Design

This bot can turn your tweets into rad 8-bit graphics

BBC Microbot transforms your Twitter posts into something that might actually be worth beaming into your eyeballs.

Tweets: we've all got 'em — or most of us do anyway. Some tweets are helpful, others are fun, most are frivolous. A select few, however, are art.

A Twitter bot (of all things) is helping in the latter department. With some coding skills, BBC Microbot can turn your tweets into 8-bit masterpieces like this...

art by @P_Malin on Twitter

Microbot, created by Dominic Pajak, takes any code that's entered into a tweet and runs it through an 8-bit emulator. It runs on the BBC BASIC language, which was invented by computer scientist, Sophie Wilson, who later went on to invent the ARM architecture used in iPhones, iPads, Raspberry Pis, and Apple's new M1 chips.

Art by @Kweepa on Twitter

The structure of Microbot, namely its reliance on Twitter as a source for inputting code, limits any would-be artists to creating graphics with just 280 characters. As a result Pajak encourages contributors to use abbreviations, bytes tokens, and other clever shortcuts — a restriction that also turns the art project into a creative challenge.

Art by @bbc_micro on Twitter

"Users express amazing creativity with minimal palette, pixels, and bytes."

Pajak via BBC Microbot

If you're a fan of 8-bit art or coding, you can view an extensive gallery of all the graphics made using BBC Microbot (1,000 of them altogether) on this web page which also includes the source code of said creations.

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