Painting robot follows your eyes to create art

It’s no Picasso, but it’s a start. A robotic arm that can be controlled with your eyes has just painted its first picture: a simple image of a house, grass and the sun.

Developed by Aldo Faisal of Imperial College London and his team, the system takes a different approach to that used for other robot artists, which are simply programmed to draw. Instead of operating on its own, their bot extends the human body by providing it with a third, artificial arm. “It’s the first step to human augmentation with additional limbs,” says Faisal.

The arm uses an off-the-shelf eye-tracker to follow a person’s gaze, sending instructions to an industrial robot arm depending on how and where the painter looks. Faisal focused on gaze gestures that could control the robot seamlessly, in the same way as picking up objects without thinking about how to move your limbs. The commands are able to move the arm instantly using, for example, fixed gazes and sequences of prolonged blinks.

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