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ABB Robotics builds world’s first robot-painted art car

ABB Robotics builds world’s first robot-painted art car
10 May, 2022
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To keep pace with the increased innovation and personalisation in the automotive industry, ABB Robotics, which specialises in industrial robots, has come up with a new robot designed to recreate paintings.   

For this, the Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation has collaborated with eight-year-old Indian child prodigy Advait Kolarkar and Dubai-based digital design collective Illusorr. 

Pune-based Kolarkar has several national and international solo art exhibitions to his credit. He bagged the “Global Child Prodigy Award 2020” in the category of art. He is also among the Top 100 child prodigies of the world.  

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To create the art car, ABB refurbished a Volkswagen Tiguan, an SUV that was damaged in the catastrophic floods in Germany in the summer of 2021. 

The company’s PixelPaint technology has, without human intervention, recreated Advait’s swirling, monochromatic design as well as Illusorr’s tri-color geometrical patterns, the company said, adding that PixelPaint technology also enhances manufacturing sustainability and also demonstrates unprecedented precision and speed, capturing intricate, elaborate detail that would be impossible to achieve by humans as can be seen in this video. 

While car painting can often take many hours and sometimes days to complete, ABB’s robot is equipped with 1,000 nozzles in the printer head, which allows the artwork to be completed in less than 30 minutes. ABB said its ‘PixelPaint’ technology can be applied in a single coat and can open the door to specialised and personalised designs for the automotive market.  

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“At a time when consumers want more customised products, PixelPaint is a game-changer and allows any design to be replicated in a manner that is both sustainable and affordable,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation. 

Furthermore, the firm’s RobotStudio software has helped the paint head track close enough to the bodywork to ensure 100% of the paint is applied, which means nothing has been wasted. The company claimed that car manufacturers can halve production time and reduce costs by up to 60 per cent by using this technology.

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Influential automotive designer, Ian Callum, designer of the Aston Martin Vanquish and more recently the ground-breaking Jaguar I-Pace said, “There’s something very special about a car. People get emotionally attached to them and the importance of personalisation is becoming stronger and stronger.”  

“This paint offering – with all sorts of new levels of individual design for a motor car – is incredible,” said Callum, who is working with customers who want the whole car designed in a bespoke way.  

ABB said, it is at the forefront of bringing robotics to new segments. Following ABB’s acquisition of ASTI Mobile Robotics in July 2021, the company has focused its attention heavily on autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that can understand and move through its environment without being overseen directly by an operator. ASTI is global leader in high growth Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) market with broad portfolio of vehicles and software. 

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According to a January 2022 Statista report, the global market for AMR was sized at about $2.4 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 23%, reaching the size of over $10.5 billion by 2028.