Archive for the ‘Drawing Machines’ Category

Postanalog or Post-Analog

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

So I have decided to start classifying a lot of the new art I see as Postanalog (Post-analog). It is the only way I can describe or categorize things like Art Robotica or projects such as Mortal Engine

Postanalog is similar to the term Postdigital but with a dramatic difference. Postanalog is art that embraces digital technology. This is that art that sees humanity and digital technology as symbiotic. It is when you see a natural element and an algorithmic digital element combine and for a new beautiful form.

Postanalog will revolutionize the world as we see it.

Jackoon in the New York Times Website.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

its not a big article but its the New York Times. I’m the fourth slide on the slide show next to the MIDI Tesla Coil, The electric motorcycle, One of the original Bits by IBM, MakerBot, 3D etch-a-sketch, and the automated pancake machine among a few. =)


Jackoon Paints at Gizmodo Gallery 2009

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Jackoon and Jackoon v.2

Don’t worry you are not seeing double, Jackoon the painting robot has a new friend! Jackoon v.2 is an other hacked toy with a robotic arm made from Jackoon’s blue print. Jackoon v.2 made its debut at The Gizmodo Gallery exhibit and a fine job he did.

Art bots

The two artbots teamed up to make the paintings of a few subjects including one of the king of all robots R2D2!

R2D2 by Jackoon and Jackoon v2

The robots used this image as a reference and painted the composition with gray, orange, yellow and black.

2/3 of the way into the painting, I made an outline of where R2D2 was located on the painting. You can see the subtle contour of r2′s body on the robotic painting. I was really happy with the resulting painting.

r2d2 by Jackkon pair

Also at the gallery where my favorite, the Tesla Coil!

Gizmodo, Starwars-Imperial March by Arcattack from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

Jackoon at Gizmodo Gallery Exhibit

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Jackoon-Art Robotica

Jackoon will be showing his painting skills at The Gizmodo Gallery Exhibit starting Tuesday (for Press) and Wednesday for the general public.

Gizmodo wrote an article about Art Robotica featuring Jackoon the painting robot. Jackoon is one of the first or many prototypes I made which managed to paint robot art by using a live video stram as reference or just a simple picture.

Gallery Hours and Special Events Open to the Public:

Wednesday, September 23 through Friday, September 25
12noon – 8pm
- Main Gallery
- Opening Day features Laser Etching (I think its around $20)

Friday, September 25
- Public Party, with prizes

Saturday, September 26
11am – 8pm
- Main Gallery

Saturday, September 26
9pm – Live DJ set by Music Director Jason Bentley, KCRW, 100% independently funded radio station

Sunday, September 27
11am – 6pm
- Main Gallery

Groupe Gallery
267 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012

More Art Robotica

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

These are some of the Paintings that I made with Jackoon at the ITP Spring 2009 show:

Reference image, wasp on a flower:


Collaborative Painting:

Reference image, rodent a skull of a species in the order Carnivora:

Jackoon Painting:

As you can see on the painting of the Skull, Jackoon managed o paint the general area where the skull should be. The brush strokes where not as precise as should be, because the lighting conditions where not optimal at the ITP show so the tracking system was a little off.

Someone at the ITP show told me something really inspiring; “This is the worst work that [Jackoon] and the other artbots will paint. They will only get better.” I agree, even now the paintings are amazing.

Link to pieces that where hanging at the show while Jackoon was making the art above.

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:

Artbots The Testing Begins

Monday, April 6th, 2009

The ArtBots begins to take shape. I started the project by tackling the bot that will be the most complex, the hexapod.

I made a the basic form of the bot using some wood screws and tape to begin testing the movement, software and circuit.

Servo Motor Test from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

I was originally going to attempt to use an Arduino Micro controller to do all the controlling of the servos (video above.) But I slowly realized that to control the timing of all the servos at different time intervals will be a big pain in the butt since the “delay()” function messes with the Arduino code enough to get really buggy.

To hopefully save a headache I bought some servo controllers made by Pololu And so far with the help from Xiaoyang (Alex) Feng and the info posted online about the controller, I got the results I was looking for.

The Pololu Code I used to make the servos move can be found on the Pololu forums The one things that they did not include which is a little confusing, is how to set up the servo controllers if you plan to daisy chain them to control more than 8 servo motors.

To start you should set up your Arduino (above) and a breadboard with the Pololu servo controller (below.)

A couple of things to note:
1. Two different power sources are needed for the servo controllers. One for the controller’s micro controller and the other to power the servo motors. Both power sources should have a common ground.
2. When you set the controller’s number setting, you need to do one at a time.

This is the code I used to program my second controller to know its servos are numbered 8-15 and not 0-7 as they are programmed by default.

The parameter that sets the servo numbers is the fourth “soft.Serial” line of code “softSerial.print(0×01,BYTE);” This variable can be either 0×00 (hexadecimal) to set the controller to use number 0-7 for the servos, 0×01 to set the controller to use number 8-15 for the servos, 0×02 for numbers 16-23, etc…

Once you upload this code you must wait for the servo controller to get reprogrammed. You will know the servo controller’s settings where changed by the blinky lights on the controller.

Pololu Servo Controller Settings from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

Once the code has been uploaded and the settings where changes, you MUST delete or comment out, the three lines that set up the servo numbers since you only need to do that step once.

the lines you need to delete or comment out are the following:

Once you comment out the code above, re-load the code onto the Arduino.
When the code is finished uploading nothing will happen, because you need to re-start the Pololu servo controller for the settings to kick in. You can simply unplug the Arduino and the plug it back in to refresh everything. The servos should now move a few degrees back and fourth. Don’t forget to power the servos separately and to have a common ground.

Servo Controller Test from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

I daisy chained three servo controllers together so that I can control 20 servo motors. This is my first test, one serve per servo controller. So far so good.

Testing Servo Controller with Three Servos from Oscar G. Torres on Vimeo.

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.

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: