How a robotic printer, autonomous security drone and topless flip-flop shoes are completely changing the way they work.
If asked to envision a printer, flip-flop and security camera, most people would probably describe a box through which paper feeds, a flat sole with a thong, and a closed-circuit video recorder collecting cobwebs while affixed to the upper corner of a room. But three Israeli companies have reimagined each of these products in ways that will forever change how we think of them.
1. ZUtA Labs’ robotic printer
Jerusalem-based ZUtA Labs made quite a splash at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. In fact, they garnered a coveted Best of Innovation Award that year for introducing their palm-sized robotic printer. Unlike every other printer in the world, this sleek little device — 7.5 cm tall, 11.2 cm wide, weighing roughly 400g — rolls over the paper on which it’s printing with up to 1200dpi and color capabilities.
Having raised over $500,000 in a late 2019 Kickstarter campaign, ZUtA founder Tuvia Elbaum recently assured WIN that his team has overcome many technical challenges, the product is “still seeing incredible demand” and he hopes to bring the product to market with help from the right financial partners.
2. Tando – a patrolling robot
When asked why Israel seems to be such a breeding ground for groundbreaking technology, Amit Moran, Co-Founder and VP of R&D at Indoor Robotics, remarked, “It is because Israelis are being taught that we shouldn’t just accept things as they are.” He recalls the strange looks he got from fellow students when arguing with professors while earning his engineering degree in France.
What will the future bring? According to Moran, “The future is about smart buildings which work as a living organism. Robots are there to help humankind to live better and safer by using the power of technology.”
3. Link’s Flip-shoes
In a very different way, Link also seeks to instill freedom — from the ground up, so to speak.
This Galilee-based footwear company premiered the world’s first “flip-shoes” this past fall. Completely open on top, these wunder-kicks offer incredible breathability — yet with the support and tread that allows wearers to hike, bike and even skateboard (unthought of with traditional flip-flops). Best of all, wearers’ toes need not clutch a thong for dear life.
It’s such a simple concept that speaks so well to a lifestyle-minded solution. But then, the most innovative products always are.