John Lennon had his Rolls-Royce Phantom V painted with a personalised psychedelic design in the 1960s. A BMW Andy Warhol painted in the 1970s is now reportedly worth approximately £50 million. And now a robot has been taught to paint artists’ work onto a car. And that means car companies will soon be able to paint original art onto your new car, according to former Jaguar and Aston Martin designer Ian Callum.
“There are so many cars on the road, and you know, they’re all looking very similar, and people want personalisation,” believes Callum, who is famous for designing the Aston Martin Vanquish and Jaguar I-Pace.
“The offer in this paint is absolutely incredible, because it does offer a very individual look for any car, and a very personal look as well. Before it would be a complicated process of perhaps putting a wrap on it, which I always feel uncomfortable with. I think that real paint on a car is the way to go. So this is offering all sorts of new levels of individual design for a motor car. In fact, it’s incredible.”
ABB, whose robots build and paint cars in factories all over the world, has a new robot with 1000 nozzles in its paint head, able to paint complex designs in multiple colours. It has been tested at a secret facility and the prediction is that the technology will be in use in the next year or two.
ABB commissioned eight-year-old artist Advait Kolarkar – whose abstract works have sold for more than £100,000 and next week has his first solo show at an upmarket Chelsea gallery – and a metaverse digital design collective called lllusorr to create art for the robot to paint onto a recycled SUV.
Kolarkar, who has been named one of the world’s top 100 child prodigies, painted his monochromatic commission Zebra Utopia onto a canvas on the floor of his studio at home in India. He said he imagined Pegasus flying in a dreamland, but the mythical winged horse was black-and-white, like a zebra. It was then scanned for the robot to paint it onto the car.