When I use power tools I get only modest precision. Like most people, my hands and arms don’t maintain tight control. If I’m cutting a circle with a router, odds are it’ll turn out looking like a circle … sort of. Wouldn’t it be nice if technology could compensate for human imprecision?
Micro compensation of manual power tools is one idea behind Taktia’s products (taktia.com). In the case of the router above, vector cut files are loaded into the tool and can be browsed on the router’s display. After selecting an image on the touch display (for example an outline of the contiguous United States) you position the router on your material and start cutting by tracing the shape on the display. So long as you’re relatively accurate in moving the router the tool will automatically adjust to 1/100 of an inch. The tool will make the micro compensations necessary to ensure a near-perfect cut. Not bad!
However, the vision doesn’t stop there. Their goal is to make tools better by injecting smarts but not to go so far as full CNC. They want hand tools to stay in your hands but they want the tools to work better. Wouldn’t it be great if a drill slowed when it reached a specified depth or a jig saw stayed on track over the course of a cut? These kind of controller-assisted tools are part of their vision.
Making hand power tools smart is a wonderful idea. With such tools, craftsmen can continue to work with their hands and benefit from technology by getting better results. In addition, it should broaden the number of users who are capable of using power hand tools to produce good work.
Finally my circle cuts will look like circles.
Taktia is one of the startups at this weekend’s Maker Faire Bay Area.