Robotic graffiti without X-Y plotting!

Okay, I just have to say that robotic stuff is really cool. I came across a little project named "Hektor". These guys figured out how to move a spray can against a wall and automate what it paints.

Now, that doesn't sound too exciting. X-Y plotters have been around for years. But they figured out a way to hang the can from two points at the top of the wall and use gravity to provide the pull in the other direction. By changing the length of the two wires, you can position the can anywhere you want.

Sure, it takes a ton of math to calculate how to get the can where you want it... but that's what computers are good at, right?

It's one of those "That's so simple, why didn't anyone else think of that?!?" ideas. Don't know what kinds of other applications it has -- I can't quite see hanging a router from something like this and carving out a sheet of plywood with it -- but there must be something!


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