carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino
 

carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino

back in 2018, carlo ratti presented scribit, a writing robot that turned any surface into a drawing canvas. following its success, the firm has unveiled the world’s first crowdsourced graffiti, designed by thousands of people and painted by a flock of drones in the city of torino, italy. called the UFO – urban flying opera project, the large-scale painting (14×12 meter / 46×39 foot) is part of a technology and art project promoted by compagnia di san paolo, ideated and curated by carlo ratti associati, and produced by fondazione links in collaboration with tsuru robotics.

carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino designboom
all images by andrea guermani

 

 

the massive graffiti was created by four UAVs (unnamed aerial vehicles) that flew at the same time over two consecutive days. each drone was equipped with a tank of sustainable spray paint and sketched the individual designs on the canvas. the final drawing was separated into three layers: grey to set the story, magenta to represent torino’s communities, and light blue to wrap the storytelling.

carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino designboom

 

 

this is the first time a swarm of drones has been used to create a collaborative piece of art on a vertical surface. a central management system controlled the UAV’s behavior in real time, and a monitoring system tracked their precise location, generating a coordinate dance across the entire formation.

carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino designboom

 

 

‘the city is an open canvas, where people can inscribe their stories in many ways,’ says professor carlo ratti, founder of CRA practice and director of the senseable city lab at MIT. ‘such processes have always been happening; however, with UFO we tried to accelerate them, imagining expressing oneself through painting in a new way, thanks to drone technology.’

carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino designboom

carlo ratti employs a flock of drones to spray-paint crowdsourced grafitti in torino designboom

 

 

project info:

 

name: UFO – urban flying opera project

ideated and curated by: carlo ratti associati

promoted by: compagnia di san paolo

produced by: fondazione links

in collaboration with: tsuru robotics

CRA design: carlo ratti, antonio atripaldi, luca giacolini, chiara morandini, chiara borghi, andrea galli, alessandro tassinari

CRA make: emanuele rossetti, alessandro peretti griva, luca cianfriglia

scribit: andrea baldereschi, federico morando, mahsa borzoo

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