Cadillac House SoHo Exhibit Features New Robot Artist

In an increasingly automated world where employees are looking to add technology-related skills to their resumes or make mid-life career adjustments, it seems even the robots have to re-assess their job opportunities as well. Enter ADA0002, a former factory robot turned SoHo artist — because NYC is where folks look to reinvent themselves.

In the latest interactive art exhibit to be featured at Cadillac House, “AUTOPORTRAIT” is a partnership with automaker Cadillac and culture magazine Visionaire which allows visitors to have their portrait drawn by the robot artist, watching the entire sketch develop before their eyes. Although not as smooth in stroke or detailed in design as a human hand’s, its staccato mechanical gestures still creates rather impressive ink composition of robotic beauty.

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“ADA” stands for Advanced Drawing Automation but is also a nod to Ada Lovelace, who many consider being the world’s first computer programmer. Although ADA is officially a ABB IRB1400, axis industrial robot specifically designed for manufacturing industries (primarily welding), the robot does feature an open structure which allows for adaptable use. Still, no one would be surprised if artiste ADA was an automotive assembly line worker in a past life. For AUTOPORTRAIT, however, ADA’s responsibilities are less monotonous.

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Aside from identical twins and Doppelgängers, most faces aren’t alike, which allows ADA to create unique work in its new role. After first capturing an image of its subject, the robot then utilizes algorithms to transfer that data into commands which direct the pen onto the paper. The entire process, from photo capture to completed portrait, takes less than 10 minutes and is completely visible to anyone in the exhibit area.

There are currently no plans to feature ADA elsewhere so check out the free exhibit (and snag a portrait) while you can.

The AUTOPORTRAIT display runs through Friday, November 4, and requires no appointment. Visit the Cadillac House website for more information, including hours.