THE ROBOTIC PAINTER WHO FOLLOWS YOUR LOOK

A group of researchers led by Dr. Aldo Faisal is professor of artificial intelligence and neuroscience in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. Aldo is the founding director of £ 20Mio. UKRI Center for Doctoral Training in AI for the healthcare sector. Aldo is the elected spokesperson for the interprofessional network on artificial intelligence that represents more than 200 academics working in the field of artificial intelligence at Imperial. He leads the Brain and Behavior Laboratory that focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience received a number of awards and distinctions, including being an academic from the National Merit Foundation of Germany (Studienstiftung des Deutsche Volkes; undergraduate PhD), member of the Böhringer-Ingelheim Foundation for Basic Biomedical Research, elected as a junior researcher at the University of Cambridge (Wolfson College), and research awards such as the Toyota Mobility Foundation award in 2018.

This group developed a project where a robotic arm of universal robots makes a painting by tracking a person’s gaze.

The system was developed for engineers to find an intuitive way to control the limbs of a robot, showing for example how we can perform two activities at the same time.

The investigations resulted in computer software called Gaze Space technology, a system that tracks a person’s eye movements and turns them into robotic commands.

Sabine Dziemian, a graduate student, tried the system. She called the robot controls “intuitive” and was able to draw lines by looking first at the start point and then at the end point. To change the color, you need to blink three times and you will see the brush tip in three different options, of which you can simply check the color you want and then dip the tip into the paint. Three blinks return the brush to the canvas.

Gaze commands can also be sent over the Internet to remotely control the arm so that immobile patients can perform tasks from bed. Even Faisal plans with this system to replace the current brush handle with a robotic arm that allows him to manipulate objects, thus adapting the system to people with paralysis or amputations. It could also help operators by using the system to control machines in dangerous places without being present on the scene.

This could be another great advance for creative processes where the protagonists are robots, in addition to being a quite acceptable assistant for daily tasks.