The Center for Art and Media ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany has developed a robot installation that can render life like sketches of subjects with remarkable accuracy and character. The technology is now part of an array of robots used to design high-tech reflectors and other safety devices at the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB in Karlsruhe.
Martina Richter, a scientist at IOSB explains the intricacy of the creation:
"We attach great importance to the artistic look of the drawings that results, but on the other hand, we have also equipped the robot with an automatic system that enables it to carry out all of the steps itself. With this installation, we have created an interface between art, science and technology,"
Essentially, the robot begins with a picture of a subject, then it submits the photo to edge detectors who trace contrasts and turn them into coordinates which the arm actuates. The result is a realistic rendering of the subject. The machine's ability to analyze light reflections is what makes it so proficient at its regular work, producing refraction-based safety devices.
The device is on display in Hanover, Germany at the Center for Office Automation, Information Technology and Telecommunication this year. Interested parties will be welcome sit for their own portraits and witness the magnitude of the robot's skill for themselves.