Line-us is a robot arm that’ll doodle just like you

A connected copycat scribbler for sharing your sketches

05 February 2017
by Stuff Staff

What’s this, a painfully slow printer?

It’s a drawer, apparently, not a printer. See, Line-us isn’t about churning out reams of words (though it would’ve been mighty useful for lines back at school); rather, it’s about doodling just like humans do.

Sketch out a scribble on your iPad, Android phone, PC or Mac – using a graphics tablet – and it’ll copy your creations inch for inch.

So it’s just a kind a photocopier? Show me something new.

Haven’t you seen this thing? It’s literally a robotic arm. A robotic arm that exists just to copy your doodles. And it doesn’t just dot-draw them like a laser printer: Line-us recreates your sketches just how you drew them.

So if you move to a different part of the image when creating it, for example, Line-us will do the same to draw out your sketch in that order.


If I wanted to watch my own drawing technique I’d just film my fingers.

Gosh, someone’s cynical today. In any case, the cool bit comes when you send your digital drawing to a pal who’s also got a Line-us. It’ll draw out your doodle right in front of their eyes, exactly how you did it – like a personal art demonstration.

In fact, connect your Line-us to the net and it’ll start talking to a whole community of machines. You can save your drawings, too, for later recreation, or get creative with paints and other media.

Paints? How will it know which colours to dip into?

You’ll have to get smart, positioning little pots within the its plain of operation – but, because the Line-us copies your order of action, you can go from paint to page and back again to create a doodle of technicolour brilliance.

If you’re feeling really smart, you can even get the Line-us to play nice with the likes of the Raspberry Pi and Scratch, for some properly creative coding.

This is all well and good, but can I stick it to my fridge?

You can: when it ships – which is estimated to be July, now that the Line-us has met its Kickstarter goal – it’ll come with a small metal plate for keeping it sturdy, which means you’ll be able to mount it anywhere you fancy, including the fridge.

It’s powered by USB and can write on pretty much anything that’s flat, so it’s portable, too.

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