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Motivated Gestures

Motivated Gestures is an evolving motion guidance system for investigating degrees of agency between artist and machine during robot-assisted shared drawing experiences. Two artists – set up in the same location, or connected remotely via the internet – share in a computationally-mediated drawing experience, where one artist draws on a digital tablet to remotely guide another artist’s hand, tethered loosely to a traditional drawing machine. The artist who is being guided by the machine still has control over their minute hand movements, incorporating their own creative intent into the composition with a non-traditional experience of agency. Additionally, one artist can use the system, with their right hand providing input to their left hand -- coupled to the drawing machine -- via the digital tablet. The following drawings below were executed by Stejara, in collaboration between her left and right hands and Motivated Gestures.


This work will be exhibited at The Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology on June 2nd 2022 as part of the UCSB Media Arts and Technology Program's SYMADES event.


Visit for event information. Supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Media Arts and Technology SYMADES Grant, and the RE Touch Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Software was developed using Processing 4.0, Python3, and AxiDraw Control Software developed by Evil Mad Scientist.

Motivated Gestures, Exploration One

Early Prototypes of Motivated Gestures

From Tethered Robotic Systems to Wearables

In prototyping stages are wearable robots that gently pull the skin of the arm to transmit guidance cues to an artist -- steps toward an untethered system for directing hand movement during drawing. Some images of the fabrication process, alongside working prototypes of the device, are shown below.

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