PosterBot: Make a Marker-Writing Robot out of an Old Inket printer and an iRobot Create

Picture of PosterBot: Make a Marker-Writing Robot out of an Old Inket printer and an iRobot Create
I decided to make this robot because I've never had very neat handwriting, so making large letters has always been difficult. When I was on Student Council in high school, I always got marked down for posters that weren't "neat" enough. Like any nerd, I figured "If I can't do it, I'll make a robot to do it for me."

This robot will draw out any small monochrome bitmap onto poster paper. It can mark out the individual pixels just as a printer might. It works best with strings of characters.

This is a moderately difficult project which requires about $50 in parts and basic electronic skills (This doesn't include an iRobot create,Command Module and old Inkjet printer) . You should be able to read a schematic and make a basic prototype or bread board. Some familiarity with C or C++ is handy too.

I recommend that you read through the entire Instructable before beginning your project. It's important that you get the bigger picture because the process will vary depending on your materials.

Parts List:
An Old inkjet printer
An iRobot Create and Command module
Electronic prototype board or bread board
Several rubber bands
Two 9-pin serial cables with at least one male end
4 PC-Mount DPDT 5v DC relays rated at least 1A
4 2n222 transistors
4 1k 1/4 watt resistors
4 diodes
some wire to make jumpers with (unbraided)
~3' of 1/8" Bass wood
Poster marker
Butcher paper (get at least 20')
Voltage regulators (values vary)
White acrylic paint (optional)

Hack saw
Box Cutter or Exacto knife
Drill and bit set
Soldering iron/solder
Hot melt glue gun
ukaow1 year ago
Hello Guys, That's interesting. Now i'm looking for software lib or SDK such library, python etc..for control my Groma irobot. How are you control your robot? what's your software? Thanks very krub.
W_world (author)  ukaow1 year ago
I believe I just used the Command Center software. Nothing fancy.
Timmers2 years ago
Have you seen this, pretty cool creation.

kfoster103 years ago
I have a Roomba 5th generation... Does anyone know if there is any way that I could still do this project?
pyroman505 years ago
hey thanks for the great instructable im gonna be searching for a printer ringht away and haha wyatt is my name
dunnos6 years ago
oh wow i am going to design this with a pic micro yay, something to do during geographie
JellyWoo7 years ago
would this work with a inkjet printer that doesn't work? sry if you already mentioned in the instructable.
PizzaPlanet7 years ago
nice prety costly nice
So cool man, but i searched for the Irobot thing on ebay and costs too much but it is good to know that someone invented this people woul be needing things like these :)
rimar20008 years ago
Do you realize the great potential value of this that you have made? Imagine the quantity of applications that can have. You could improve the device so that it primes on almost any surface: highways, walls, vehicles, etc. In color also. AWESOME! I waited something like that for years. Regrettably my abilities don't arrive to so much.
the Institute for Applied Autonomy has made some similar projects. check out the link.
I saw something similar with a guy who had a cart attachment to his bike that would write messages as he rode around town.
My old neighbor did projects with those guys. Good stuff.
KronoNaut7 years ago
This is great!
burnoutxd7 years ago
it looks like teh most badass CD player ive ever seen... lol good instructable
Really nice work! I got about halfway down, saw the printer frame, and thought "oh no, another spray-painting robot." (See Institute... comment above.) But I was sooooo wrong. You freaking raise and lower a marker. Held together with rubber bands. That's minimalist hacking at its best. Double bonus points for style. (And ditto Fungus on the video request.)
irissippi8 years ago
Hey, will you make one for my piercing and tattoo parlor? You Rock Wyatt! You have a great brain!
gilby8 years ago
Interesting idea but... can your printer tell if it is past the paper or out of paper to keep from writing? Does it have any artificial intelligence like some of the other entries?
xrissy8 years ago
This is so cool. I wish I could make it, but I'm not techie enough. My husband could, though! Well done for such a creative venture!
Great job!
Could you make a video showing the robot doing its thing at 10x speed? Pretty please?
Brennn108 years ago
Oh Mylanta! Brilliant!
Koko-Kid8 years ago
NachoMahma8 years ago
. Wow! Don't know what else to say, but Wow! That is awesome!!
Darkshot8 years ago
I have to say...this came out way better than I had expected. Bravo!
I have to agree! Great job! (*Is afraid of own project*)