Robot Art: Creating with Computers

Feb 6, 2018 / By Katherine Rea

Robot Art That Creates Itself

Can a robot be an artist? What about a wind-up toy, or a vacuum cleaner? When you think about art, you might not think about computers, robots and machines. But many artists use technology in all sorts of crazy ways to create amazing works of robot art!

Anything from a computer program to a hand mixer can create art. Of course, a human artist still needs to be involved somewhere in the process. A vacuum or a wind-up toy isn’t going to wake up one morning and decide to make a painting!

But once the wind-up toy is moving, the artist no longer has control over the patterns it creates. That same is true of many computer programs made to create digital art. The wind-up toy and the program both operate on their own. This kind of art is called generative art.

Artist Echo Yang created paintings with simple mechanical devices, including a wind-up toy, an alarm clock, a vacuum cleaner, and a hand mixer, for an exhibit title Autonomous Machines.

Autonomous Machines – TinToy (Chicken) from echo yang on Vimeo.

You can do the same thing yourself, with a wind-up toy, some paint, and a little bit of tinkering.


Math + Randomness = Surprising Art

In computer-generated algorithmic art, the design of the piece is created by following a set of rules. An algorithm is just a set of rules. With just a die, a pencil or pen, and graph paper, you can make your own random art. This proves that rules + randomness = something totally unique!


You can learn more about computer-generated art, as well as concepts like centripetal force, momentum, and resistors with our Spin Art Machine crate. This crate is a super fan favorite, so it’s only available with a Tinker Crate subscription of 3 months or more

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