• Paint by drone

    (c) Paint by drone
    (c) Paint by drone
    (c) Paint by drone
  • Have you always thought that graffiti wasn’t for you because you’d never be able to scale high buildings to paint the huge murals of your dreams? Well now your time has come. Give free rein to your artistic inspiration on even the highest of façades with a drone system designed by Italy-based Carlo Ratti Associati design office. 

    “Paint by drone” is a new portable technology system that employs drone formations to create murals on building façades. It consists of a set of one-meter wide UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) equipped with sensors and spray paint tanks with CMYK colours. An app allows you to submit content for the drones to paint on the wall of your choice. 

    The entire system can be set up in just a few hours and paints on any surface. A central management system controls the drones and regulates all actions from painting to flight. It can precisely track the drones’ position and control operations in real time. 

    According to the inventors, Paint by Drone is a convenient tool for collaborative urban art projects, as the artistic input can come from either crowdsourced platforms or from a curator who orchestrates the contributions of several people. “This project encapsulates our vision of the city as an emergent system,” Antonio Atripaldi, project leader at Carlo Ratti Associati, says. “The contributions of different people generate a result in which the final drawing is more than the sum of its parts”. 

    The first two installations are scheduled for fall 2017 in Berlin, Germany and Turin, Italy. These are large-scale collaborative projects. The plan is to either have an artist do an initial drawing on a canvas that can be colored in by users via a mobile app, with each person picking their favorite ‘spot’ of the canvas for the drones to paint, or enable people to draw their own designs using the app, visualising what the building under the scaffolding will look like when finished. “With Paint by Drone, any façade can become a space to showcase new forms of open-source, collaborative art,” founder of Carlo Ratti Associati studio and Director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Carlo Ratti says.

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