High-tech xDrill features a touchscreen, lasers and more
When it comes to rough, tough, gruff, no-nonsense devices, power drills certainly fit the bill. Nonetheless, a Canadian company has given the tool a high-tech makeover, adding what are actually some pretty handy features.
Known as the xDrill, the product is manufactured by Vancouver-based startup Robbox Inc. Like a regular power drill, it has a chuck that accepts interchangeable bits, and a switch that allows it to drill forwards or backwards.
The techy stuff starts with its rear touchscreen. Utilizing a levelling feature on this display, users can check that the drill bit is horizontally level and facing straight ahead, when they're drilling. On the other hand, if they want a series of slanted holes, the display allows them to set and record the angle for an initial hole, and then copy that angle for all the others.
The touchscreen additionally lets users preset the hole depth, with a forward-facing range-finding laser stopping the bit from turning once that depth has been reached. Users can also scroll through a list of materials on the touchscreen (such as wood, plastic and brass), with the xDrill automatically selecting the optimum speed/torque for each – this selection is also based on the size of the drill bit.
For people who don't want to bother, though, a physical control on top of the drill lets them manually switch between speeds of 2,000 and 600 RPM.
And, as mentioned, the xDrill has a laser – in fact, it has two. The top one can be pointed straight ahead, or swivelled 90 degrees to point to either side. In the latter configuration, it works with a bottom-mounted downward-facing laser to measure the distances both from an adjacent wall, and from the floor.
Working with the touchscreen display, this feature lets users track the drill's height above the floor, and its distance from the sidewall. Using this information, they're able to drill a hole at a given location on the wall that they're facing, or drill a series of evenly spaced holes that are all in a straight horizontal line.
And yes, there's an iOS/Android app. It lets users save measurements, find the drill if it's missing, lock it if it's stolen, set up user profiles, and track usage data such as total run time. As a rather curious added bonus, it also counts how many times the tool has been dropped.
The xDrill reportedly tips the scales at 3.5 lb (1.5 kg), with one 45-minute charge of its 21-volt lithium battery claimed to be good for two to three hours of typical use, or one hour of vigorous use.
It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of CAD$399 (about US$295) will get you one – when and if it reaches production, that is. The planned retail price is CAD$599 (US$442).
You can see it in use, in the following video.