Saturday, July 2, 2011

Photography: Roomba Art

This light painting photograph was created by a group of students over at the IBR Algorithm Group and Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany using a swarm of seven Roomba automated vacuum cleaners. Each one had a different colored LED light attached to the top, making the resulting photo look like some kind of robotic Jackson Pollock painting.  The IBRoomba photostream documents the entire process.

I thought that the results were unique, but there’s actually an entire Flickr group dedicated to using Roombas for light painting. You can see some of the best of those photos in the gallery below.

Seven roombas in the dark

16-35mm 2.8L + Camera Crane + 5D Mark II + Long Shutter + Roomba + Random LED Lights

45 minute exposure of my Roomba cleaning a room. This was my 4th attempt, I repeatedly had the f-stop too low and the resulting noise was too great. The silly bit is that since my floor was very clean after the previous 3 attempts I had to sprinkle dirt in spots to get the blue circles that come from the Roomba spot cleaning.

Long exposure of the Roomba (vacuum cleaner) doing its thing. The orange light kicks on when the battery starts to die. I left this one open for about 13 minutes. That's why you can see more of the room. The purple spot is the infrared barrier.

Long exposure of the Roomba (vacuum cleaner) doing its thing... count the triangles and quadrilaterals!

Made by a roomba. Camera was mounted to the ceiling using an tripod + duct tape. Each photo was a 30" exposure at ISO 800, with an 18mm lens at f/4.5. It was about 40 minutes worth, and then I stacked the images in Photoshop.The spiral in the middle is where the roomba started. As the battery lost power, it fades to red.

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