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TECH: World's number one drone that paints

Drones have proven their capabilities across a versatile range of tasks, from flying and scaling walls, to swimming – and now, they can even paint murals. Researchers have programmed a palm-sized quadcopter to create ink portraits using the ‘stippling’ technique, which requires the precise application of thousands of small dots.As the work continues, the researchers say drones could one day be used for much larger applications, helping artists to paint murals in hard-to-reach outdoor areas and on irregular surfaces.

According to the team from McGill University, small drones have so far been used to create a number of dotwork portraits of numerous figures, from Grace Kelly to Che Guevara.

To do this, they equipped a small quadcopter with a miniature arm, and developed complex algorithms to plot its flight plan.

Then, the drone is fitted with a small ink-soaked sponge at the end of its arm.

For each portrait, the drone uses just a minimal amount of ink, and must approach the wall and hit it multiple times to apply each dot.

‘It takes a couple of seconds per stipple because the robot is being controlled automatically,’ explains Paul Kry, associate Professor at McGill University School of Computer Science.
source: BMP

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