And it means big things for the future of automotive customization.
Humans have been using paint to decorate places and things for thousands of years, but our reign as experts in this field might be coming to an end. ABB Electronics has just revealed the world's first robot-painted car, and it looks pretty awesome. The electronics and robotics company teamed up with eight-year-old Indian modern artist Advait Kolarkar and Dubai-based digital design collective Illusorr to turn a humble Volkswagen Tiguan into the world's first robotically painted art car. We've covered some insane art cars in our time, and they've all required stunning amounts of time and effort to complete, but this is something special. How is this different from a regular painting robot you might ask? Well, regular robots are programmed to produce a finish, this one evaluated an artwork and recreated its style of its own accord.
ABB's award-winning PixelPaint technology combined Advait's monochromatic design and Illusorr's tri-color geometric patterns into a highly complex artwork that captures the imagination like few other art cars we've seen. Automotive paint technology is constantly improving, but this new way of doing things could change the game forever. ABB's IRB 5500 paint robots completed the intricate art piece in under 30 minutes thanks to 1,000 paint nozzles in the printer head.
This new technology is groundbreaking in the field of aftermarket car customization and opens the door for artists who would like to enter the industry of customization.
"People get emotionally attached to them and the importance of personalization is becoming stronger and stronger. In fact, I'm working with customers who actually want the whole car designed in a bespoke way. So this paint offering - with all sorts of new levels of individual design for a motor car - is incredible," said automotive designer, Ian Callum, who was responsible for the design of the Aston Martin Vanquish.
ABB also claims that this process is much more eco-friendly than traditional painting methods as it eliminates the need for masking materials and extra ventilation, and also saves on water and electricity usage. And thanks to pinpoint accuracy, 100 percent of the paint is used with little to no wastage. According to ABB, this technique will halve production time and reduce costs by more than half.
"ABB's PixelPaint technology is more than an evolution - it is a revolution," said Sami Atiya, President of ABB's Robotics & Discrete Automation. "It's a shining example of how robotic automation and our RobotStudio software can not only pave the way for more sustainable manufacturing but can also perfectly replicate delicate pieces of art that celebrate the originality and beauty of the human spirit."