Robots paint art car without overspray

ABB Robotics has collaborated with two internationally renowned artists to create the world’s first robot-painted art car. The over-spray-free “PixelPaint” technology perfectly reproduced the artists’ designs and motifs.

Overspray free painting ABB
PixelPaint robots from ABB have painted an abstract artwork by young artist Advait Kolarkar on a car. For this world's first robot-painted art car Photo: ABB

ABB’s “IRB 5500” painting robots are equipped with 1000 nozzles in the paint applicator and took less than 30 minutes to complete the complex artwork. The “PixelPaint” technology enables high precision and speed, and is capable of replicating minute details that would be impossible to do manually.

“PixelPaint can print any design sustainably and cost-effectively. Individual, customised products are more in demand than ever, and for this customer segment the technology is a real gamechanger,” says Sami Atiya, head of ABB’s Robotics & Manufacturing Automation business unit. Two designs were painted, one by eight-year-old artist Advait Kolarkar and geometric motifs by digital design collective Illusorr.

Painting with less energy demand

ABB’s technology is designed to respond to the demand for sustainably produced and personalised vehicles in the automotive industry, particularly in the area of more customised body painting. The technology enables detailed, multicoloured and exact reproduction of any design. The paint is carefully metered and quickly applied in a single painting pass. No masking material is needed and no additional ventilation is required. This reduces emissions and saves water and energy.

The paint applicator is programmed with ABB “RobotStudio” software and travels close to the body surface to ensure that 100 percent of the paint is applied without excess overspray. This allows different colours to be applied quickly in a single painting pass. This halves turnaround times and can save vehicle manufacturers up to 60 % in costs.

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