This printing robot allows one to print on the floor using an iRobot Create combined with an old Epson Inkjet printer. The Roomba allows for forward motion, while a carefully stripped-down printer allows for horizontal motion and something to attach the printing device to. As described, this allows “the robot to print a virtually unlimited size.”
Besides the reused printer, another clever aspect of this design is the print head media dispenser. This consists of a plastic funnel, a drill bit, and a small DC motor. The bit, which is sized very close to the funnel’s opening, is spun by the DC motor for each pixel. The assembly releases a measured amount of the printing media, and from the video this technique seems to work quite well.
As this ‘bot originated at Georgia Tech, nearby rivals such as Clemson and UGA will have to be on the lookout for a swarm of these printers on their football fields. On the other hand, they’re not that fast (yet), so it will take a while for a large Yellow Jacket logo to show up.
Much faster, though a little bit less automated, this ChalkJET writer does a similar function to this using a quite different setup.