Semi-Autonomous Painting
Katsuru Smart Painting Drone

The work of new media and street artist Katsu has given another layer of meaning on many New York billboards. The artist was known to utilise a drone for extending his reach for graffiti a few years ago. He has talked about making the design for his graffiti drone Open Source and did released instructions in the past, yet it would be extremely time-consuming for the artist to build one by themselves. Now Katsu has partnered with Tsuru Robotics to launch the limited-run Katsuru semi-autonomous painting drone.

The barebones drone allows artists to paint on a large scale and distance far away with standard spray paint cans for ten minutes each battery charge. The drone is controlled manually and equipped with advanced sensors and software for detecting distance to walls. Upgrade kit will be available in late 2020 turning the drone into fully autonomous mode.

The Katsuru Beta is available for pre-order now until 1 Jan on Katsuru website. While US$ 2,500 may seem like a stiff price tag, the artist himself has said that building a painting drone by oneself would even be more expensive.