A new innovation allows people to make art with just a Sharpie marker and a drone. The “Flying Pantograph,” developed by researchers at MIT, is really meant to be an easier way to guide and fly drones, but if you mount art products to the machine, you can make any number of wonderful, unique things that might not be possible through any other medium. Drones are certainly beginning to affect the way we live our ordinary lives, and now they’re entering our artistic spaces as well.

“Flying Pantograph” works by following the motions of a user’s hand. Users can direct a drone by drawing on a flat surface, images and shapes that the drone will then follow and replicate on its own vertical canvas.

“Not only mechanically extending a human artist, the drone plays a crucial part of the expression as its own motion dynamics and software intelligence add new visual language to the art,” the group who created the machine, Fluid Interfaces Group, wrote. “This agency forms a strong link between a human artist and the canvas. However, in the same time, is a deliberate programmatic disconnect that offers space for exploiting machine aesthetics as a core expression medium.”

“Machine aesthetics” is a new term to bring to art, as we continually develop the technology to bring art and machine into the same spheres, one lending itself to the other and so on.

While the drones can’t duplicate an artist’s hand exactly because the software needs a little space of time to catch up to human movement, it’s very cool to watch. The drones’ art isn’t perfect, but the technology indicates that in the future, it could be. The drone industry is taking off—if you will—in new directions; you can even buy your own personal drones at places like Target now.

What the innovative art project does suggest is that the drone industry could find even more avenues to take. Remote control of a drone’s operations could lead to remote diffusing of bombs, promoting safety; fixing power lines from afar so people don’t need to get right up under them; or responding to other disasters quickly. The opportunities are excellent and promising.

It’s only a matter of time before someone creates an artistic masterpiece via drone. It could be you.

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