Robots might not be able to convey emotions or tell stories through photographs, but one thing they’re theoretically better than humans at is calculating proportions in a scene, and that’s exactly what one robot at India’s IIT Hydrabad has been taught to do. Computer scientist Raghudeep Gadde programmed a humanoid robot with a head-mounted camera to perfectly obey the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. New Scientist writes,
The robot is also programmed to assess the quality of its photos by rating focus, lighting and colour. The researchers taught it what makes a great photo by analysing the top and bottom 10 per cent of 60,000 images from a website hosting a photography contest, as rated by humans.
Armed with this knowledge, the robot can take photos when told to, then determine their quality. If the image scores below a certain quality threshold, the robot automatically makes another attempt. It improves on the first shot by working out the photo’s deviation from the guidelines and making the appropriate correction to its camera’s orientation.
It’s definitely a step up from Lewis, a wedding photography robot built in the early 2000s that was taught to recognize faces.
This light painting photograph was created by a group of students over in Germany using a swarm of seven Roomba automated vacuum cleaners. Each one had a different colored LED light attached to the top, making the resulting photo look like some kind of robotic Jackson Pollock painting. There’s actually an entire Flickr group dedicated to using Roombas for light painting — check it out of you have one of these robot minions serving you in your home. Read more…
Apparently this is what Pentax considers “legendary collaboration”: a Korejanai robot edition (Korejanairobomoderu) of the K-r DSLR. It doesn’t boast any spec upgrades from the stock version, but instead sports a wacky primary color paint job and a robot head attached to the hotshoe. You’ll also get a matching special edition 35mm ƒ/2.4 prime lens to complete the horrifying awesome look. If only these were working DSLR cameras that also transformed into robot action figures.
Only 100 will be sold at a price of ¥99,800 (~$1,190), and pre-orders start at midnight on December 24, 2010.
The Paparazzi Bots are a series of robots invented by Ken Rinaldo, a faculty member in the Department of Art at Ohio State University. Each bot is autonomous, and moves about on a wheeled platform, using infrared sensors to move towards humans. It’s goal is to take single photographs of people, and it makes decisions on whether or not to capture the photograph based on facial expressions of the subject. If you happen to be smiling, the bot is more likely to photograph you.
Here’s a short video demonstration of the bot in action:
Rinaldo was invited to deploy three of these bots at the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and two of the bots were also used at an art and digital culture festival in Berlin.