Researcher Patrick Tresset of the University of London recently created Paul, a robotic illustrator designed to imitate Tresset's own artistic abilities. Tresset installed this robot for his "New Work" gallery installation, which is currently running in London.
Here's a synopsis of the project:
Gallery visitors will be able to have their face sketched by Tresset's robots. For Tresset, his cybernetic face-sketcher does not pretend to be human. It is only an obsessive drawing entity. It has "eyes" linked to an artificial mind which imperfectly simulates a small part of Tresset's abilities. Its singular drawing arm has limited freedom of gestures which makes it only able to apply simple tracing and erasing actions. Yet, it is capable of displaying attention and purpose when focusing on a sitter or their image and drawing their face in a style akin to Tresset's own panoply. The impact of intention is even more striking if the action slightly fails, such as when the arm is attempting to draw a straight line but not managing to perfectly do so.