Mini Robotic Printer Drives Across Paper for On-the-Go Printing

By: | May 6th, 2014

Israeli start-up ZUta Labs is on a goal to change how the printer works with its new mobile device, simply called The Printer, which has reached its Kickstarter goal of $400,000.

Printers are one of the few office items that haven’t truly evolved with the mobile revolution of today. Jonathan Stein, designer at ZUta Labs, says the idea for The Printer came from the simple printer head you find inside any office printer. What if they could use the head and shed all of the other unnecessary hardware to create one small compact device?

The pocket-sized printer can print on any size paper. The device essentially sits on top of a flat page and moves across with its small wheels, printing the ink as desired onto the page. Currently, the prototype prints a page in under a minute. When you have multiple pages, it will stop when finished with one page and tell you when to change to the next.

Functionality across different devices was key to its development too, say the creators of The Printer, who will now be using the Kickstarter funds to work on custom parts and make The Printer even smaller.

The developers face a number of challenges in getting people to adopt the mobile printer on a wider scale, even if the Kickstarter success is encouraging. Firstly, the device only prints in greyscale for now and the speed of the device needs to be addressed if more people are seriously going to pick this little piece of kit up. The developers speak highly of the mobile age and speedy performance is a big part of this.

With this in mind, though, the developers say that the mini printer will be controlled through a mobile app on Android and iOS, which is perfect for on-the-go work but will also be supported by PCs when you’re at home.

So far the device is available in two colors Mars black and titanium white so the developers are keeping an eye on the pleasing design side of things too.

The Printer’s other challenge is convincing users that they will really need this device. What situation will owning one of these devices be a lifesaver? Some commenters have noted that things like bus and train tickets, airline boarding passes and concert tickets can all be validated on your phone screen so the developers will need to nail down a niche crowd for its mini printing device and tailor it to those needs.

Nevertheless, we’re pretty excited about this device and increasing innovations in mobile.

Jonathan Keane

Irish journalist writing on business, tech and engineering.


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