Construction workers could soon spend more time building and less time preparing. HP has disclosure a SitePrint robot that automatically prints layouts on the floors of a construction site. With the help of remote control tablets and cloud tools, the machine can sketch walls, doors and other elements without much intervention – it can avoid obstacles unexpected objects, including ramps. The company claims the bot can complete a layout in a “small” amount of time required by a human, although this will vary depending on the complexity of the project.
The robot includes two batteries, each of which can handle up to four hours of printing. It can print on surfaces like concrete, plywood and terrazzo, even if they are rough. You can also choose inks with a day or month shelf life to match the timeline for a given job.
HP will make the SitePrint robot available to North American companies this month as part of an early access program. Autonomous cars are complete and a large-scale launch should take place around 2023. The hardware has been tested with projects ranging from airports to hospitals.
There is clearly a concern that SitePrint might automate people out of work. Robots only require one operator versus the two or three typically required for manual layouts. However, its timing can be especially relevant. As in many other sectors, the construction industry is struggling with lack of labor. Robots like SitePrint can help builders make the most of limited staff or take on more ambitious tasks without hiring larger teams.
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