Ameca: How a humanoid robot creates art through stable diffusion

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Engineered Arts

Robots are widely utilized in science and research, resulting in a revolution in numerous industries. However, these robots are no longer restricted to their normal tasks. Now as technology has evolved, humanoid robots are also entering in the field of art.

Ameca was recently asked to create a drawing of a “cat” in a video uploaded on the company’s official website. The robot not only created a drawing of cat, but also signed the drawing, like true artists do.

This artwork was created by the robot using “Stable Diffusion”.

About Ameca

Ameca, a robot with a humanoid form, is an example of this. It is the most advanced humanoid robot built so far, capable of creating cat drawing. “Engineered Arts”, a UK-based firm, designed this robot. The robot has human-like facial expressions such as “winking, pursing the lips, and nose scrunching”.

How Ameca makes drawing using stable diffusion?

When Ameca was asked how she able to draw artworks. She responded that she uses Stable Diffusion which is a “open source neural network project”. It creates the drawing by using the following steps: –

Step 1: When she receives an instruction to generate an image, it uses stable diffusion to create its image from text-to-image based model. The trajectories thereafter become available. These trajectories serve as a guide, and the general outline of artwork is made available to her, then she follows this outline to recreate the drawing.

Step2: Skeletonization is the next critical step, which converts the created picture into the skeleton structure. The intricate features of the image are reduced in this procedure so that only the core parts that define the image can be produced.

Step 3: When the image becomes skeletal, Ameca’s next step is to transform it to vector form. This conversion adds scalability and flexibility to the image. This ensures that the image’s quality remains unchanged while scaling or adjusting the image.

Step 4: When she receives the vectorized image, she is provided with the trajectory which she must adhere to while making the drawing. The arrangement and flow of the lines are taken into account in this approach.

Step 5: Then she executes the trajectory with accuracy and grace, bringing the image to life stroke by stroke.

Using ChatGPT for assistance

ChatGPT has the ability to interact with humans, providing a platform for the robot to “gather inspiration” from what cats look like, who they are, as well as what their characteristics are.

It provides technical guidance and ideas on drawing skills such as “shading, providing different perspectives and proportions”. The robot can inquire about the drawing’s specific details, receiving suggestions on how to make the image realistic.

It provides assistance to the robot with the positioning and composition of the cat drawing on the canvas. Conversations with ChatGPT may help determine the best placement, balance, and general aesthetics for the artwork.

The robot continually learns and develops itself with the assistance of ChatGPT. These conversations may be used to help the robot improve its creative understanding, explore with new approaches, and improvise the drawings even more.

Assessing Ameca’s cat drawing

Image Credit: YouTube/Engineered Arts

Ameca’s painting seems to be a very basic drawing. The painting was not very fascinating, but the audience appreciated her opinion on the cat, while she was making the drawing. Many people also commented that “She have the potential to become an excellent companion for old age people, widows and people dealing with depression”. Some people also complemented upon the way she draws, saying that her strokes are incredibly smooth and she raises the marker thoroughly after each stroke, like an actual artist.

Can it be a threat to real artists?

It is too early to predict what effect it will have on the artists because this is the first time we saw a humanoid robot drawing and this technology is currently in its earliest stages of development. A lot of improvement will be made in the future.

The human perspective and the ability to express emotions, experiences, and unique interpretations are vital parts of art. Ameca, while capable of producing nice cat drawings, lacks the profound human experiences and feelings that artists bring to their work. The human touch and personal expression in art cannot be replicated via technology.

Artists have a long history of improving their creativity with technologically advanced tools. From paintbrushes to digital software, artists have always adopted new tools and mediums to expand their artistic practice. It should be viewed only as an extension of this, since it can offer new opportunities and growth to artists.

It is critical to highlight that the use of technology in art should only be viewed as a tool, never as a threat.

Interesting Facts About Ameca

  • It has a camera in each of her eyes, allowing her to recognize individuals, remember their faces, as well as respond to any movement.
  • It is capable of imitating the human facial expressions.
  • It is the ‘world’s most advanced’ robot with lifelike facial expressions, similar to those of humans.
  • Its shoulder movements are comparable to those of humans.
  • It is able to speak and respond in multiple languages.

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