Do we possibly live at the dawn of “robotic art” era?

Are we really ready to put the paintbrushes down and instruct robots to paint instead of us?

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A recent study in open-access journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI  has shown that we may witness  such a thing in the near future. The robots can be instructed to move on a canvas leaving colour trails in their wake. The artist selects areas of the canvas to be painted with a certain colour. Afterwards, the team of robots collaborate-interact to create the specific colours and generally the whole picture that they are instructed to paint.

The researchers found that even when some robots didn’t have access to all the colours required to create the assigned colour, they were still able to work together and approximate the colour reasonably well. One of the benefits of this process is that the robot swarm can be controlled by the instructor in real-time while painting, who don’t have to instruct each one of the robots how to move or even worry about the colours available to each of them.

“The intersection between robotics and art has become an active area of study where artists and researchers combine creativity and systematic thinking to push the boundaries of different art forms,” said Dr. María Santos of the Georgia Institute of Technology. “However, the artistic possibilities of multi-robot systems are yet to be explored in depth”, she added. “The multi-robot team can be thought of as an “active” brush for the human artist to paint with, where the individual robots (the bristles) move over the canvas according to the colour specifications provided by the human,” explained Santos.

However, we maybe should wonder if art can be left on the hands of machines. Art is primarily an expression of emotions and thoughts and not a set of instructions. It does not follow norms and guidelines, but instead it’s a way of setting you free!


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