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Super-micro printer

Tiny robot, leaving a trail of ink
  (+9)(+9)
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Imagine the following: you place a small disk-shaped robot, perhaps an inch or two in diameter, onto a sheet of paper.

The robot first rolls around the paper, using an optical sensor to detect the edge of the sheet, and uses dead reckoning to know it's location relative to the starting point.

After "mapping" the paper, the robot rolls to the "top", then moves back and forth across the paper, leaving a trail of ink dots, which ultimately form the bitmapped picture.

As an alternative to printing bitmaps, the robot could given a program in the Logo programming language.

goldbb, May 27 2009

Logo http://en.wikipedia...ogramming_language)
[goldbb, May 27 2009]

Random Movement Printer http://www.printdre...om/inside/rmpt.html
basically a mobile printer with optical mouses for dead recogning [loonquawl, May 28 2009]

Caligraphy_20Pen_20Printer [hippo, May 28 2009]

Robot_20Car_20Poster_20Printer [hippo, May 28 2009]

Roving Printer http://aleptu.com/w...ations-2719799.html
not logo, Lego! [xenzag, May 28 2009]

[link]






       It would take 20 minutes to print one sheet
DIYMatt, May 27 2009
  

       Disk-shaped? Kind of like a turtle?
lurch, May 27 2009
  

       It would only be turtle shaped when using Logo.
goldbb, May 27 2009
  

       I like this, but the tiny part not so much. Recently I had to have some posters printed up. $200+ at Kinkos for a 8x4 foot poster! One could use a crawling robot printer to print very large items like posters and giant banners. It would take a while but so what? A robot this small would need a base to go back and get more ink. A base placed at the top left corner would allow the robot to reorient itself. Alternatively the base could have a set of plastic tubes attacged to the robot, and position could be determined by a retractable leash going from base to robot - but then you are constrained by the length of the leash. There is no reason an autonomous crawling printer would need to be super tiny - if you were printing giant banners the thing could be a sizeable box and so more self contained.
bungston, May 27 2009
  

       A business might have a team of these robots that could be deployed together to speed up big jobs. One robot would take care of each color, one following after another across the banner.
bungston, May 27 2009
  

       Think bigger! Aerial drones + seeds.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 27 2009
  

       Not only Logo, but any vector description language. [+]
BunsenHoneydew, May 28 2009
  

       Basically, attach a Roomba to the [link]ed printer and let it bumble around for as long as it takes
loonquawl, May 28 2009
  

       Specialist robots could also be deployed to assist standard robots to do tasks like cope with large in-fills or recover exhausted bots who had failed to recharge themselves before they ran out of power.
Aristotle, May 28 2009
  

       //who had failed to recharge themselves before they ran out of power// Perhaps robots with extra long arms and grabs, to retrieve those that had printed themselves into a corner.
coprocephalous, May 28 2009
  

       //and uses dead reckoning to know it's location relative to the starting point.//
Use a mouse. Use 2 to see the angle.
Ling, May 28 2009
  

       //A robot this small would need a base to go back and get more ink.//   

       Probably not. I dare say it could contain a typical size ink cartridge, which would last several hundred sheets of A4 or maybe half a dozen posters.
Bad Jim, May 28 2009
  

       //who had failed to recharge themselves before they ran out of power//   

       Un-Natural selection for roving robot printers!!
Custardguts, May 28 2009
  
      
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