Leonel Moura is a pioneer in the application of robotics and artificial intelligence in art.
In 2001 he created the first robot arm able to generate unique paintings operate by an ‘ant algorithm’. In 2003 a swarm of ‘Painting Robots’ were able to produce artworks based on simple rules and emergent behavior. Since then he has produced several artbots, each time more autonomous and sophisticated. RAP (Robotic Action Painter), 2006, created for a permanent exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is able to generate highly creative and unique art works, to decide when the work is ready and to sign it, which it does with a distinctive signature.
ISU (The Poet Robot), 2006, creates poems and paintings with letters and words.
In 2007 he opened the Robotarium, the first zoo dedicated to robots and artificial life.
Other works include 3D sculptures, interactive installations, augmented reality, generative art, space art and theatre with the play R.U.R. from Karel Capek premiered in São Paulo in 2010 with 3 robots performing aside 3 human actors.
With the project “Bebot”, a swarm of robots able to create unique art works, he participate in the shows “Artistes & Robots”, Expo Astana (2017), Kazakhstan, Grand Palais, Paris (2018), and “Brain”, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2019).
In 2009 he was appointed European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation by the European Commission.
The recently created swarm of robots, coined NEO, performs for the first time at UCCA, Beijing in 2020, in the exhibition “Immaterial/Re-material. A Brief History of Computing Art”.
Since the summer of 2019, he has an installation of 17 virus-like Augmented Reality sculptures in several locations of the city of Lisbon. It was a premonitory enterprise.
Leonel Moura promotes a new kind of art based on machine creativity.