This modded typewriter will print you an ASCII art selfie

But first, let me type a selfie.

Well, what do you know? Another week, another impressive project from Moscow-based technological artist Dmitry Morozov — otherwise known as ::vtol::. Just the other day, the Maker devised an innovative way to capture 8-bit instant photos using a camera masquerading as a gun. Now, he has managed to mod a Brother SX-4000 typewriter to produce even lower res pics, this time in the form of ASCII art images. (For those unfamiliar with ASCII art, its widespread usage can be traced to the computer bulletin board systems of the late 1970s and early 1980s.)


The typewriter, which is controlled by an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560), works by capturing an image from a camera, converting it into ASCII art using Pure Data and MAX/MSP, and slowly printing it onto a piece of paper — one character at a time.


The project, dubbed I/O, was recently on display at the 101 Festival where a number of onlookers had the chance to stand before a lamp and camera, then wait as their portrait was typed out. You can see it in action below!

1 thought on “This modded typewriter will print you an ASCII art selfie

  1. Pingback: This Arduino-powered baton will tell on you if you hit someone | Atmel | Bits & Pieces

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