Failure, Recalibration & Iteration – IRLP

This post is being written on behalf of Caleb Wagner, Ben Liang, and Jarod Romankiw.

The interactive robotic light painting (IRLP) has been focusing on adding more functionalities to the robot and testing out some basic light painting with the setup. This post focuses on the three main areas of our project, and how they’ve developed over the past week.


This week we have rewired the robot and added a LED light for testing the light painting setup. We have also added a Bluetooth module on the robot so we can control the robot through the app. This electrical modification made the robot look much messier. However, since in the following week we will be adding a casing for the robot, the electrical connections will be covered up and ideally should not affect the appearance of the final product.

Human Interaction

With the installment of the Bluetooth module, we further developed the app and can now control the robot using a phone in real time. In this iteration we started implementing three control methods: directional buttons, path drawing, and joystick. We first started with the directional buttons. After some initial testing, we found out that it was not easy to draw a specific path using the buttons because the buttons did not provide speed control. We then attempted to implement a joystick control for better control over the robot. This was proven to be more challenging than it seemed and thus it is still a work in progress. Regarding the path drawing method, user can draw lines in the app, but the corresponding control algorithm has not been implemented yet for the robot because we still need to install an IMU module.

Long Exposure Photography

In order to solve the video focus issue that we experienced last week, we used Jarod’s camera instead of a webcam to set the focus manually and fed the video into the light painting software. We then ran the robot and obtained some light paintings. This week we were able to obtain much clearer light paintings than last week.

The latest timeline for the rest of the term is as follows:

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