Advait Kolarkar's reproduced artwork

The Art of Robotics—and the Robotics of Art

May 24, 2022
ABB technology turns a car’s surface into an abstract canvas.

There are many theories on what drives the creation of art, but the latest driver is art that can actually be driven when completed.

Combining the artistic talents of 8-year-old Indian artist Advait Kolarkar and Dubai art collective Illusorr with the precision of ABB’s PixelPaint robotics technology delivered reproductions of the artists’ works on the roof of a sedan.

ABB touts the precision and sustainability of the paint process in the press release announcing the merger of robotics and art. “It’s a shining example of how robotic automation and our RobotStudio software can not only pave the way for more sustainable manufacturing but can also perfectly replicate delicate pieces of art that celebrate the originality and beauty of the human spirit,” said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business area in a press release. “At a time when consumers want more customized products, PixelPaint is a game changer and allows any design to be replicated in a manner that is both sustainable and affordable.”

British automobile designer Ian Callum said the opportunity to turn cars into mobile art has appeal to consumers who view their vehicles as personal extensions of their own ethic. “There’s something very special about a car,” Callum said in the ABB press release. “People get emotionally attached to them and the importance of personalization is becoming stronger and stronger. In fact, I’m working with customers who actually want the whole car designed in a bespoke way. So this paint offering—with all sorts of new levels of individual design for a motor car—is incredible.”

The technology involved in the paint process brings the artists palette to the robot’s arm. The IRB 5500 paint robot from ABB completed the abstract paintings in less than 30 minutes, using the 1,000 nozzles in the printer head. This allows the painting to continue without color changes. A look at the painting process can be seen below. 

The exceptional nature of the painting reproduction matches the skill sets of the artists themselves. Advait Kolarkar’s work has been praised for its colorful and abstract shapes. The 8-year-old’s works were recently on display at London’s  Gagliardi Gallery. Illusorr is a collection of artists that mixes architecture and design, described in the press release as “a mixture of nature and science fiction.”

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