Painting Easter Eggs With Tech
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 27 March 2016

Decorating eggs is part of the Easter tradition. Monday sees egg rolling on the lawn of the White House. If you want a perfectly decorated egg for the occasion get an EggBot to do it for you.

eggbot1

Despite the fact that the EggBot was originally invented by motion control artist Bruce Shapiro in 1990, you may not have come across the device before. It is described on its web site as:

 a compact, easy to use art robot that can draw on small spherical and egg-shaped objects. ... . Not just eggs but ping pong balls, golf balls, light bulbs, and even small mini pumpkins.

One of the goals of the Eggbot is to teach about the electronics, mechanics, and software needed to build your own motion control projects. 

Accordingly EggBot is available as open hardware as well as being commercially available in kit form from Evil Mad Scientist

The project that brought EggBot to my attention is this one from Jiri Zemanek of Czech Technical University in Prague patterns, which animates when the egg is rotated at a specific speed in front of a strobe light or camera: 

 

Various patterns are generated in Matlab using mathematical equations similar to ones describing Spirograph (or harmonograph) and Phyllotaxis. The patterns are calculated in such a way that when rotated under a stroboscopic light of suitable frequency or when recorded by a camera, they start to animate. It is kind of zoetrope--- early device for animation. To draw on eggs, we used standard permanent markers and an electro kistka with bee wax followed by dying. Eggs are rotated at a constant speed, special for each pattern, by a brushless motor. 

 

electrok

 

If you happen to have a Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit to hand  instructions for building this egg decorating machine are provided on JL Brickworks

 

Jason Alleman writes:

With Easter just around the corner I thought it would be a great time to dust off my EV3 and build an egg decorating robot. These machines, commonly referred to as Egg Bots, have been around for a while. In fact, an early version dates all the way back to 1990! Since then, many versions have been created, some scratch built and some others using LEGO Mindstorms. I really enjoy the challenge of designing my own models, so here is my version, the EV Egg Bot! 

Seems like an ideal introduction to LEGO robotics for both the artistically inclined and the artistically challenged. One more job to delegate to a robot.

deceggs2

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 March 2016 )