- Title: Robotic spray-painter creates huge multi-coloured mural
- Date: 27th July 2017
- Summary: TARTU, ESTONIA (JULY 25, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVENTOR OF SPRAYPRINTER, MIHKEL JOALA, SAYING: "Well, how it works is the servo moves the print head up and down using this line. And it's basically a robotic puppeteer. So it just moves the print head using the lines and it knows the position and then shoots the right colour." COLOR CANS ATTACHED TO PRINTER PRINTER CONTROLLER JOALA SHOWING PRINTER'S SPRAY POINT PRINTER'S SPRAYPOINT JOALA WORKING ON PRINTER PRINTER'S COMPUTER COMPUTER SCREEN SHOWING PRINTING COORDINATES PRINTING IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVENTOR OF SPRAYPRINTER, MIHKEL JOALA, SAYING: "The product is going to be a suitcase that has four servo motors. And you have to set the suitcase on the ground and run the cables from the corners of your image. So you have rollers in the corners and you run the cable through the rollers meeting in the print head. So you have to set it all up, run the program and it prints itself." CHIMNEY VARIOUS OF JOALA SHAKING COLOR CAN JOALA CHANGING COLOR CAN ON PRINTER PRINTING IN PROGRESS PRINTED IMAGE ON CHIMNEY (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVENTOR OF SPRAYPRINTER, MIHKEL JOALA, SAYING: "The image is 30 metres tall and about six metres wide. It took about 14 hours to print and about 30 cans of spray paint. It has about 1.5 million dots of paint." VARIOUS OF PAINT DOTS ON CHIMNEY WALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVENTOR OF SPRAYPRINTER, MIHKEL JOALA, SAYING: "The main message in this artwork is that we need more plants and less chimneys." VARIOUS OF CHIMNEY WITH PRINTED IMAGE
- Embargoed: 10th August 2017 11:32
- Keywords: Sprayprinter inventor Mikhel Joala demonstrating product prototype mural
- Location: TARTU, ESTONIA
- City: TARTU, ESTONIA
- Country: Estonia
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA0036RHTG7V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Mihkel Joala wants to add a splash of color to the cities of the world.
To do that the Estonian inventor has created a robotic five-color spray-painter that he says can produce murals 100-metres tall on buildings. With it, Joala says he is ready to break world records.
To test his prototype, Joala's startup company Sprayprinter decided to print one of the tallest buildings in Tartu - the chimney of a local heat supply company.
In order to achieve this, Joala and his colleagues donned climbing gear and fixed the printer's prototype to vertical and horizontal cords. A computer connected to the printer then sent coordinates to the printer and its motor telling it where to spray-paint, and in which colour.
For 14 hours, the printer moved up and down on the chimney to create an artwork designed by Estonian artist Maari Soekov. Eventually, after about 30 cans of spraypraint, the image of a girl holding a tree in her hands appeared.
Joala said the message is environmental, in favor of renewable energy resources.
"The main message in this artwork is that we need more plants and less chimneys," he said.
The image, which now can be seen from many places in Tartu, is 30 metres tall and about 6 metres wide.
Joala's first idea was to use a remotely-controlled robot that would splash paint as required but that proved too difficult with external elements such as wind or rain. That's when Joala came up with the idea of a spray-printer connected to a computer and attached with cables over the surface to paint.
Joala envisions the end product as a four-motor suitcase connected by cables to the print-head. It will first be intended for straight surfaces, he said.
A smaller-sized set will be able to print images 4 metres tall and 4 metres wide. A larger set would be able to take on larger projects, creating images of 100 by 100 metres.
Sprayprinter plans to launch its first printers by the end of 2017. Wider production is planned in 2018.
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