Fuji Xerox Co Ltd tested a printer that not only prints documents on paper but autonomously moves around a room like the Roomba robot cleaner for delivering it.
Fuji Xerox used a prototype of the robot in a building located in Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, in July and August 2014 in cooperation with Tokyu Land Corp for operation tests. Visitors to the lounge of the building used it for free.
The printing of documents is carried out via an Internet browser. Each desk in the lounge has a smart card on which a URL for printing is written. When the URL is accessed with a browser and a file is dragged and dropped in the browser window, an instruction to print out the file (print job) is sent to the robot.
When the robot receives a print job, it automatically begins to move toward the desk being used by the person who sent the order. Because it knows where in the lounge it is running, it stops near the desk.
For the autonomous movement function, the robot uses the “Lidar” sensors, which use laser to measure the three dimensional shapes of surrounding objects. While conventional radar devices use radio waves, the Lidar uses light (laser) instead so that more detailed information can be obtained in the range of several tens of meters.