WaterColorBot gives you a robotic brush-off

Automate your happy little clouds with the WaterColorBot, a Kickstarter kit that hands the brush off to a robot.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
WaterColorBot is ready to paint on command. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Some painters are born talented, others are manufactured that way. The WaterColorBot is a painting robot that handles all the brushwork for you. Its creators are raising funds on Kickstarter to offer the kit to the masses.

The bot doesn't have a creative mind of its own. It can either take vector artwork and paint it, or follow along as you sketch in real time. It uses regular watercolor paints, the kind you probably remember from childhood, and regular paper.

The WaterColorBot is the brainchild of young maker Sylvia Todd, of Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show fame. She created it to enter the RoboGames competition (where she won silver). Along with Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, Todd decided it was too cool to be a one-off. Hence the Kickstarter campaign.

The $295 bot works like a pen plotter, with two motors moving the paintbrush along. Todd compares the style of the mechanism to that used in an Etch A Sketch.

The WaterColorBot is not as complicated as the e-David painter robot, making it a friendly kit for makers young and old. Some assembly is required. Perhaps this will inspire a new Kevin Costner film, "Paints with Robots." I smell an Oscar.