26 SERVO 04.2014
COLOR MY WORLD
Long-exposure light painting
with robots is relatively easy to do
with a minimal amount of hardware
and programming knowledge.
Thymio II shows us just how easy.
Thymio robots are equipped
with an array of programmable
LEDs, and it's very easy to get them
to do simple behaviors like driving
around in trajectories that combine
lines and curves.
Aseba is a set of tools used in conjunction with Thymio
which allow novices to program robots easily and efficiently.
For these reasons, Aseba is well-suited for robotic education
and research. Aseba is open source (GNU Lesser General
Public License), and you can freely download it and play with
it from https://aseba.wikidot
Stéphane Magnenat started
developing Aseba as part of his PhD
work in the Mobots research group
You can buy a Thymio II robot
for about US$100 from the Aseba
Thymio user Mariane Brodier
created all of the images shown
here by pre-programming motions,
cycling the LEDs through color changes, and then letting the
robot go nuts in a dark room while pointing a camera at it
with the shutter open for a minute or two. Here's some of
what she came up with, along with her descriptions:
For this sequence, I was inspired
by the Tangram, a Chinese puzzle
that comes from splitting a square
into seven basic parts: five triangles,
a square, and a parallelogram with
the robot being able to make only
lines or curves, I could program the
outline of several puzzles.
This sequence looks much like the first,
except that instead of using all colors, only two
colors are alternated making dotted lines. This
sequence is the last I made, therefore the
trajectories are much more complex that in
the first sequence.
For this sequence, I based my
work on "crop circles" that are
often attributed to aliens.
This image has been programmed
only with colors, therefore without
movements. In order to make this picture,
the robot oscillated at the end of a wire
that unrolls itself.