The Goliath CNC is an autonomous cutting machine

John Biggs

The phrase "autonomous cutting machine" may sound like something out of Terminator but this clever little robot, called the Goliath CNC, wants to help humanity, not harm it.

Created by Lorenzo Frangi, Alessandro Trifoni, and Davide Cevoli, the robot is basically a free-rolling CNC machine that can crawl over a surface and etch and cut lines into many materials. The machine uses a drill bit and multi-directional wheels and can automatically measure the size of the material you're cutting.

The team has pre-sold over 400 machines and raised $814,000. It will ship this month. It costs $1,850.

"Goliath CNC can be positioned directly on the work surface: this innovative mode of operation makes it a machine tool with a boundless work area because it matches the workpiece’s surface," said Frangi. "The user can design or download designs from online project libraries, then upload the drawing to Goliath and supervise the work progress by a computer, smartphone or tablet."

Because the machine is portable you can build wherever you want and even drag it to job sites where it can cut out pieces automatically. It has automatic leveling so it doesn't drill haphazardly.

"The concept of Goliath CNC was born at the beginning of 2014 as my thesis project for the Master Degree in Design & Engineering at the Politecnico of Milano," said Frangi. "I wished to contribute somehow to the digital fabrication tools’ world, which together with the Maker movement pick my attention for the enthusiasm and great success reached – at least in Italy! – and especially dealing with 3D printing. I wanted to develop something able to manufacture real and quality materials, so I focused on CNC milling machines of a desktop size."

While yes, this robot could become self-aware and start drilling everyone in its path, it's clear that Frangi and his team have taken special care to only allow the Goliath to cut down through materials and not give it the ability to climb walls and zap our bodies... yet.

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