Drones are being made to do just about anything anymore. And now you can add graffiti to the list. The quadcopter is a collaboration between New York artist Katsu and Moscow-based Tsuru Robotics.
Rumors abounded last year that Katsu was using a modified DJI quadcopter to paint graffiti on high and difficult-to-reach areas. What was once only in the hands of the artist will soon be available to the general public. The drone consists of four propeller arms that fold inward when not in use. The center receptacle of the drone receives third-party, standard-size spray paint cans. Attach the drone, fold out the propellers, and the drone will fly the can up to those areas you just can’t reach. An actuator in the drone will activate the paint, and you’re laying down your artwork.
The drone has enough power to fly for about 10 minutes on a full charge. It achieves “semi-autonomous” flight—meaning that you’ll manually control where it goes and when it sprays, but the drone will maintain a set distance from the walls. Tsuru is working on a firmware upgrade that will make the drone fully autonomous.
“The Katsuru Beta is the very first smart painting drone available to anyone,” says the Katsuru web site. “It reaches unreachable surfaces. It paints at enormous scale. It will kick off a new era in art & activism.” Of course, no kick off is going to happen without a little practice first. Tsuru simply states that using the drone “will require patience and practice in order to use.” If you’ve got your eye on a potential canvas that is well out of reach, then you may want to check into the Katsuru Beta. It will be available January 1, 2020, but won’t ship until June. The drone is priced at $2,499. You do have to be 18 years of age to purchase it, though.