In the run-up for a recent event we were planning for our friends at Salesforce, it was decided that we should infuse the party with a bit of creative technology to produce a fun gift for all the attendees. After brainstorming many permutations involving our signature materials (LEDs, sensors, servo-mechanics, and of course design), we hit upon the resounding winner.
The concept? Create a robot that could draw a stylized portrait for each of our honored guests.
But what should the mechanical artist draw upon? Why a coaster of course (this was going to be a cocktail party after all).
Development of the project was split into two phases that ran in parallel. Designer Judy Leung began look development of the coaster layout, as well as the digital processing/conversion necessary - so a photo would fit the robot's discerning eye. While Phil Spitler, Bonfire’s Creative Technologist, developed methods to modify existing robot technology - so it would be capable of wielding its "sharpie" with flair. The efforts of both united into what we called CoasterBot 1.0
After many rounds of "pen testing", loads of measuring, and several gigabytes of digital photo taking, a party was had, and a robot drew.
The combination was a huge success, ending with our friends at Salesforce delighted to have their own unique "machine-made" coasters.