Street Art Bot

Street Art Bot

For the Deconstruction decentralized hackathon, “The FABricators” from Fab Lab Tulsa built a Street Art Bot. The robot drives around and dispenses liquid chalk in a pattern to make sidewalk art.

The FABricators’ robot is based on an electric wheelchair platform. Attached to the base is the hardware for dispensing chalk, which is controlled over wifi. The operator drives the robot around the area to chalk, and chalk is deposited in the right pattern.

In order to ensure the art is chalked correctly, the robot’s software needs to know where the robot is at all times. This is done using a camera mounted above the area and a fiduciary marker that localizes the robot. The tracking is done using the reacTIVision library.

The robot was built to be expandable, and in the future they want to add multiple colors, or even multiple robots printing simultaneously.  After the break, check out a video overview of the project.

12 thoughts on “Street Art Bot

  1. I’ve heard audio taped in a bathroom with less echo.

    How is it a “robot” if it needs a driver?

    We could also get into the whole “is it art” argument, but why bother, it’s not, yet I’m sure people will argue that crap on the sidewalk is indeed art.

    1. I live in Tulsa. I’m a paying member of Fab Lab Tulsa. I have the following to say–

      Some of the people that hang around there have some real talent. Some don’t. It would have been a much better demo to draw something other than the dot pattern — at least for pictures. Maybe their own logo in chalk?

      Also, whoever keeps letting Blixa talk to the public needs to be slapped. You can’t simultaneously claim to be running a cutting edge place and the let the town (lab?) fool give a tour for Hack-a-day and talk about how you can’t handle a few XBEEs.

      I think you could have eliminated the driver and camera – wheel encoders and g-code.

      1. “Some of the people that hang around there have some real talent. Some don’t. It would have been a much better demo to draw something other than the dot pattern — at least for pictures. Maybe their own logo in chalk?”

        Fool!@ Look at the first photo drawn, it IS THEIR LOGO!

        Top says “FAB” bottom half says “LAB”, though I will admit, I didn’t even notice this was true until I searched for something to bitch about.

      2. As one of the guys on the coding side of the team, and the one that quickly generated the “fab lab” image we used for the demo –

        It was a pretty fun project to be a part of, we definitely didn’t get everything we wanted accomplished or working properly over the course of the weekend, sure did have fun though.

        If anyone on the coding side had been more familiar with gcode and drive systems with encoders we would have gone down that route. Sadly we very much shotgunned it a bit of python and a vision system.

        As for the actual demo image, I wanted to try a gear image. Something besides text would have come out a little nicer IMO.

        Anyways hit me up the next time you are in the lab, I’m usually the one on my MBP working with SolidWorks trying to make an open source helmet.

  2. I’ve got nothing negative to say about the robot itself. It’s always great when somebody builds something tangible. Kudos for drilling, soldering, wrenching, and coding, whatever.

    Automate the thing, and put it to work laying out football fields, bike paths, or parking lots. That would actually be useful.

    Given the way this project is presented, however, I have to ask a question: Shellacked dead pupplies…. Crucifixes floating in piss, and incontinent machines that leave chalk-laden dollops all over the sidewalk. Is there no lower limit to what somebody will describe as “art?”

    I hope not. I mailed a steaming BM to the Louvre a couple of weeks ago. I expect a check in the mail, any day now.

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