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Robot Reproduces Detailed Traditional Japanese Calligraphy

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A group of researchers from Keio University have developed a robot that can recreate detailed brushstrokes like that of traditional Japanese calligraphy by humans.

The calligraphy-replicating robot is a ‘Motion Copy System’ that identifies, stores and mimics strokes and movements—right down to the amount of force needed—to be applied to the brush, and reproduces copies seamlessly.

Traditional calligraphy skills depended on being passed through experience from elderly—but with the system, techniques can be learnt and passed down if masters of the skill no longer exist, so that the art form can continue into the future.

“There’s a motor attached to the brush, so while the person’s moving, the motion and force are recorded as digital data using the motor,” Professor Seiichiro Katsura, project leader, said in a statement.

“Given that a lot of traditional crafts and techniques in Japan are generational and need to be passed down to new artisans, this kind of robot may be one way to store ancient arts so that they can be re-learnt again in the event that younger disciples are not found to replace aging masters.”

“However, with something like calligraphy it is not only about method. There are also more ambiguous emotions behind the strokes and the feeling in the way the brush is handled,” he added. “A machine or robot may be able to record the direction and pressure on the brush, but not the mood of the calligrapher or what was happening in their mind at the time of the creation process.”


[via DigInfo TV]
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