This invention will create (and erase) writing and drawings on any wall, over and over again

Carlo Ratti and his team recently unveiled Scribit, a wall-climbing robot that draws whatever you want. It can also erase existing drawings, turning any surface into a display.

The device is an exercise on simplicity. Installation requires just two pegs from which where the robot’s strings can hang. Using triangulation, motors on the device allow it to travel across huge surface areas with a great deal of accuracy. The robot holds CMYK inks that allow it draw pictures, lettering or other information on the wall. The robot can also erase previous drawings, like a machine-powered whiteboard for any wall.

The official release says the robot’s chassis will be built from aluminum. The device will always be connected to the Internet, allowing it to download new images to print in real time.

Despite the modern connectivity of the Scribit, it has a very old-fashioned advantage: it creates an analog display. While a giant projector can mimic the function of the Scribit, the doodles don’t need electricity to work, there is no artificial light, and it’s an entirely manual experience reading scribbles off a wall.

Carlo Ratti, a founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, compares his creation to the “primordial act performed by humanity since our first cave graffiti.”

It’s easy to imagine a range of applications for the device. It can be used by restaurants or cafes to doodle daily specials on their walls. It can also be a less straining way to present data during meetings. Companies can use Scribit to broadcast achievements on their office wall while people at home can use it to “print” recipes or mementos on a wall.

Initial renderings show dots-per-inch resolution could be low which gives off a pointillist effect on images. But Scribit can draw strong solid lines.

There is no information yet on the ink technology or how the device can erase previous scribbles. The team behind the robot says the Scribit will have an accompanying app, allowing the flawless exchange of digital content for printing, and it will also allow contacts to send each other wall messages.

The Scribit will be crowdfunded, with the campaign slated to being on June 5, 2018.

Scribit

Carlo Ratti and his team recently unveiled Scribit, a wall-climbing robot that draws whatever you want. It can also erase existing drawings, turning any surface into a display.

The device is an exercise on simplicity. Installation requires just two pegs from which where the robot’s strings can hang. Using triangulation, motors on the device allow it to travel across huge surface areas with a great deal of accuracy. The robot holds CMYK inks that allow it draw pictures, lettering or other information on the wall. The robot can also erase previous drawings, like a machine-powered whiteboard for any wall.