Sketching out the future with Line-us.
When did you come up with the idea?
The original inspiration for Line-us was a chance meeting between Durrell and Tim Lewis in Hackney, in 2016. Tim has been making mechanical drawing machines for some time and Durrell and I wondered what would happen if you used a similar arm mechanism but driven electronically and connected to the internet.
How has COVID-19 affected the business?
It’s been difficult, but that has to be viewed in the wider context where many are suffering very badly, so we always bear that in mind. We’ve heard of some really nice stories, for example people using Line-us to send drawings to family members and friends that they have been unable to meet in person.
The idea that Line-us is helping some people get through these difficult times really does cheer us up.
What new uses are you finding for the product?
We’ve tried all kinds of things and are always keen to come up with new ideas, or to see what others are doing with Line-us. Recently we’ve used Line-us to play music, drive a Lego car and play a word guessing game. One of the nice things about Line-us is that you can easily write your own code to control it and that opens up lots of possibilities.
Where do you imagine the business going?
The Line-us community is growing, and we’re seeing more and more people share their Line-us drawings in the Line-us Cloud which is really great to see. We’re also seeing more and more people developing their own code for Line-us, in particular in the generative art community. Our aim is to get as many people drawing and coding as we can.
What collaborations do you have planned?
We’ve got a couple of Top Secret projects underway at the moment that we can’t really talk about, but one area of interest is using Line-us in interactive way in exhibitions or other public spaces. Line-us was recently part of the Hello Robot exhibition at the V&A Dundee for example, and that’s something that we get asked about a lot.
What would you create with the robot arm, if you were a customer?
One area we’re exploring at the moment is remote access to Line-us; allowing people to draw on someone else’s Line-us wherever it is in the world, or connect easily to one in a public space. This opens up a lot of new uses for Line-us, many of which we haven’t even thought of ourselves yet!