

    I dont’ really see the advantag of going wireless here. You already have a large support beam for the pendulum- might as well run the wires down there.

  7. mess_maker says:

    You have a great point there.

  8. Sarimin says:

    nice post bro….:) thx…

  9. sM10sM20 says:

    Nice project but I must agree with a few of the above… abstract art takes little talent if any at all, but there will always be people with money who have nothing better to buy :/

  10. mixadj says:

    I kinda like this. I mean he put some thought behind the pendulum. However some abstract art is just not for me. I really like the floating sculpture tho…..
    @Marco, I would think he probably ran wires down the center of the pipe to the servos, then to a controller somewhere off the pendulum. With the controller itself being wireless, I think it would be easier to move around the canvas

  11. vonskippy says:

    So that’s what they call “art” these days eh?

  12. markii says:

    i don’t like the end result.

  13. borgar says:

    i first thought it was some sort of pin point painter controlled by a wii controller or something.

    while the results he gets are nice, this really isnt much of a construction

    he has 6 rail potentiometers which controls the flow from each indivitual nozzle.
    and this is just mounted on a free-rotating arm in the seeling

  14. AO says:

    Cool post! Always cool to see art/painting/drawing machines.

    Interesting point @mess_maker about giving others a shot. I’ve been surprised by the results as well when I’ve let others tinker w/ tools I’ve made for myself.

  15. TechnoMan says:

    Very cool. You gotta’ like it when art and technology coincide and you get something unique. I’d leave it wireless – that way you can also rotate the paint unit while it’s also revolving. Adding sprayers and allowing the paint streams to be more closely arranged would also make for some neat effects. Also, lifting/dropping the unit.

  16. jwt says:

    why do all artists talk like pricks

  17. Mike Szczys says:

    sM10sM20 said:
    >…abstract art takes little talent if any at all…


    That’s like saying: “software design takes little talent if any at all, you just need to learn the syntax”.

    Maybe you should go learn something about art.

  18. Bob says:

    This project seems a bit shaky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,401 other followers