HomeHow To Create Your Own Graffiti Drone

Share to Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Following the recent vandal attack on Kendell Jenner’s six-story Calvin Klein Jeans billboard, situated atop a building at the intersection of Lafayette and East Houston St, the perpetrator has unmasked himself as none other than KATSU, the prolific graffiti mastermind notorious for his deviant marriage of art and technology. What more, KATSU has decided to release his newest mischief maker, the very one used to deface the Jenner billboard, out into the public: you too can be a proud owner of the ICARUS ONE, the world’s first open-source paint drone!


Demonstrating the drone’s capabilities, the Hole Gallery displayed a series of abstract paintings created by KATSU, employing the apparatus for a public screening at the Silicon Valley Contemporary Art fair in April 2014.

KATSU, testing for variables ranging from flight paths and can activation sensors to the weight of the paint and the straw for the sprayer, commented on his gallery afterwards saying to Motherboard:

Drones are becoming this extension of human beings in the same way that we’re growing so close to our smartphones and devices.

It’s really exciting to see and understand and think about what it means that many of the aesthetic decisions in these paintings are not my decisions. They’re these collaborative decisions with this technology.


Indeed, vandalism has seemingly transcended its destructive tendencies, opting instead for structures of added expression or relief. KATSU’s hooligan outing (now viral on YouTube) doesn’t just consist of series of red squiggles shielding us from Kendell’s wrath, but reimagines the future of tagging and street art.

The ICARUS ONE, which can be purchased by contacting the staff behind the project, can also be produced as a DIY project.

For starters, you’d want the below set-up…

…which would involve the below steps, each of which can be found in full on the ICARUS ONE website. Possible enthusiasts should note that the process involves some 3D printing, soldering, and Arduino experience.


Step 1 – 3D Print Spray Can Lever and Attach Servo Motor

Step 2 – Create ICARUS ONE Can Cradle

Step 3 – Assemble and Solder ICARUS ONE Control Unit

Step 4 – Load ICARUS ONE Software

Step 5 – House Your ICARUS ONE Control Unit

Step 6 – Combine ICARUS ONE System with Phantom 2