As in, you set down marks to indicate where a wall is supposed to go, where a staircase is supposed to run, and where all the doors should be located, among other things. It’s a time-consuming process mostly because of the precision required, as it involves transferring plans on paper onto the real world and any mistakes in measurements can get construction off to a disastrous start. The HP SitePrint is a robot that can speed up the layout process.
Just like Roombas, this robot can navigate its way autonomously around the construction area, visiting every nook and cranny it can fit into just like your robo-vacuum does at home. Instead of cleaning your floors, though, this robot actually prints outlines from the blueprints directly on the ground, using its exacting automaton talents to create layouts at the right scale with the right measurements each time out.
The HP SitePrint looks like a pretty standard rover robot, with two large wheels in the rear and one small wheel out front allowing it to maneuver its way around both indoor and outdoor locations. It has a nimble design that allows it to perform precise, intricate maneuvers when printing arcs, circumferences, and other curved shapes, all while being able to drive over uneven ground and obstacles up to two centimeters. Aside from printing curved and straight lines, it can also print text and dots for those times you want additional information like labels on your onsite layouts.
It’s equipped with onboard sensors that allow it detect obstacles and cliffs, so it can halt printing when coming upon an obstacle, drive around it, and resume the layout once it’s moved past whatever’s blocking the way. Obviously, the robot’s speed will vary based on how complex the blueprints are, but the elimination of human error and the perfectly-scaled measurements should ensure it carries out the work substantially faster than traditional processes.
The HP SitePrint doesn’t work completely autonomous. Instead, it needs one person to actually put it in position to start the layout on the right place, so there still needs to be some amount of manual surveys and measurements involved. Once it’s off to a head start, though, the robot can do the job all on its own, barring the occasional incidents that send it off course, in which case the operator will need to intervene and put it back on the right path. The whole thing, by the way, can be equipped with up to two rechargeable batteries that can keep it running for up to eight hours (four hours per battery).
According to the outfit, it’s compatible with a wide selection of inks, so you can choose the exact kind of ink you need, depending on whether you’re working on concrete, tarmac, wood, tiles, or any other type of surface. They even have ink that can last for months at a time, in case the construction isn’t scheduled any time close.
According to coolthings.com