As you’ll have already gathered from reading our earlier postings, Thymio II is quite a versatile mobile robot. You can of course use it to teach people about programming, but that’s not all! This mobile robot, created by the famous Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, can also serve as a digital paintbrush.
For example, you can use the Thymio II robot to create digital paintings of your favourite video game hero, such as Nintendo’s Super Mario or a Space Invader as you’ll see in the video below. If, like us, you decide to have a go at reproducing these digital works of art, you’ll be surprised by the ingenuity of the concept.
This quite unique art form is based on the use of barcodes. Thymio robots possess light sensors, one of which is used in this case to follow a grey colour in the middle of a line grading from black to white. The technique is not the same as that used for traditional line following in that it allows the Thymio II mobile robot to make more subtle corrections to its trajectory.
How are the colours displayed? This is where the other light sensor comes in, as it enables the Thymio II mobile robot to read a barcode running parallel to the line. The barcode contains three bits consisting of a combination of black and white, corresponding to one of the eight predetermined colours.
Once the line has been created, making the colours appear on Thymio robots is quite simple: they simply have to follow the lines and interpret the barcodes to progressively display the corresponding colours. All that remains is for you to carry out this action in a dark room, photographing with an exposure of several minutes.
The mastermind behind the Thymio II robot programming, Aseba, has posted on its website some examples of the kind of light paintings that are possible, like the cat shown below, along with instructions explaining which programming codes to use aseba.wikidot.com/fr:barcodelightpainting
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