Arduino Mega drives this Roboartist

A trio of Makers – Niazangels, Maxarjun and Ashwin – have designed a particularly impressive Arduino-based vector drawing robot.

According to HackADay’s Mike Szcys, the most notable feature of the build is the robot’s ability to process what it “sees” via a standard webcam and subsequently sketch an accurate image with a pen and paper.

“The arm itself has four stages and remarkably little slop. The remaining slight wiggle is just enough to make the images seem as if they were not printed to perfection and we like that effect,” he explained.

“The hardware uses an [Atmel-based] Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) to take input via USB or Bluetooth and drives the quartet of servo motors accordingly.”

The Roboartist runs a modded version of the Canny Edge Detector to precisely determine where to place the pen strokes. Currently, MATLAB is included in the software, although Szcys confirms the trio of Makers plan to move towards alternative open source tools in the future.

“In addition to the LEDs you can see around the perimeter of the acrylic drawing surface, there are also rows of RGB strips below,” he said.

“The software runs a filter for the under lighting in order to compliment the lines on the paper. This is why there is a violet hue that fades out toward one side of the drawing.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official HackADay page here.

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