Listen to this article
HP announced HP SitePrint, an autonomous robot that precisely prints construction site layouts onto the floor. SitePrint will be available to customers in North America starting September 2022 through an early access program. The company is planning for a wider commercial release of the robot in 2023.
SitePrint was designed to automate the site layout process. It includes a light, compact, autonomous robot, cloud tools to submit and prepare jobs to be printed and manage the fleet, a touch screen tablet for remote control and configuration, and a portfolio of inks for different surfaces, environment conditions and durability requirements.
The robot can print digital layouts on a variety of surfaces, including concrete, tarmac, plywood, pavement, terrazzo, vinyl and epoxy. It can print over rough surfaces and obstacles up to 2 cm thick, and avoids obstacles on the job site that it can’t paint over.
“Technology adoption and increased digitization can help construction firms realize productivity gains,” Daniel Martínez, VP and General Manager at HP Large Format Printing, said. “HP has played a key role in bridging digital and physical worlds with print solutions for architects and engineers over the last thirty years. With HP SitePrint, we’re making it faster and easier than ever for construction professionals to bring an idea to life on site, while also providing layout accuracy and reducing costs derived from reworks.”
HP worked with Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, to integrate HP SitePrint with the Leica TS16 and Leica iCON iCR80 Robotic Total Stations to help the robot achieve precise positioning and navigation. The company is also working with Topcon to integrate HP SitePrint with the Topcon Layout Navigator and GT Robotic Total Stations.
“The existing manual layout process can be slow and labor intensive. Despite being done by specialists, there is always the risk of human error, which can result in costly reworks,” Albert Zulps, Director of Emerging Technology at Skanska – a global construction and development company currently utilizing HP SitePrint on two prominent US projects, said. “Layout experts are a scarce resource who add a lot of value in terms of planning and strategy, but often end up dedicating most of their time to manual execution. HP SitePrint lets us do more with less, helping reduce schedules thanks to a much faster layout process, and allowing senior operators to focus on other critical activities like quality control.”
HP claims that SitePrint can improve construction productivity by up to ten times compared to manual processes. The company faces competition from Dusty Robotics, a robotics provider that offers a similar construction layout printing robot.