PiCy Paint

Light painting with a PiCy robot and an LedBorg

The Raspberry Pi Logo above is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Light painting is about drawing artistic and fun images with a camera and a light source.
One easy way is to hold a camera stationary, such as with a tripod, and move a light source around.
We thought it would be fun to move our PiCy Robot about with an RGB LED on it as the light, and this is something you can do yourself too!

You will need

A PiCy Robot
An LedBorg
A TriBorg
A tripod and digital camera - or analogue if you are old school :)

Camera settings:
High f stop (we used f/22)
Low ISO setting if your camera has one
Long exposure (we used a manual "Bulb" setting)
Try and make the room as dark as possibe for best results (but not too dark or you won't see PiCy or that sofa corner!)

And think of something cool to draw

Load your Raspberry Pi with software to control PiCy and the LedBorg


  1. Open the aperture (Take a photo)
  2. Turn the Led on
  3. Move the robot
  4. Turn the Led off
    Repeat steps 2,3 and 4 until you have drawn something cool
  5. Close the aperture (Stop taking the photo)

It's as simple as that!

You are probably best having someone who doesn't regularly crash robots driving (we won't mention names)

The above images are painting 'free hand' with the remote control - but if you like you can use a combination of the turtle code and the LedBorg code for more accurate results. A true modern turtle :)

An interesting note is that because we are moving and the LED is Pulse Width Modulated (turning on and off to adjust brightness), we can see this in the images. We've zoomed in on the two traces. You can see that the Left Violet image is made up of 100% always on Blue, and 50% half time on half time off Red. The Orange image is made up of 100% Red and 50% Green.

Often to change brightness of LED's. we turn them on and off very quickly. When you look directly at the LED, you just see a single colour but when you move them quickly past you, you can sometimes see the LED's flicker. This is the same principal.

For example, on the orange painting, we used a sequence of move 0.8, turn left 180 degrees, move 0.8, turn right 30 degrees.

The code we used for the PS3 remote and LedBorg

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