RAP (Robotic Action Painter)  
  Author: Communist Robot

Date: 2006

Description: Created by Leonel Moura in 2006 for the Museum of Natural History in New York, RAP (Robotic Action Painter) is a robotic artist that creates original paintings using a combination of random decisions and responses to its environment. RAP is an individualist artist and not a swarm, but makes use of the same composition methods based on stigmergy and emergence. Each of RAP's paintings is original. As it creates, the robot receives no outside instructions, relying solely on its onboard program. RAP even decides when each piece is finished. But is RAP truly an artist? Unlike a human artist, RAP has no creative inspiration. RAP does not know it is making art, nor does it know what art is; it is only following a set of simple rules written by a human artist. Yet humans identify the robot's paintings as artistic, so perhaps RAP's painting program successfully emulates some parts of the human creative process.