Bulldozing over the paranoia of what automation may mean for the workforce, HP is looking at things on the bright side and is giving the construction industry a much-needed helping hand with its very own robot.
Taking shape in the form of an autonomous three-wheeled robot, ‘SitePrint’ can zip around building zones and mark out blueprints on the ground as it goes.
Once a project has been approved for assembly and after a site has been cleared for work to commence, the construction team will need to lay specific measurements on the ground using specialized equipment to get the dimensions accurate.
This method of doing so is pretty time-consuming and can take weeks to accomplish by hand.
However, SitePrint can get the job done in much less time. HP test ran the bot on a construction project with Skanska at the LIRR Train Hall Renovation in Penn Station, New York, to test the robot out by having it print the layout of a wall with an area of 2,400 square feet. It took SitePrint merely seven minutes to finish a job that would have taken seven hours manually.
SitePrint is able to provide accurate positioning via a Robotic Total Station. It is guided by a Leica TS16 and Leica iCON iCR80 Robotic Total Stations in collaboration with a Leica Geosystem.
HP’s robot printer comes with its own set of interchangeable devices, allowing it to switch between solid and dashed lines. It can also stamp text onto the ground for easier communication between different teams working on the project.
Special inks suited for different types of terrain and weather aim to support a multitude of locations under unpredictable conditions. And companies can choose between inks that fade over a period of weeks to months, depending on how long they need the guidelines to be left up.
HP has conducted experiments in over 80 different construction sites, such as hospitals, airports, and parking garages, to prove the efficacy of SitePrint. The bot will have an early rollout in the United States this month before expanding to international markets next year.