Is This the Start of the Drone Art Industry?

The great thing about art is its subjectivity. One man’s trash is another’s masterpiece. With that spirit in mind, it’s no surprise that paintings by elephants are on the market, or that certain modern pieces sell for thousands of dollars. So what’s this got to do with drones? Well, scientists at McGill University are developing a quad that could conceivably produce art of a professional standard.

McGill drone art

At the moment, the team of scientists has programmed the drone to fly in front of a canvas and create an image via a series of dots. This technique, known as stippling, or Pointilism, means it can, when working in conjunction with a computer, produce a painting with a strong resemblance to an original.

The drone works with the computer, which transmits instructions on exactly where it needs to be. As it flies it uses sensors to capture its motion and surroundings so that the computer knows its position. When it is in a location where a dot should be, the drone flies forward and daubs a spot of ink on the canvas.

drone art mcGill

The drone’s version of an image of Grace Kelly – Quartz

Each position corresponds to a dot on the page, so it’s able to correct its own mistakes if and when it makes them. As you can see from the video on the Quartz website, this drone is incredibly precise. So far it has produced paintings of Grace Kelly, the Joker from the Batman series, and professor Alan Turing. Who knows what’ll be next.

So there you have it. Is this the potential beginnings of the drone art industry? Would you buy a piece of art created by a quadcopter? It’s certainly got plenty of novelty value, and looks a lot better than plenty of the modern art going around. With art being so subjective, there’s bound to be a market of drone enthusiasts out there ready to part with their cash for the latest pieces.

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