Part of our continuing coverage of highlights from the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire.
One of the most exciting new technologies that we saw at Maker Faire was from Taktia, a startup making augmented-reality power tools. They were showing off their semi-automated handheld wood router.
The router sits in a robotic cradle with a computer vision system and a screen. The human guides the router by hand, keeping its center within a 1 inch diameter circle shown on the LCD screen. As the human moves the router, the cradle makes fine corrections to put the router bit exactly where it needs to be, allowing a non-expert to cut precise, complex shapes, while only moving the router along a coarse path.
In the photo above you can see some wooden shapes that visitors were cutting out, by only moving the router freehand, while letting the robotic cradle do the hard work. We can certainly imagine other tools getting the same “robotic upgrade” — this startup will be worth watching.