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Turntable with robotic arms draws beautiful spirographs

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Artist Ally Mobbs has built a turntable that can draw. "Turntablism For The Hard Of Hearing: Harmonic Motion" is an exhibition that shows what a turntablist's stylings would look like if the pitch, direction, and speed changes were represented on paper.

Mobbs attached robotic arms equipped with pens to a turntable, then allowed the rotations of the record players to create geometric shapes made out of curves. Adjust the settings of the turntable, and the drawing changes. The piece debuted in Montreal, where hip hop collective Beat Picnic played the turntable. Their drawings are now on display.

Because the arms change position while still rotating around a fixed point, the center of the record player, the movement produces patterns known as spirographs. The technique is similar to Hasbro's spirograph toys, which use a set of circular rings to create symmetrical, snowflake-like shapes. Mobbs says her design was based on the harmonograph, a drawing machine built out of pendulums.