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Robot artist Piccolo to draw for under $70

Does anyone remember how to write without a keyboard? Like, with a pen? No matter, because this small bot can do it for you.

Smart money: Piccolo signs a check for $1,650. Diatom Studio

Piccolo is a prototype open-source platform that comes as a kit. With a target price of less than $70, it's an attractive computer-controlled plotter for tinkerers.

By swapping the tool head, one can use Piccolo for small-scale laser cutting, 3D printing, or drawing applications.

Depending on how it's configured, it can move autonomously; respond to sensor input, such as light levels; or work in groups to create mural-type illustrations.

The Arduino-powered platform is a joint project between Diatom Studio and researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Computational Design Lab.

It recently won the Design Entrepreneur Challenge at the Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 2012) in Kingston, Ontario.

Piccolo is still being refined before a release date is announced, but meanwhile check out the vid below showing what it can do.

Piccolo the tiny CNC-bot from diatom studio on Vimeo.