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SERVO 07.2014 9
Not Setting Speed Records
When you first encounter the Pocket Printer — a creation
of ZUtA Labs ( www.zutalabs.com) — you might wonder
why no one thought this one up a long time ago. After all,
we're talking about a portable, wireless robotic printer that
can print from your smartphone or PC as it crawls around on
any size piece of paper. It runs on a rechargeable battery
(1 hr per charge) and eliminates the need for a complicated
paper feed mechanism. Its inkjet cartridge can produce as
many as 1,000 copies, which isn't bad. Then, you notice that
it's about 4 in ( 10 cm) high and 4. 5 in ( 11. 5 cm) in diameter,
and it weighs in at about 10. 5 oz (300 g), so this really isn't
going to fit in your pocket unless you're Captain Kangaroo.
Plus, the surface you print on must be perfectly flat and
probably pretty close to level, and because it has no
stabilizing sensors, using it in a moving vehicle seems unlikely. Add to that a resolution of 96 by 192 dpi (ZUtA says that
will be improved) and a print speed of 1.2 ppm, you begin to wonder who would actually pay $200 for one. Time will tell.
As of this writing, it is still a Kickstarter project and not yet on the market, but ZUtA has raised more than its original goal
of $400,000 (which has been raised to $800,000), so something seems likely to emerge.
Nice to Feel Needed
It's no secret that things are tough in the print
publication business, and publishers are implementing
a wide range of cost-cutting measures. A few have
even experimented with "robot journalism" in which
stories are generated by artificial intelligence rather
than live journalists. Some success has been reported
with articles about sports and business, as these tend
to rely heavily on statistics and standardized sentence
structures. However, The Guardian's
( www.theguardian.com) recent attempt to produce
a news story with its "Guarbot" creation did not fare
so well. When assigned the task of producing an
The crime-ridden family of quinoa has taken US
by storm this month. According to Peru, New York
has confirmed that quinoa is more story than
anything else they've ever seen. Quotes from top
Yotam Ottolenghi eaters suggest that "crop" is
currently clear top, possibly more than ground black
pepper. Experts say both Salt and University need to
traditionally grow to strengthen a common solution.
Finally, it is worth slightly rattling that this article was
peeled until it made sense.
As the publication acknowledged, "Maybe we
really do still need journalists, maybe articles really don't write
themselves ..." SV
The Pocket Printer from ZUtA Labs.
Future journalist Robby the Robot (from
"Forbidden Planet,” 1956) tries out a