Roving printer promises easier office
Japan is testing a robot that could end the plague of lost productivity from long walks to the office printer.
Fuji Xerox has unleashed an automated, mobile, robot printer at its offices in Tokyo.
It consists of a wheeled Xerox colour laser-jet printer mounted with a set of laser sensors, which map the room to avoid obstacles (including interns) and navigate the office.
To summon the document duplication drone, users simply drag a file to be printed into a custom browser window and wait for it to roll in their direction.
When the printer arrives at the desk, the user scans a card and receives their document.
It can print jobs in transit to maximise efficiency, or wait to print until it gets to the desk, depending on the need for security.
While it is still in its prototype phase, the appeal of such a device would be strong in particularly large office spaces. For now though, many workers will continue to suffer the agony and distress of the daily expedition to the printer.