Robots for replacing ink cartridges

An office service robot may bring replacement ink cartridges for your computer printer.

Have you ever had a computer printer that ran out of ink? It can be inconvenient to find a new replacement ink cartridge and replace the old one. In the future, a robot may do this job for you. An office service robot may travel though the hallways of your office building on wheels, and sell the replacement ink cartridges to you. It would also be able to remove the old cartridge, and put the new cartridge in for you!

The robot would be powered by batteries, and would be guided with a machine-vision system. The machine-vision system would consist of a camera connected to the robot's computer. It would allow the robot to find elevators, doors, read room numbers, and avoid obstacles. When your computer printer ran out of ink, you would call the robot by phone, and then you would hear a pre-recorded message. The message would ask you what kind of computer printer you had. Then the next message would ask you what kind of ink cartridge you need. For example, if you needed cartridge number 123-ABC, then you would type 123-ABC on your telephone's keypad. You'd also have to type in the room number of your office, so the robot could find you.

The robot would come to your floor in the elevator and would travel through the hallway until it reaches your office. if you didn't open the door immediately to let the robot in, it would call you on the phone, and ask to be let in. After you let it into your office, you'd have to show it where your computer printer was located. The robot's computer memory would have photographs of all the different types of printers made by major companies, stored in it, so the robot could make a visual identification of your printer. The robot would move as close to your printer as possible, if there were any obstacles in the way, such as a chair, the robot would ask you to move the obstacle by playing a pre-recorded message through a loudspeaker. After the robot is in position, a small door on the top of the robot opens, and a robotic arm extends outwards from the door.

The robot reaches out and reaches in to your computer printer. Your computer printer may be specially designed, to allow this. After reaching in to your printer, it removes the old ink cartridge from your printer. Then, the robot uses it's robotic arm to install a new ink cartridge in your computer printer. The robot would take the old ink cartridges to a recycling facility to be recycled.

Anthony Ratkov, December 13,2012


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