For decades now, there have been small robots that children can program to make drawings by dragging a pen along, as the robot rolled over paper. But , these have always been geared towards education, rather than making an ac curate drawing. They used wheel odometry for navigation, which is looses si gnificant accuracy after a few feet of drawing.
Parallax's $130 USD Scribbler 2 robot is one example.
I am hoping to find something like this that can maintain its accuracy, so that I can use it when I want to outline letters for a banner, or to draw o ut a costume pattern for a theatrical production. In these cases, I would like to be able to roll out some paper on the floor, perhaps 3ft wide by 10 ft long. Accuracy should be better than plus-minus 1/16"
There is the "Mini Mobile Robotic Printer" by ZUtA labs. The price is $250, but it it is not out yet. The October 2015 batch is already sold out, and the next batch won't be until Jan 2016. It is a robotic printer that look s like a mini Roomba. It moves back and forth like a standard ink-jet prin ter and uses a standard ink-jet print head. I do not know how it aligns ea ch row of the print, but suspect that it may have a small camera to see the last line it printed, and can keep itself aligned by looking at the prior line.
In the example of the task of drawing a costume pattern, it might take over an hour to do a paper that large. That is not a big problem. But, more i mportantly, if the drawing has large open spaces, the robot may not have an y way to keep itself aligned. I may have a work-around for that, if I can modify my picture so that it includes a find background grid. Still, I wou ld like a solution that is available to purchase now.
WowWee used to have a robot called Rovio. It used a light projected onto t he ceiling from its home base, as its beacon. But, it was not nearly as ac curate as I would need.
I imagine that any accurate positioning needs to use some external landmark s, or beacons to do this. But the video image processing available now-a-da ys may make it viable to just use what ever is in the room as the "beacon". I have seen articles about doing this, but am hoping to find something th at is all put together for me and doesn't require me to spend many hours pr ogramming to get it to work.
Are there any fairly low-cost (i.e. under $300) robots or kits that have a way to keep its position within +/- 1/16"?
Thanks for any leads,