Robot Printer Comes to You

Have you ever accidentally abandoned a document on the office printer simply because you didn't feel like getting up to retrieve it right away? Well, fellow American, now your printer can come to you. Meet the Fuji Xerox.

Fuji recently unveiled its new Xerox printer, which is no different than your standard office color laser jet printer, on the surface. What makes Xerox special is that it comes right to you. Could you walk over to your printer and pick up your documents? Sure. But why would you if your printer can come to you?

Fuji, with the help of Tokyu Land Corp, recently conducted a trial with its robotic printer at an office in Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The Roomba-like robot not only hand-delivers documents, it also features sensors that allow it to maneuver through the objects in a room and a tracker to find the person who requested the print. For example, in the trial, the robot was programmed with a map of an office layout and the directions to each employee. When John requests a print, Xerox will use its laser-powered navigation system to get to John, while successfully avoiding all obstacles in its path.

Xerox is also very exclusive. Even after a user requests a print, the rugged robot will only print the document once the user scans a card verifying his or her authorization to print. No free rides here. This keeps the documents private, especially important in office settings.

Xerox also features a mounted computer. Once it prints out the desired document, the user can execute a command on the computer to send the robotic printer back to its home base in the office.

While Fuji's trial went well, there's no word on when it's expected to hit market. Looks like we'll have to keep walking to our own printers for now.

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