When it launched in 2019, Dusty’s FieldPrinter added a clever new dimension to the world of construction automation. The autonomous mobile robot brought blueprints into the real world by drawing chalk outlines on the site’s floors, thus eliminating much of the guess work in a job you really don’t want to guess at. The company says the first-gen ‘bot has so far printed more than 91 million square feet.
Today the Bay Area-based startup is launching the sequel. As was the case with its predecessor, FieldPrinter 2 sports a big pair of friendly eyes — personification is a surprisingly effective way to integrate automation into the workplace. The little robot is smaller than the first gen, thus allowing it to better move around obstacles.
It now prints closer to edges and can “shadow print” behind columns. The 23-pound robot sports a wider print head and a bevy of on-board sensors for improved navigation. It can also be controlled via iPad.
Today’s news also marks the arrival of FieldPrint Platform, which is centered around BIM-to-field — that’s effectively bringing digital information into real-world construction sites.
“Our new FieldPrint Platform supports the seamless flow of data from the design phase, to the field, and back to the trailer,” cofounder and CEO Tessa Lau notes. “More than just a robot, Dusty provides an integrated software+hardware solution that architects, designers, and field operators utilize to get unparalleled accuracy, communication, and efficiency.”
Construction is currently shaping up to be one of robotics’ biggest categories. It is, after all, a $2 trillion industry in the U.S. alone. There are several aspects of the building process that are perfectly positioned for automation, especially during an era of staffing shortage. Predictably, Dusty’s innovative solution now has some competition, including, most notably, HP’s SitePrint.