The Handibot is a portable, digitally-controlled tool that can cut, carve or drill programmed shapes anywhere you want – floor wall, ceiling – you name it.
This is a close cousin to the personal 3-D printers that are hitting the market now. The main difference is that it cuts material instead of builds objects. The real beauty of this portable CNC machine is the ability to run it with apps via your smartphone, tablet or PC. No need to learn CAD or CNC programming – just adjust the app settings, send it to the handibot and push the go button.
Kickstarting the future
Right now, the Handibot’s future production development hinges on Kickstarter funding – which shouldn’t hold it back since they’ve already received $258,271 in pledges, surpassing their $125,000 goal with 18 days to go as of today. ShopBot, the company developing the Handibot project is looking at an early adopter price of around $2500.
Watch the Handibot Intro video
All kinds of uses
The Handibot can be used to cut wood, composites, aluminum, foam, plastics and other materials. It can also be adapted to work across large surfaces, using jigs and even external motors controlled by the applications. Anyone who’s ever had to cut multiple rafter tails or other architectural details to a custom shape with a jigsaw will fully appreciate the potential of this tool on the jobsite. And that’s just one application.
Apps will add value
Like most new digital devices, they can’t just release it into the world and see what happens – it will need a digital ‘ecosystem’ of apps and other developer and user support to feed it and add value. If this is as successful as I suspect it will be, there should be hundreds of downloadable apps for everything from cutting holes and mortises to elaborate (and repeatable!) carvings and details.
Imagine being able to turn a photo of your pet into a 3-dimensional map that you can load into your handibot and carve into a door panel or tabletop. The Handibot gives us a glimpse at what kind of potential digital power tools can bring to our DIY activities.