Vote in the world’s first robot art competition

By Kitty Knowles 29 April 2016

Robot artists on seven continents are battling it out for a share of $100,000. Who do you think should win?

Between MoMA’s leap into virtual reality and the digital showcase at Glasgow International, this year, the art world is embracing technology more than ever.

Given that this week we even learned how even the 250-year-old Christie’s auction house has gone digital, perhaps it’s not surprising that 2016 will see the first robot art competition.

World’s first robot art competition

Founded by early internet entrepreneur Andrew Conru (who’s currently Chairman at FriendFinder Networks), fourteen teams from seven countries have entered Robot Art.

This includes 71 entries across two categories: ‘Fully automated’ where a robot produces artwork on its own, and ‘Manually generated’ – where humans assist the art-making process.

Experts from the likes of National Taiwan University, Imperial College London, and Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, have all been keen to get involved, using 25 different technologies to create their submissions.

“We’re so early with the possibilities of robots and art, the sky is the limit,” Conru said.

Vote for your favourite robot art

The public are invited vote for who they want to win on Facebook, accounting for 40% of the overall score, while a panel of art critics will also judge the works on originality, aesthetics, “painterly” ability, and technical contribution.

Artists are competing for shares of $100,000 in prize money funded by the nonprofit software foundation, and winners are due to be announced next month.

Who do you think deserves to win?

See some of our favourites below… 


Team: Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, Italy

Painted in liquid watercolour, the Italian team analysed a single unit of blood and used NoRAA software to visually depict it’s 5 million blood cells.

Fully automated execution


Warholized Marilyn Monroe

Team: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana, US

A digitised take on Andy Warhol’s famous pop artwork of Marilyn Monroe.

Fully automated execution


Team: Ecole du Centre, Moka, Mauritius

Inspired by the idea of using technology to map the weather, this East African team used their robot to create art that related to their environment and mood.

Fully automated execution

The Beauty of Taiwan

Team: National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Inspired by the beauty of their locale the team chose to depict a Taiwan vista, even capturing the humidity that distorts the distant mountains.

Fully automated execution

Hunter Self Portrait – With help from AI, Friends, and Family

Team: George Washington University, Washington, US

Hunter, a son of one of the team members, is depicted using cloudPainter, which combines AI technology with the collaborative mark-making of friends and family.

Manually (semi or full tele-robotic) generated

Paint Music – ‘Sleep by Greek Riots’

Team: University of Manitoba, Canada

The Canadian team used their custom-made robot, Picassnake, to open an MP3 of Sleep by Manitoba band Greek Riots, and generates unique strokes based on the musical score.

Fully automated execution

Isaac Asimov

Team: University of Konstanz, Germany

Rather appropriately, this German team chose to use e-David to paint an acrylic portrait of acclaimed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov us e-David.

Fully automated execution