Joto drawing robot is an Etch A Sketch for the digital age
British studio Those has designed a connected whiteboard that uses a robot arm to draw everything from illustrations to shopping lists.
Launched on Kickstarter today, the Joto drawing robot is controlled through an accompanying app. It can be directed to draw whatever the user wants – whether that's recreating existing illustrations or logos, or penning a personal message or drawing.
Joto can also connect to existing devices and apps – such as Amazon's Alexa personal assistant, Twitter or Slack – to draw social media updates, calendars or headlines. Users can also draw live on the wipe-clean display or use it to recreate "now playing" information from Spotify.
Those designed Joto to offer an alternative to the screens that are ever-present in our home and work lives.
"Joto is part of a new movement away from the screen," said Joto founder Jim Rhodes. "Not because screens are bad but because people are discovering new ways to interact with the internet."
"Joto wasn't designed to solve a problem per se, but instead give people an entirely new way to enjoy digital content through real-life drawings," he continued.
The company says there's no limit to the complexity of what the tool can create, although details are limited – as with any drawing – by the thickness of the pen nib.
To show Joto's capabilities, Those commissioned several illustrators to create designs, including Anthony Burrill and Supermundane. These range from geometric shapes, to more complex typographic drawings and flowing sketches.
The device was voted the public's favourite design at the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition, held at London's Design Museum, and is now seeking funding to go into production on Kickstarter. Those plans to start selling the product later this year.
The studio previously launched a similar robotic tool – the Woodpecker – that could be attached to draw on any surface. Joto is intended to suit a wider range of uses, including the home environment.
WobbleWorks also used technology to rethink the drawing process, launching a stylus that let users create three-dimensional illustrations in the air.