Drawing Portraits With Drones

Drone Art

McGill University is experimenting with drones to create portraits. This idea originated in Paul Kry’s laboratory at McGill University’s School of Computer Science. Prof. Kry and a few of his students have teamed up to program tiny drones to create dot drawings – an artistic technique known as stippling. The method involves using a small sponge dipped in ink that the drone hits the canvas with. The method involves several short “pit stops” to change out the drone batteries, but other than that technical limitation of flight time, the results have been quite good. The drones fly completely autonomously and are programed to complete each portrait with very little human interaction.

“Eventually, larger drones could be deployed to paint murals on hard-to-reach outdoor surfaces, including curved or irregular surfaces”, Kry says. “There’s this wonderful mural festival in Montreal, and we have giant surfaces in the city that end up getting amazing artwork on them,” he notes. “If we had a particularly calm day, it would be wonderful to try to do something on a larger scale like that.”

To learn more and see a video about the dot painting drones, check out this link.



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