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A Robotic Layout Machine

May 20, 2017

This Roomba-like device can navigate a room and print complicated layout on the floor.

There’s a reason you don’t let the laborer do layout: It’s painstaking work and errors will carry through to the end of the job. Enter the Archibot, a self-propelled printer that can orient itself in a space and put CAD layout onto the floor.

Developed in South Korea by Han Seok Nam, the Archibot promises to reduce layout errors and the time it takes convert what’s on the prints—no matter how complicated it is—into lines on the floor.

Videos of the device cannot be embedded so you will have to view them on YouTube. The first is an animation that shows how the product will work on the jobsite. The second is a demo of a recently completed prototype.

The prototype uses a marker to draw complicated shapes onto the floor of a finished room. The finished product will use some kind of ink jet, which makes more sense because markers don’t last and will snag or skip over irregularities in concrete and plywood substrates.

But really, printing/marking is the least of what it can do. The amazing thing about this device is its ability to orient itself in space, navigate a room, and reproduce the shapes contained in CAD drawings.

—David Frane is a freelance editor and a good buddy of ours. Formerly, he was editor of Tools of the Trade magazine and website. He lives in Northern California.

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