Taktia – Digitally Augmented Power Tools

Taktia – Digitally Augmented Power Tools
Hand router cut made to within 1/100 of an inch by Tattia
Hand router cut made exact to within 1/100 of an inch by Taktia

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!

Hand-held, the router path is kept on track with  XY adjustments.
Hand controlled along a graphical trace, the router is kept on track digitally with XY adjustments.

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.

0 thoughts on “Taktia – Digitally Augmented Power Tools

  1. Monty Woods says:

    Wonder how much this precision cos ts the users? If it is a self-build or kit add-on to the tool, it could be worth it. We will see when prices are listed. Hope I can get one & computer+software too.

  2. Phlamingo says:

    Okay, I’ve never seen a jig for cutting an outline as complex as that map, but when I made banana chairs for my daughter’s plush monkeys, I cut out patterns to guide the router in the final cuts. For cutting a straight line, a fence is a good choice, and for cutting circles, circle jigs are easy to build (or cheap to buy) and easy to use. I think this is a solution that is still in search of a problem.

    1. Dave Newton says:

      This solution would work for patterns of arbitrary size, and more easily than a trip to your local printer to get a poster-size print to stick onto your wood.

      This is basically CNC, but manually-operated, and a lot cheaper than a full CNC setup. It’s a terrific idea.

  3. Mr. Patrick says:

    I think the best use is getting this tool in the hands of those that are challenged by the physicality of making. This allows small kids, smaller makers, etc. to have some level of control when making stuff.

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