This Robot Paints Buildings Using 20% Less Paint Than Humans


The efficiency-obsessed Singapore is at it again, as the country’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) looks for a better and faster way to automate the painting of its high-rise buildings. Usually painting a building takes five people in total, one on the roof, one below the lift while three inside the special gondola. To reduce this redundancy, ELID Technology International and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has come up with a robotic system that can do the job with only two men.

The OutoBot robotic system can give all the high-rise exteriors a good washing, or even do a complete paint job with just the help of a ground operator and a safety officer.

The system comprises of a sub-500-kg (1,102-lb) camera hitched guided robotic arm that has six degrees of freedom and is mounted on a specially built gondola. These robotic arms move back and forth with a spray nozzle across the building’s facade while using a high-pressure delivery system to spread the jet of paint or water while avoiding spray painting the glass windows all by itself.

(From left) NTU Professor Chen I-Ming, ELID Group Managing Director Dennis Lim and ELID Vice President Kenneth Wong at the launch of the OutoBot in Singapore(Credit: NTU)

Of course, the robot comes with all the perks of using a machine instead of a human. If requires fewer people to work, and none of them are in danger of falling. The robot can also work longer hours and doesn’t have to take breaks. The creators also claim that their design applies a more consistent coat of paint than human workers using rollers while using approximately 20 percent less paint to do so.

OutoBot is in its testing phase and has already been tested on an industrial building, with the team now planning to test it on public housing blocks in consultation with HDB.

Bad news for the workers and labourers, but Merry Christmas to the contractors!

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