The desire to perpetuate beautiful sights of the world has been with us since time immemorial, and before the invention of the camera people drew and painted. By the same token it gave vent to human creativity. It is only relatively recently that people began to use robots and computers first as props for their creativity, then relaying on them a greater part of the process gradually. So far robots and computers haven’t actually been raised to actually creating, but they seem to be coming fairly close to it. Also, as can be seen in the instance of e-David, a German welding robot, they turn out to be able to get repurposed for it quite easily!
e-David, whose main task used to be welding, was sent to a studio at University of Konztanz in Germany, where he was fitted with paintbrushes. It took little trouble to turn it into a painter. Well, it’s not that e-David creates masterpieces of its own – but it can make a stroke-perfect replica of any masterpiece you present to it.
The welding range of motion required almost no altering for the robot to take up painting. Of course the programming part of it was much more complicated, but there it is: the fellow comes up with artistic reproductions on a little bluish marble.
The robotic copyist processes an image and decides which brushstrokes it needs to use for recreating, upon which it proceeds to do so. Every now and then e-David pauses to make a picture of his results for comparison, to see if any adjustments are needed; when the part has been accomplished perfectly, it moves on to a next one.