Robotic whiteboard writes your wall on the wall

[Dave's] drawbot writes his Facebook wall messages on a whiteboard. The setup is pretty simple, depending on a pair of stepper motors and common household goods. As you can see in the image, the stylus is a plain old dry-erase marker held by a big spring clip (the kind that holds a stack of papers together). What you can’t see is that there’s a kick stand to hold the writing head away from the board when moving to the next plot point.

In this example a cursive font is being used, but [Dave] included two other fonts in the code. Those require the felt tip to be frequently lifted from the board, and a servo motor does this by pressing a cotton swab against the surface. This does erase any marker lines it slides past, but it’s a pretty small area that is lost. To control the motors [Dave] is using the EiBotBoard which was originally designed for the EggBot. It’s got a USB mini-b connector which lets a computer push messages scraped from the Internet. Don’t miss the video demonstration embedded after the break.

A small modification would make this into a pretty nifty light painting rig.


  1. Colecago says:

    I wanted to build one of these for awhile. I’m definitely gonna look this thing over more in depth for ideas, its pretty good.

    As for his comments on a future build and using a lid for the marker, he could use those markers that have a push in and out function to keep the tip from drying out.

  2. polossatik says:

    “the video demonstration embedded after the break.”


    ho well, nice hack! indeed tempting to make something similar

  3. M4CGYV3R says:

    I suppose anything at all is better than Timeline…


    An open source implementation with assembly instructions and a bill of materials. I need some help getting pen up/down to work. Anyone interested in giving it a shot?

    project history is documented here:

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