Forget Welding, These Robots Can Paint Like Picasso

Oct. 24, 2012
Did you ever wonder what sleep looked like from an artistic perspective? Sure there are plenty of paintings portraying people sleeping. And the vision of Snow White put into a near-death slumber by the poison apple is forever etched into my mind. But what about a painting that represents the act of sleeping? Let's go one step further: What about a painting that represents YOUR act of sleeping.
Did you ever wonder what sleep looked like from an artistic perspective? Sure there are plenty of paintings portraying people sleeping. And the vision of Snow White put into a near-death slumber by the poison apple is forever etched into my mind. But what about a painting that represents the act of sleeping? Let's go one step further: What about a painting that represents YOUR act of sleeping. ABB, a provider of automation technologies, has deployed advanced robotics to venture into territory once considered the exclusive domain of the human imagination: original works of art. What’s more, the art is produced in collaboration with human subjects – while they sleep. The “Sleep Art” project is part of a Facebook promotion for the European hotel chain ibis. The artist -- ABB’s smallest robot, the IRB 120 --  transcribes the overnight movements of sleeping guests participating in the project. Using software-processed data transmitted by 80 sensors embedded in the mattress, an individual’s sleep pattern is converted into art when the IRB 120 selects colors from several paint pots and executes its work on canvas, creating a one-of-a-kind rendering that no human is capable of.This makes me want to book a night at ibis and fill my belly full of Taco Bell – I always have crazy dreams and a restless sleep when I've made a run for the border after sundown. I wonder if IRB 120's masterpiece of my burrito-charged nocturnal nap would resemble Edvard Munch's The Scream?To watch the artist work, check out the YouTube video.And let me know what meal you would eat (or wouldn't eat) before posing as a subject for the Sleep Art project?Traci PurdumSenior Digital Editor

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