M2M Creates Digital Wood Carving

“Digital wood carving.” Out of context, that’s an odd term. After all, what’s less digital than a piece of wood? But M2M and connected devices are creating new possibilities every day. Indeed, the latest is digital wood carving.

ShopBot Tools, www.shopbottools.com, recently launched a campaign on Kickstarter, www.kickstarter.com, for a connected device called the Handibot. The machine is essentially a 3D cutting tool. It is capable of cutting, drilling, or carving through wood, plastic, or aluminum with computer-controlled precision. It is also app-driven, and can be controlled via computer, smartphone, or tablet. Thus, digital wood carving.

The campaign aims to raise $125,000 to cover the initial run of the device. As an added incentive, contributors will receive a Handibot six weeks after the campaign closes.

The Handibot was designed to enhance creativity and increase productivity, whether it’s in the hands of a construction crew, or an ambitious do-it-yourself type. It uses CNC (computer numerically controlled technology). ShopBot developer David Bryan says CNC tools aren’t typically considered jobsite friendly, as one typically has to carry materials to the machine. In contrast, the Handibot can be carried to wherever the project is.

This connected device also creates a new proverbial canvas for app developers. The Handibot’s components have been left open for expanded development and functionality. A portion of the funds raised from the Kickstarter campaign will go toward the creation of a Web-based ecosystem, where those with ideas can interact with developers.

“One company can’t possibly come up with all the interesting job apps that can be put together with a Handibot tool,” ShopBot President Ted Hall says. “So we look to the crowd to think of apps for the tool and work together in developing them.”

As technology continues to advance, certain manual labors are inevitably going to become a thing of the past. Remember every tree had to be cut down with merely an axe and some elbow grease? Perhaps this connected device is simply the next step in that progression.

Want to tweet about this article? Use the hashtags #M2M, #woodcarving

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June/July 2014
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