Carlo Ratti’s Scribit write & erase robot is set to become a reality – 16 days remain to back Kickstarter project
International innovation and design firm Carlo Ratti Associati, founded by MIT professor Carlo Ratti, has developed an intelligent writing robot that can draw and erase images and text on any vertical surface, from whiteboards to glass and plaster. The small Scribit robot allows users to personalise any wall with digital content – whether it’s a storefront, an office lobby or a living room. The crowdfunding campaign to support Scribit is live now on Kickstarter and will end on the 5th July.
With its in-built engines, Scribit can be installed in less than five minutes: all that is needed are two nails and a power plug. Furthermore, thanks to a special patented technology, Scribit can safely draw, cancel and re-draw new content an infinite number of times, allowing users to print a different image on their wall every day or even every few minutes. Any vertical surface can be transformed into a screen – a wonder wall where images, messages, or feeds are projected.
Scribit is always connected to the web, meaning that users can download, upload or source any content from the Internet. A restaurant can post the day’s menu on its wall, a financial firm can post stock market updates in its lobby, or someone who loves art can project a Van Gogh – or their own drawings – onto their bedroom wall. Scribit’s interactive software allows the real-time reproduction of any kind of data, including notes, messages, pictures, and graphics. Once users send their digital information to the device, the plotter immediately reproduces it.
“We are totally deluged with information, and spend too much of our non-sleeping time in front of one form or another of digital screen – TV, desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Do we really want to add more screens to our lives?” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): “Scribit offers up an alternative: a robotic system that draws on any kind of vertical surface, following a primordial act performed by humanity since our first cave graffiti.”
Scribit works on a two-axis plane, moving up and down two very light cables hanging off a vertical wall. It can place itself at any point with great precision and uses markers to reproduce any type of content. Circular in shape, Scribit is 20cm x 8cm in dimension and covered in aluminum, with four markers of different colors at its center.
Scribit, which means “s/he writes” in Latin, stems from a long investigation of writing machines developed by Carlo Ratti Associati. This includes the OSARCH installation at the 2011 Istanbul Design Biennale, the façade of the Future Food District at Milan’s World Expo 2015 (selected by Guiness World Records as the largest image ever plotted) – and, more recently, UFO-Urban Flying Opera, a project in which a fleet of painting drones is employed to draw a collectively-sourced image. All these projects can be seen as interpretations to the idea of “tangible bits” developed by MIT Professor Hiroshi Ishii: they bring together the best of both the digital and the physical worlds.
Scribit was unveiled in April as part of Carlo Ratti’s Milan Design Week installation, named Living Nature. La Natura dell’Abitare, located at the city’s Piazza del Duomo.
Carlo Ratti Associati is crowdfunding to launch Scribit until the 5th July. For more information on Scribit and to support the Kickstarter campaign please visit: www.scribit.design