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Treat your artistic kids to the WaterColorBot

Many parents are treating their kids to the joys of a tablet computer, but what about the more artistic among us? The new WaterColorBot might just be the answer, allowing colour pictures to be painted on paper, connecting to a computer.

Sylvia Todd, a young girl who hosts her own DIY web series came up with the original idea for the WaterColorBot and asked Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories (EMSL) to help her with the implementation.  EMSL already had success by creating a machine that could colour eggs.

The new device is made from carved plywood and works with a similar principle to many other drawing devices already on the market, except it uses dishes of water to clean the brush between colours. A pair of motors are connected to cables that handle the positioning of the brush along the X-Y axis and a carriage with a servo can move it down and upward as instructed.

The whole thing is controlled by a EiBotBoard 2.0 USB motor controller. This hooks into a computer and gets instructions from some custom created software. The bot is said to last for several years.

What is appealing about the design is that it doesn’t require expensive, rare materials to paint, just standard watercolor kits and a small paintbrush. You simply place a piece of paper underneath and the machine will do the rest, under your instruction. The main carriage can handle any brush up to 8.3mm in diameter and the printable section is 22.9 cm x 30.5cm in diameter.

The machine will be bundled with software to interact with the motors. You create your drawing on the computer and the machine will then automatically paint your design for you. This obviously means a kid can fix any errors before it gets to hit the paper. The bot can follow a series of painting instructions. dipping the brush in water, swirling it in a watercolor compartment and then cleaning the brush later in a water tray. It can also ascertain if it needs to add more paint in some of the more complex designs.

For those people who like the risk of painting live, then you can also instruct the machine to follow your movements in real time via the software. The device has been demonstrated to young children in various exhibitions now, and it was even taken to shown Obama, the American President.

Sylvia and ESML are hoping to release the product to the public and feel it is a good tool for education and to expand a childs artistic palette.

Kickstarter have been called upon to head up the funding. If a person supports the project with $295 then they get the complete kit to get started, including Crayola Water Colours, paper and a brush.  They are said to be shipping at the end of the year, in December.

You can read more on this at Sylvia’s Super -Awesome maker show, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and then help to fund it at Kickstarter. They have already raised over $60,000 of the needed $50,000 with 24 days to go. It is clearly already proving a popular idea.

Kitguru says: We think this is a great idea to help expand the artistic mind of a child.

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