Feb 10, 2016 | By Benedict

JJRobots, a tech startup from Edinburgh, UK, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its 3D printed, web-connected whiteboard robot. The iBoardbot allows users to remotely command the robot’s pen-wielding arm to write messages and draw images.

Whiteboards are frequently found in workplaces, classrooms, and studies, and can be used to deliver messages, explain ideas, and much more. But whiteboards, along with their blackboard cousins, are an analogue instrument to their very core. That’s all well and good, but in this digital age, interactive whiteboards, projectors, and computers are beginning to threaten the very existence of ink-on-board communication. Digital displays offer several advantages over whiteboards: No messy handwriting; integration of high-resolution images; quick loading and erasing of text; and the ability to save sessions for later. What does the whiteboard have left to offer?

Determined to repurpose the humble whiteboard (and board pen) for a digital generation, Edinburgh-based tech startup JJRobots—creator of this 3D printed, remote-controlled laser pointer—has developed the 3D printed iBoardbot whiteboard robot, a web-connected device which allows users to remotely write and draw on a rectangular glass surface. The Arduino-powered iBoardbot uses stepper motors to guide a mounted whiteboard pen across a glass surface, precisely writing and drawing whatever combination of text and images the user puts into the dedicated WebAPP.

Sounds exciting, but what can the iBoardbot be used for? JJRobots has already thought of a number of potential purposes for its futuristic writing surface, such as a collaborative notice board within a workplace, a twitter wall in a shop window, or a weather forecast display in a public place. The iBoardbot’s internet connectivity really does open up a world of whiteboard possibilities. Forgot to leave an important memo at the office? Log on to the app and send it to the iBoardbot from home or anywhere else in the world.

“The iBoardbot is able to reproduce what you remotely draw using its web application from any part of the world and any device: a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet,” the JJRobots team explains on the iBoardbot Kickstarter page. “From a web app that can be shared, the user will find the necessary apps for the control of the board. You will be able to draw, write a text of your choice (even from the other side of the world!) and to access the iBoardbot´s configuration menu. This drawing robot can be used at the same time by as many users as you want.”

Best of all (from our perspective) is the iBoardbot’s 3D printed body, which can be printed and assembled at home before being hooked up to a handful of electronic components. The overall hackability of the device is also admirable: The electronics, 3D printed parts, and code of the whiteboard robot are completely open, allowing users to tweak and modify the device as they see fit. JJRobots are, however, offering pre-made iBoardbots, with pre-printed parts in red, black, or green, for customers who want to get scribbling right away.

To get the iBoardbot project started, JJRobots has launched a Kickstarter campaign with a target of £11,000. Backers can secure their own iBoardbot for between £76 and £193, depending on how much DIY work they’re willing to put in. The slender “BASIC” option (£76) comes with an electronics set and 1 year cloud subscription service, leaving makers to 3D print the bulk of the deive; the “KIT” option (£129, early bird) comes with all 3D printed parts, missing only the glass surface itself; whilst the “PREMIUM” package contains everything, including a glass surface in white, orange, yellow, or green.

Should the campaign reach its target goal, JJRobots will aim to deliver all versions of the iBoardbot during April 2016.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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