A few months ago, Google software engineer Maurice Bos decided to build a clock for his office in Zurich. A conventional one seemed dull, so Bos created a machine that scrawls the time on a whiteboard. Using a radio-frequency connection, a computer sends instructions to a microcontroller mounted on top of the board. That controller then directs an articulated arm to erase the old time and write the new one with a marker. The process takes about 15 seconds and repeats every five minutes.