Mr. HEAD Creates Robotic Paintings
Tom Spendlove posted on March 25, 2018 |
Crowdfunding campaign wants to spread robotic paintings all over the world.

Masato Yamaguchi and his team at Mr. HEAD are on a mission to bring robotic art into the world. In late 2014 Yamaguchi took a floor sweeping robot and retrofitted the machine with paint bottles and a drip nozzle. With a minimum of modifications to programming, the robot was set to drive around a flat canvas instead of a living room, and began to paint. The group is running a crowdfunding campaign to upgrade the painting robot up to Mr. HEAD TH2-002DYN, with new features and enhanced artistic skills. The secondary goal of the campaign is to get as many robotic paintings out into the world as possible.

This new generation of Mr. HEAD is intended to last longer and let the robot autonomously choose color and paint style based on weather and temperature factors. Drip or wipe styles of painting will also be added. The campaign page outlines the problems with the current robot and the planned solutions. Because all work is done on a flat surface it has previously been difficult to frame the canvas so a device is being created to frame before painting. White paint used by the robot can be grainy so the paint tubes are being refitted to a larger size to limit the time spent unclogging paint and maximize the time spent painting. Winter months require much more time for drying between layers so the planned production schedule will start in the spring and continue into the fall.









The most interesting thing about Mr. HEAD for me is how non-technical the entire setup seems to be. In looking for technical specifications about this cleaning robot, it became evident that this was a standard cleaning robot with a paint dripping crown attached, and little to no modifications to programming. Yamaguchi says that this produces infinite mechanical geometric patterns of art. Adding the temperature sensors and color selection will provide more variety and autonomy to the art, but the patterns of motion look to remain the same. It's interesting how the robot is spoken of as a real person with Yamaguchi as its caretaker, and the paintings are treated as products of the robot's internal creativity. The campaign ends on April 29 and robotic paintings might be shipping all over the world in late 2018 if the funding goals are met.


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