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About this Video

Following a thesis from the MIT Media Lab, Artmatr is building art robots, leveraging digital input technologies to control physical output technologies. Many digital inputs are accessible to populations to whom traditional art tools are inaccessible. The talk encourages inclusion of art and robotics in traditional STEM education (to form STREAM) to allow for creative physical outputs as part of the process. The work is inspired by artist Benjamin Tritt who taught the team at MIT how to reverse engineer the process of painting and design robots that serve as brushes, thus bridging the physical and digital domains, and by Cristina Powell of A Brighter Way – an artist diagnosed with cerebral palsy and who has dedicated her life to painting in order to help others.

About the Speakers

Cristina Powell

Cristina Powell

Cristina Powell is an artist and a volunteer with A Brighter Way, a nonprofit named after one of her paintings. Powell was born in Peru and was immediately adopted. When she was 15 months old, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and wasn’t expected to walk or talk—although she went on to defy these odds.

Encouraging words form her 6th grade teacher about one of her paintings inspired Powell to focus on making art. When she discovered that her pictures of flowers and bright, primary colors made people feel good, she started to reach out to people through hospital visits and through her paintings. Powell said, “My mom and I like to say…our lives are like a garden…always changing and challenging, but full of color, love, and happiness.”

Tal Achituv

Tal Achituv

Tal Achituv loves building robots. He used to fix the robotic exhibits at the Boston Museum of Science. His team of high-school students from Waltham, MA were inducted into the First Robotics Tech Challenge Hall of Fame after winning the highest award in the 2011 F.I.R.S.T. Robotics world championships.

In his work at the MIT Media Lab, Fluid Interfaces Group, inspired by artist Cristina Powell, he built robots that not only help people paint but serve as new kinds of brushes for all artists. Tal’s robots have joined forces with Artmatr to transform the state of the art tools for visual artists

While at the lab he also organized several patient-led innovation events, such as the ‘Make the Breast Pump not Suck’ Hackathon, and the ‘BREATHE – We’ll Hack So You Don’t Have To’ hackathon working together with industry leaders such as Novartis, the COPD Foundation, IBM, ResMed, Philips and others.

Tal holds a Masters degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab, and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (Israel), where he received the prestigious Efi Arazi Scholarship for outstanding technological leadership, innovation and creativity. He is also a graduate of an elite technology unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.

In his business life, Tal has over 15 years of experience as a software developer and CTO, focused on the fields of E-Commerce, Application Security, and Internet of Things.