Archive for the ‘Finals’ Category

Art Robotica in the ITP Spring Show 2009

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

This is some of the art that I showed at the ITP Spring Show 2009 exhibit.

The Art:

“Lemon Wasp” 2009
Acrylic on paper, 48”x 48”

“Daisy” 2009
Acrylic on paper, 48”x 40”

The Art Bots:

Jackoon at work:

Jackoon Painting from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

Art Robotica: Thesis Presentation!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Art Robotica is a term used to describe the body of work created by the collaboration of “ArtBot” and artist. ArtBots are Autonomous Machines that paint or draw on a canvas, sheet of paper or a surface of some kind. Art Robotica reflects our new codependency and symbiotic relationship with machines. ArtBots are, in essence, collaborators rather than just new tools.

A presentation of Art Robotica was part of ITP Thesis Week 2009.
The thesis presentation was Tuesday May 5, 2009 at NYU’s ITP (721 Broadway, 4th floor)

Web Video Archive:

This is one of the paintings created so far:

“Girl” 2009, Acrylic on paper, 48″ x40″

To find out more about Art Robotica visit:

More Art Robotica:

Initial Thesis Concepts

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Solar Rail system for a train was a concept that I wanted to develop for thesis, but after thinking about the scope and time line of the project, it became cleat that I was being to ambitious. Getting a working prototype will require a little more time and research. The basic idea was to make a network of solar modules that collect energy onto giant capacitors or batteries or some other form of energy storage. The energy would remain stored until the train physically touched the module and began to drain the energy. The result will be a train that gets propelled by an impulse system. This is a rendering of a section of the rail:


An other idea I had was a little rover similar to the Mars Rovers that NASA used to explore Mars. The rovers I wanted to create would communicate with a wireless WIFI connection and be controlled remotely via a browser interface or mobile interface. The drawback from this idea is that there is a similar bot in existence called the rovio so this deterred me from going on this direction. These are the initial sketches:


The next idea I have in mind is to expand on the concept of a painting machine. Last year I made Jackoon the painting Robot. Since that project worked so well, I will be adding to it and making painting bots that are more flexible and can work together to make a painting. This is a quick sketch of the bot:


This is a rendering of what I think the bot will look like:


I will be writing more about the ArtBots soon, once I can wrap my head around what I really want out of these artists.

Post-Show Relaxation.

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

After a very hard semester, it is time to relax and recover for next semester! The Pianocktail got some good press, A Little Awkward got some coverage as well, there is some freelance work I have to do and I have to start thinking about Thesis.
But all in due time.

This is what I will be doing for most of the Winter days!

First Trip of the season to Mount Snow! from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

Jackoon the Painting Machine

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I decided to name my painting machine Jackoon which is a combination of the names Jackson from Jackson Pollock and Kooning for Willem de Kooning. I feel the name is appropate since they the made work similar to the work my machine is creating. The abstract, gestural, expressionism-like paintings are a result of the simple algorithm that makes Jaskoon paint.

I set up Jackoon in an installation at ITP; for the class Living Art. The installation consists of a firewire digital camera, the Jackoon circuit, a painting ring, a fixed MacBook Pro and Mr. Jackoon himself. I served as the assistant to Mr. Jackoon as he painted a magnificent piece called “The Creator” 2008.

This is a picture of the set up.

Jackoon the Painting Machine

Video Tracking System:


This is the artist and his work:


This is what Jackoon sees:


This is the resulting art by Jackoon:

painting by painting machine, Jackoon
“The Creator” 2008
Acrylic on Paper, 40″ x 70″

This is a video of what Jackoon sees:

This is a video of Jackoon painting:

Painting Machine; Gestural Compositions

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The painting machine is working! Although its a little sensitive right now and am working on the algorithm that will make it paint better (or more realistic I should say.) So far I am getting images like this:

Sky Gazer

Monday, April 28th, 2008


Sky Gazer is an installation whose purpose is to bring awareness to the surveillance trend around the world and an increase of a self-surveillance culture often called Sousveillance.

The installation consists of a sculptural character (“SkyGazer”) that is forever gazing at the sky (or ceiling if it’s indoors.) This is taking the meaning of Sousveillance literary which is watching from below or “inverse surveillance.”

Changing the perspective from which people are used to seeing themselves is a key goal of this project. Making the installation public gives people around the installation a good topic to start a conversation about surveillance.

The Public Installation of SkyGazer was a study to see what the public reaction was to sousveillance or the surveillance of public space for personal reasons. SkyGazer was placed underneath a surveillance camera in Washington Square Park, New York City. The placement of the installation was influenced by The Surveillance Camera Players. who view video surveillance as an opportunity perform a scripted play to entertain those who view the surveillance footage. In my case I viewed the surveillance camera as a medium to show, the people behind the camera, my beautiful sculpture.

skygazer surveillance


The footage collected by SkyGazer was not the greatest quality. The image is blurred by the plastic semi-sphere that was used for the eye. This effect captured an interesting esthetic which I plan to build upon, since it captures this gritty voyeuristic-like footage which I found very artistically inspiring.


I found the image of a girl looking into the camera very interesting. Her posture/ body language was one of curiosity and intrigue. I decided to use this image to make a couple of compositions by rendering the image with simple shapes replacing the pixels. This is the original image with lots of contrast added:


These are the compositions is inspired.

Trashy Slut:

Angry Girl:

Soft Porn:

New Star:

Sky Gazer update

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Sky Gazer will be a clay doll that will look up at you from the ground.
It will have a camera attached to its eye which will sent the video feed to a projector pointing to the ceiling.

I made sure that the body of the doll was hollow so that I can fit the video camera and the wiring.
This is what the doll looks like fully exposed:


This is what sky watcher will look like with out any clothes looking up at you:



More updates coming up.

HelioHopper- Solar Helicopter

Thursday, April 17th, 2008


Meet the HelioHopper, a concept that came out of a collaborative group at ITP. The HelioHopper is a little flying machine that uses the sun to power its engines.

For this experiment, we used a Micro Mosquito Helicopter from Radioshack to prove if the concept will work or not. This prototype will prove that solar power flight in the form of a helicopter is possible. The first step was to deconstruct the toy and hack into its control system and power system to use solar cells as battery chargers. The original circuit was left untouched for now. At a later point, we may scrap the remote control system to make the aircraft lighter.

For the powering of the 3.7V battery, we are using four 4.5V, 22mA flexible solar cells. Our observations show that the once hooked up to the circuit. The four cells in parallel can deliver around 5V at 30mA-40mA depending on the sun. Our calculations show that if the battery is charged for 10 min. the resulting power collected will make the motors run for 14 seconds at full throttle. These where good results for our HeliosHopper. We will be working on the solar cell placement and landing gear in the next few days.



Painting Machine, Update

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

The code is working. There will be two cameras; one pointing at the subject to be painted and the other will be tracking the movement of the mobile arm. The image below illustrates what the computer will be seeing. The white dot on my eyebrow is not a mistake. That is the illustration of the tracking software that will be analyzing the location of the moving arm and determine weather the arm should paint or not. If the computer sees that the location of the arm is over an area that should be painted black, it will send an impulse to the robotic arm allowing it to begin the painting.


I also worked on the mechanics of the arm that will be responsible for drawing. I am using two servo motors that allow for accurate movement. The mobil unit has a container for the paint and a paintbrush. The messy tape job is due to my quick prototyping theory. As it can be seen, the mechanics are working properly and the car is running around as planned. check out the two videos below.

Mobil unit roaming around:

Arm test: