Created by Matthias Dörfelt, Mechanical Parts is a series of graphic connectors created by Robo Faber, an autonomous drawing robot determined to reproduce. The robot continuously creates drawings generated using a preset system Matthias developed for Weird Faces and the I Follow flip books. The system works around the idea of thinking how the drawings are created by hand and the same logic designed into the algorithm.
Each connector, or “mechanical part” is entirely random and unique, based on the presets Matthias programmed. In this way the robot can draft an infinite amount of connectors while looking like it is sketching and thinking about a mechanism to reproduce.
I really like that it is in a way a portion of my creative thinking and practice distilled inside of robo faber, frozen in time. Even if I won’t like the drawings thirty years from now, robo faber will still draw and create in a way I though about things now, thirty years earlier.
There is no logic to which connectors go together and the intention was to leave it open to the audience to find the connections that make sense to them. Matthias thinks a perfect fit could be generated at some point, in theory.
Robo Faber is a custom built differential drive robot consisting of two dc motors with encoders at each of the motor shafts. Custom Arduino driver software has been written to approximate the robots position based on the encoders and to allow the robot to follow arbitrary bezier curves. Like in Weird Faces and the I Follow, the drawings are generated using PaperJS.