Out of the box/kit the artBot has just four values to control.The distance a wheel would travel in a period (forward and then back) and revealed an incredible vast array of potential drawings.
We control these values via a single rotary encoder – the term for a continuous digital dial.
You move between values by pressing the rotary encoder in. The other buttons on the robot control allow you to change the increment value, start and stop the artBot drawing, and to elect a number of interesting preset values we have discovered as we play with the robot.
Spend some time exploring the possibilities. It is a very good idea to write down the values for each (interesting) design you create. This allows you to explore a particular ‘space’ or ‘style’ of drawing by altering the values in steps.
As you alter the values of speed and distance/period try to work out how you might create different styles of drawing – are there rules and relationships emerging as a function of playful experimentation.
Note that this process of iteration an exploration directs us to a different mode of creativity to the one we’d usually assume – here the act of creation is in a stumbling partnership with the robot – a process of mutual discovery.
Use the paper provided to make as many drawing as possible in the next 20 minutes.