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Zuta portable printer mechanical design innovation

Image Credit: Zuta Labs

Imagine you could carry around a little teardrop-shaped robot that could print out a document on a moments notice by zipping across an odd piece of paper like a Roomba cleaning your floors. An invention like that might be worth some recognition.

The folks at the Consumer Electronics Association thought so, too. They just awarded Zuta Labs a spot among its Best of Innovation Honorees for its first-sized Pocket Printer at CES 2015. The device is also now available for pre-order.

You kind of have to watch the video to really understand how this thing works.

It is funny to think that in a paperless age anyone would want to focus on printing, much less printing robots. But, despite developments in e-signatures, we still need to print out a lot of stuff.

The Pocket Printer can work for an hour on a full charge and prints one standard size page a minute, roughly. One ink cartridge will yield a hundred pages and the printer even has a nifty little cap to keep ink from spilling all over your bag (or all over you, as the case may be).

It connects to any Wi-Fi enabled device, so you can print from your phone. And its prepared to print multiple pages. At the end of every page, the little cube will stop and wait to be placed at the top of the next page a bit more labor intensive than your average printer, for sure.

Still, this portable printer may have a few more quirks. From the video it looks like you’ll need to place it on a sturdy flat surface, which may not always be available (not in my home anyway). And it’s easy to see how user error could lead to some seriously skewed printing jobs. So while attractive and compact, this little device may have some trouble finding an audience before all of our documents end up in the cloud.

Zuta Labs ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in May of last year, raising over $500,000.