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TagBot: The Spray Paint Photo Booth's video poster

I'm building a photo booth that will spray paint your likeness (or anything else) on paper, canvas, wood and more! Read more

Orlando, FL Technology
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pledged of $300 goal
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This project was successfully funded on May 20, 2012.

I'm building a photo booth that will spray paint your likeness (or anything else) on paper, canvas, wood and more!

Orlando, FL Technology
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About this project

Hi, my name's John, and I like making things that light up. 

Edit: You can follow the day-to-day progress of the project at

My latest venture into robots with whimsy is going to be TagBot, the spray painting machine. It follows my guiding light of electro-mechanical artwork and building things that lie at the crossroads of new media and old.

I've done quite a bit of work on the software part of the installment, and have begun the drawings and schematics for the parts I will have to 3D print and solder to get this running, and have a few parts donations from benefactors, but this is only for the robot itself.  

Above is the in-computer preview image of a very large spray taken from the photo booth application.What this software does is access the webcam and shows a preview to the user. Upon hitting a button the stream is paused, the current frame is saved and is converted to an array of sampling points, as the spacing that the printer will use. Once I have this I convert this large array of (X,Y) points into the delta hypotenuse instructions. I'm doing these (X,Y) coordinate conversions for two separate origins, as shown in the diagram below. I also will send to the Arduino the instructions to trigger the spray can simultaneously. I'm basing the code for the control mechanism on G-Code, a well known, and well used, instruction set for controlling CNC machines. 

The hardware receiving these instructions is an Arduino, sending out commands to two stepper motors as well as a solenoid controlling the spray can's nozzle actuation. The stepper motors will be pulling long lengths of timing belt using custom-printed pulleys and mounted with 3D printed blocks to hold everything together. These belts will mount to the can on a small bracket that will also hold the solenoid in place. When triggered, the solenoid will apply pressure to the cap like a finger usually would, and paint will then be sprayed on the canvas at that (X,Y) coordinate.

I plan on making the public debut of my tag bot at the Orlando Mini Maker Faire (whose organizers have donated tickets to two of the pledge levels), where it will be running as a photo-booth, taking pictures of people and spraying their likenesses onto paper, for them to take home, or wood, to remain persistent and create a final work of art with the sum of all abandoned portraits overlayed on one another.

The catch to running this booth all day and having people walk up and see what its all about is that I'll need enough paint and paper to last for the crowds to get a taste of what tech/art can really be about. The spray paint I'm using is top-of-the-line stuff. If I'm giving people something to take home, I want it to last as a memento of what they experienced that day. I'd also like to be able to provide multi-color prints and demonstrations, and with spray-paint as the medium, each color must be bought individually.

With your support I can do large, multicolor prints, as well as give people at the faire something to take home, encourage them to join the Orlando (or wherever they're from) technology community, and inspire them to build what's in their minds.

If there's a lot of your help, and I overfund, the money will go directly into designing circuit boards and making kits to allow others to build their own TagBots. 

Below is a visualizer written to embed in a larger, music-centric system, and below is myself testing out a linkage I lasercut and assembled as part of my work with a team project in a UCF 3D-design course.

I'm no stranger to open source hardware and software, and much of my design work has been made open source and has also gained much from the open source community.

As software and hardware is developed it is being made open source. You can follow the software part of it here at and the hardware part soon at

At these places you can also check out previous code work I've done for web development and design, machine learning, and visual applications.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you back the project and I get to see you at the Orlando Mini Maker Faire!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    5 backers

    For funding me this much you'll receive my thanks for helping me show this off all day long and your name will be added to the list of supporters, displayed prominently at my booth at Maker Faire.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    7 backers

    You'll receive my immense gratitude for helping me reach my goal of running this all day and providing prints to people who want them. You'll also have you name added to a list displayed at the Maker Faire of backers who helped get it there and to a list of supporters with a link to your site on the project page on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    2 backers

    Everything at the $5 dollar level plus four limited edition, hand-made, signed and numbered prints based on the project's feel and guiding principles of street art meets hacked up technology. Print will be made with archival-quality inks and paper.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    4 backers

    Everything at the $15 level plus two prints of the same design as the first, but printed at 2' by 3' on the same high-quality paper. This print will be made by the robot itself! It will also signed (by both me and it) and numbered.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    3 backers

    Everything at the $25 level but with two additional prints of your choice done by the robot. It can be you, a design/pattern you like or anything else. I will work with you on making sure your design will look its best when produced.
    In addition to the prints, this level will get you two adult tickets to the Orlando Mini Maker Faire.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    3 backers

    At this most prestigious level, you'll receive everything mentioned thus far, plus your choice of design printed on a high-quality canvas, ready to hang in any room of your house or sedan. And I'm open to other materials, if canvas isn't your thing.
    This level also gets you four adult tickets to the Orlando Mini Maker Faire.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (26 days)