A Robotic Drawing Robot Built with Cups And Markers

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If you are interested in using Drawbots in an educational setting, please contact me directly first.


Drawbot is a drawing system that anyone can use without having to learn electronics. It is a simple bot that mixes standard drawing materials (in this case magic markers) with weighted motors and plastic cups. When the cups vibrate, they draw circles and lines depending on their overall weight and power. The project teaches programming to kids through physical means or “Physical Programming”. By adjusting the weight distribution of materials in the cups, the bots draw different patterns on the paper and are thus changed through simple forms of augmentation.

Exhibitions / Workshops

PS 321
January 24, 2020, Brooklyn, NY.

PS 321
June 17, 2016, Brooklyn, NY.

PS 133
June 6, 2015, Brooklyn, NY.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
April 14, 2014, NY, NY.

Dumbo Arts Festival
September 29, 2013, Brooklyn, NY.

Georges Sand public library
July 7, 2012, Palaiseau, France.

Home Shop
May 31, 2012, Beijing, China.

Montclair Art Museum
May 20, 2012, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey, USA

OFFF Cincinatti
October 27-28, 2011, Cincinatti, Ohio, USA.

Dumbo Arts Festival
September 24, 2011, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

Teachers as Makers Professional Development Academy @ New York Hall of Science
October 2, 2010, New York Hall of Science, NY, NY, USA.

Maker Faire @ New York Hall of Science
September 25-26, 2010, New York Hall of Science, NY, NY, USA.

Maker Faire @ Newcastle ScienceFest
March 13 – 14, 2010, Newcastle, UK.

Brighton Robotics 1st Birthday Party

January 28, 2010, The Skiff, Brighton, UK.

Discover (Arts activities for children with disabilities and their siblings aged 5 – 13, living in Essex,
organized by Damien Robinson, held at Theatre Resource, May 25, 2009, Great Stony, Essex, UK.

Going Nova,
organized by Horizon Scotland and Distance Lab, March 23, 2007
Horizon Scotland, Forres, Scotland, UK.

BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, (Discover Science and Engineering Stand), January 9-13, 2007, Royal Dublin Society, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland.

DO IT TOO (An Exhibition of Participatory Art),
10/5/06-12/2/06 @ YorkArts,
York, PA.

Drawbot Workshop at ANAT New Media Lab, 10/1-15/05, Melbourne, Australia.

ArtBots, 9/17-20/04, NYC, USA.
DrawBot Workshop @ The Ark, 8/11-13/04, Dublin, Ireland.

Simple.Tech, 2/10/04 – 3/5/04 @ Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, Reno, Nevada, USA.

Drawbot Workshop at Transmediale.04, 1/23/04, Berlin, Germany.

Drawbot Workshop at DATA:BASE, 4/26/03, Dublin, Ireland.


The prototype for Drawbot consists of cheap materials. The concept stems from a project I did in elementary school with simple parts and battery power. If you can create something compelling with simple means, then you have more justification to use complicated means.

Picture of me holding a large DrawBot drawing:

Video from Children’s Museum of Manhattan, April 15, 2014

Video from Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY, September 29, 2013

Video from Parsons / The New School – Colorbots version w/paint

Images from Drawbot Workshop at Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY, September 29, 2013

Images from Drawbot Workshop at Parsons Electronic Society, NYC, NY, September 12, 2012

Images from Drawbot Workshop at Homeshop, Beijing, China, May 29, 2012

Images from Drawbot Workshop at DUMBO Arts Festival, 2011.

Images from Drawbot Workshop at Maker Faire NYC, 2010

Drawbot Workshop at the Ark, Dublin, Ireland, August 11-13, 2004.

Picture of Drawbot for sale from Sheek Geek.

Pictures from Drawbot workshop at “Artbots 2004” at Mink Building, Harlem, NYC, 9/17-20/04.

Drawbot Video Documentation

Drawbots at OFFF Cincinatti, Oct 27-28, 2011.

Drawbots at DUMBO Arts Festival, September 24, 2011

Drawbots at Maker Faire NYC, September 25, 2010.

Maker Faire-NY (DrawBots)

Kids Drawbots workshop at St. James National School, Stradbally, Ireland, April 23, 2008.

Drawbot Workshop at Theatre Resource, May 25, 2009, Great Stony, Essex, UK.Drawbots Workshop, Theatre Resource, Great Stony, Essex UK, 28/5/09

Pictures of Drawbot Workshop @ Teachers as Makers Professional Dev Academy (10/2/2010), New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY

Picture of bots @ Maker Faire 2009 (5/30-31/2009), San Mateo Fairgrounds, San Mateo, CA:

Picture of bot @ Anat New Media Lab (10/1-15/05), Melbourne, Australia:

Picture of modded drawbot made during workshop @ The Ark (8/11-13/04):

Picture of group of bots @ The Ark (8/11-13/04):

Picture of drawbot made during workshop:

Picture of new drawbot design made during workshop:

Picture from Simple.Tech show in Reno, Nevada (Feb 2004):

Drawbots on display at “Parsons Festival 2011” New York, NY, May 22, 2011.

Drawbots on display at “DO IT TOO” show at York Arts, York, PA, 10/5/06 – 12/2/06:

Drawbots on display at “REFUNCT 2009” show at Irish Museum of Contemporary Art, 8/30/09 – 9/28/09: