It’s easy to see the fascination; there’s something poetic about the idea of imbuing a machine with the soul of an artist. But while many of these projects involve some sort of effort to approximate human creativity in mechanical form, with e-David, the goal is a bit different. Its creators are simply trying to build a machine that can paint perfect copies of other paintings–a flawless mechanical forger. In other words, instead of giving their robot an artist’s soul, they’re trying to lend it a painter’s eye.
E-David is a welding robot, one of those hulking, surprisingly nimble mechanical arms used for assembling cars and other big machines. In its studio at the University of Konztanz in Germany, using a number of different brushes and a palette of 24 colors, it tries its best to copy whatever painting it’s given. It doesn’t matter if it’s a portrait, landscape, or totally abstract. Put it in front of e-David, and it’ll try to duplicate it.
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