New robot created by Georgia Tech student can create realistic graffiti

ATLANTA, Ga. — Gerry Chen works in a laboratory. His latest creation is quite remarkable. “I am very proud of it. Absolutely! The first time I saw it actually painting, I had tears in my eyes. It was so exciting,” Gerry said.

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GTGrafitti is a robot that’s also an artist. “Building it was not too hard. Getting the software to properly control it was very challenging,” Gerry said.

A 2 year challenge. Gerry is a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech, loves robots, and loves Atlanta’s graffiti artwork. “These murals—I wonder oftentimes when I see them—how did someone possibly do this using spray paint?”


Gerry and his team invited two local artists into the lab to paint, and used what’s known as motion capture technology to record them in action. He then programmed the robot to mimic the motions. Only an expert can tell them apart.

Gerry says this tech can preserve beloved works of art by repainting them on 10 different buildings. Or 100 different buildings. He says one day robots could be programmed to clean your house or even make your meals.

“Maybe one day, you might say the robot will replace the human entirely. Who knows. But at the moment, what I’m most excited about is what can the robot and human do together that neither could have done alone,” Gerry said.

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