Watch the Scribit Robot Turn Your Wall Into a Work of Art
If Roomba was an artist.
If you gave Roomba, which has the curiosity of a three-year-old, a set of markers and the ability to climb walls, you’d get the Scribit robot.
Created by MIT professor Carlo Ratti, the scribbling bot takes humanity’s insatiable desire to use walls as a canvas and lets a robot do all the hard work. Designed for use on essentially any smooth surface, the $449 robot has attracted over $3.8 million in crowdfunding and is scheduled to begin shipping to eager investors by January 2019.
In an age of digital screens, Ratti describes Scribit in a video as a tool that can help consumers return to a simpler pastime (although using the bot still requires a phone app to send instructions).
“Scribit allows us to do in a new way something we’ve been doing for thousands of years — you know that old primordial act of drawing and writing onto walls.”
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Compared to the complex drawings Scribit can create, its installation is simple. The website boasts that all you need are “two nails and a plug.” For those less inclined to create a hole in their wall, Scribit encourages using temporary solutions like command hooks. The aluminum robot, or more officially, a “vertical plotter,” dangles from two wires hooked onto the nails, then uses wheels to climb around a wall while drawing with the four markers it can carry at any given moment. Depending on the complexity of the drawing, a creation can take anywhere from mere minutes to two hours. Once the bot is done, avoid touching the design right away — it will smudge. Using patented eraser technology that heats up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (or 65 degrees Celsius), the robot can then erase its creation within minutes.
But erasability is only guaranteed by using Scribit’s branded markers, which range from $7 to $15 per 12 pack, and one set of markers can last for about 10 drawings, according to the FAQ. For a more permanent drawing, go off-brand.
As for the art itself, users can choose from a gallery or import their own images for Scribit to draw. After sending the image to the robot using wifi, it’s ready to go. From personal home decor to updating a menu at a local restaurant, to enhancing museum exhibits, the applications are endless, as long as the art fits somewhere within a 6.5 by 6.5-foot range (or 2 by 2 meters).
Based on funding, people are ready to let Scribit take the artistic reins. After its first Kickstarter campaign that launched on June 5, the company blasted through its initial goal in two hours, gaining over 4,000 backers and raising $1.6 million after only a month of funding. On IndieGogo InDemand, interest has only grown, with another $2.2 million raised so far.
If you’re raring to join the club, the artistic bots are still open for presale for a cool $399, an 11 percent discount from the full price.