Robbox Intros Smart Drill for Ultimate DIY Installs

If there is one thing you can count on at CES, it is to expand the world of smart, connected, Internet of Things devices. From smart salt shakers, to smart toothbrushes, to connected sex toys, to every kind of fitness/health tracker imaginable, CES has it all. To that list you can now add Robbox Tools’ world’s first Digital Smart Drill.

Now, before you shake your head in disbelief, give this drill a chance to win your heart. When I saw the Robbox booth advertising said Digital Smart Drill, I was compelled to stop by and take a look. “What does a smart drill do that my ‘dumb’ Dewalt does not?” I wondered. “And, just how smart can a drill be? Will it automatically know the right amount of torque to apply or when it should reverse course should the bit get stuck?” I had questions. All the questions. As a custom installer, I am often using a drill for various aspects of my job; whether it is lagging in bolts for a flat panel TV mount or tightening the screws on in-ceiling speakers, a cordless drill is an invaluable part of every installer’s kit.

Turns out the drill’s “smarts” are kind of limited in a practical sense for now. There is a round touchscreen approximately 1 ½-inches in diameter on the back of the drill that provides feedback, such as displaying and adjusting the torque setting as well as setting an “intelligent speed setting” for drilling different types of material. The drill also features a built-in digital level and the screen can display a graph showing if you are holding the drill straight-and-level, ensuring a more precisely drilled hole. The drill also has two built in lasers that can measure distance to the front and bottom of the drill, helping you to make sure you’re actually drilling where you intend. (You know, instead of just making a small pencil mark on the wall like we have been doing since the Neanderthal days.)

I had hoped that the brains in the “smart” drill would notify you if you were about to drill into a pipe or wire hidden inside the wall, but it currently can’t do that. (The company representative did agree that would be a very cool application, so perhaps this is a hope we can hold out for future, even smarter drills.) However, you can set a depth that you want to drill, and then use the laser to drill a very precise hole to that exact depth.

The 21-volt lithium ion powered drill is said to have as much power and drive as other popular drills, and features Bluetooth 5.0 as well as Wi-Fi connection. Robbox expects the drill to become available on Kickstarter within a couple of months, with production units shipping in Q4. The expected price is between $300-500, so start planning your flat panel TV installs now!