Flying Pantograph, pipelining transposed drawing


Flying Pantograph transposes hand drawing lines and movements on other surfaces applying different scale and aesthetics. The system was designed by Sang-won Leigh, Harshit Agrawal and Pattie Maes within the MIT “Fluid interfaces research group” and it uses a drone as a vehicle of this transposition. The system transforms the human drawn strokes into input instructions for the flying device, through a tracking technology and a subsequent series of specific algorithms. To properly reproduce forms and style on vertical surfaces, the original movements are recalibrated based on the drone’s mechanical and physical characteristics, such as the continuous floating and the friction of the pen on the surface. But the features of the “Flying Pantograph” are manifold. In addition to scaling the image, like the classic mechanical instrument by which is inspired, it can mirror the image, increase or decrease the speed of the stroke and finally it could be programmed to draw on multiple devices and in the same time by multiple designers. Beyond the practical applications of this well designed interface, the complex pipeline for translation of movements and languages, ​​triggers an unusual man-machine dialogue. In continuous discovery and pursuit, this drawing conversation becomes a mutual interpretation, far from a mere mechanical reproduction, and potentially opens further experimentation, maybe adding the interconnection of other software technologies such as GML (Graffiti Markup Language) for potential urban interventions literally programmed in a distant space and time. Chiara Ciociola


Sang-won Leigh, Harshit Agrawal, Pattie Maes and Fluid Interfaces – A Flying Pantograph