BMW unveils a robot painter that performs feats on car bodies

bmw new robot technology

The German automotive brand BMW has developed a robotic painting process capable of performing custom body painting that usually requires extensive preparation.

Robotics is widely used in the automotive industry, especially for body painting. While robot painters are capable of working faster than a human, they lack the ability to perform custom paint jobs involving different patterns and colors.

But BMW has just made a promising breakthrough with its new EcoPaintJet Pro robot, which can paint entire car bodies with complex multi-color patterns.
Normally, a custom paint job requires many steps with a lot of masking work in order to juxtapose the shades.

BMW’s EcoPaintJet Pro robot uses a process similar to an inkjet printer. With a conventional robot painter, the paint is sprayed through a nozzle that rotates at 35 to 55,000 revolutions per minute. The paint adheres electrostatically.

The EcoPaintJet Pro uses half-millimeter thick jets sprayed through an orifice plate. This system produces highly accurate painted edges and creates intricate designs with color transitions as clean as if masking or stenciling had been used.

Less paint and energy wasted

The robot was tested at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Munich on nineteen BMW M4s with a two-tone finish featuring M4 branding on the hood and tailgate. Eventually, BMW wants to expand the use of EcoPaintJet Pro to offer customers more affordable customization options.

The German automaker also points to the fact that the precision of its process avoids the excess paint usually seen in paint booths that must be cleaned up with chemicals. BMW assures that the EcoPaintJet Pro will lower energy consumption by reducing the amount of air needed for booth ventilation. This new robotic painting process will be introduced on BMW’s assembly lines starting in 2022.

The first Internet site in history is still accessible

first website ever created

Created by Cern, the very first Internet site was put online at the beginning of August 1991 on another historical piece of equipment: a computer of the NeXT brand which was worth a real fortune at the time.

It is more than rudimentary, devoid of illustrations and content to give access to 25 links to other pages. It is the very first page of the Web put online more than 30 years ago, on August 6, 1991. It is the Cern, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which is at the origin of this page named simply World Wide Web. It is the origin of what we all know now.

This page was created by Tim Berners-Lee who is precisely considered as the inventor of the Web. The idea was to refer through hyperlinks to a vast universe of documents, as specified on this original page which is still active today and which can be consulted via this link. You can find everything related to the history of the project, how to use the Web and how to navigate it.

But before this page was published, the inventor had previously developed the basic management system of the Web, as well as the http protocol. It was only three years later that it was activated. And inevitably, at the time, it remained rather confidential.

The NeXT Computer, the computer that gave life to the Web

For the little anecdote in this story, the inventor of the Web created this universe from a computer of the brand NeXT. A company founded by a certain Steve Jobs after he was forced to resign by Apple. Powerful and designed to be used by researchers and companies, NeXT computers cost a fortune.

For the NeXT Computer, the first opus, released in 1988 and which was sitting on Tim Berners-Lee’s desk, you had to pay 6,500 dollars at the time, which today is the equivalent of 15,000 dollars (about 13,915 euros). Thirty years after this computer inaugurated the Web, on August 6, 2021, there were 1.88 billion Web sites, according to the Internet Live Stats counter and among them, this very first Web site.