Most of us remember taking wood shop class, and how proud we were to give our parents the wall shelf or picture frame that we painstakingly crafted. We were gratified not because of the finished product, but because of the time, sweat and hard work that went into each one of those pieces.
Woodworking has now gotten a bit easier with the invention of a new computer prototype. Alec Rivers, a Ph.D. student at MIT, created this GPS device in order to assist woodshop workers. It has been designed to calculate precision measuring and cutting.
How does it work? The user can simply load a design onto the computer or download them from the Internet. The tool uses a screen for the user to watch the path of their cut rather than looking at the wood itself. If the user starts going off the cutting path, the computer will adjust the measurements and direct the user back onto the design path.
Of course larger manufacturing companies already use cutting machines controlled by computer to mass-produce goods. However, the idea behind the GPS guided tool is for small projects or one-of-a-kind pieces. It would be ideal for hobbyists, small businesses and artists.