RAP [Robotic Action Painter ] is a painting robot designed for a permanent exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It is completely autonomous and needs very little assistance and maintenance.
RAP creates it's own paintings based on an artificial intelligence algorithm, it decides when the work is ready and signs it in the right bottom corner with its distinctive signature.
RAP is very creative and never repeats a painting.
RAP has a set of sensors to avoid obstacles, to perceive the presence of visitors near the case, to check the paper, and most important to detect color. A total of 9 RGB color sensors, located under the robot body and disposed in a 3 x 3 grid, permanently scans an area of approximately 3 cm2.
RAP will be operating under a Random Mode until a certain amount of color (threshold) is detected. In this mode the robot makes a kind of sketch, randomly drawing a series of lines. The shape, size, direction and color of these lines are also drawn in a randomly way. In this sense it never produces the same lines or the same combination of lines.
In the Random Mode in order to generate a truly random number for the seed, RAP gets it from its relative direction measured by an onboard compass.
When the color detected exceeds the threshold, RAP changes to a Reactive Mode. It will be drawing on this mode until it finishes the painting, never getting back to the previous mode of operation.
Under the Reactive Mode RAP only draws in those parts of the drawing where the color exceeds the given threshold. Therefore it tends to generate color clusters on some areas.
Making use of its color sensor grid RAP decides when the work is ready. That happens when a certain pattern is detected with all of the 9 sensors. It then goes to the corner and signs with its own name.
After signing, the robot moves to the center of the paper, starts flashing its lights and sends a wireless signal to the paper machine. This machine, installed on the bottom part of the box case, advances the paper roll, feeding the table with a fresh sheet for a new drawing. RAP is a new generation of painting robots designed for Museum or long exhibition displays. It is completely autonomous and need very little assistance and maintenance.
RAP creates it's own paintings based on an artificial intelligence algorithm, it decides when the work is ready and signs in the right bottom corner with its distinctive signature.
The algorithm combines initial randomness, positive feedback and a positive/negative increment of 'color as pheromone' mechanism based on a grid of nine RGB sensors.
Also the 'sense of rightness' - to determine when the painting is ready - is achieved not by any linear method, time or sum, but through a kind of pattern recognition system.