One-of-a-Kind Technology Paints New Mural in Bridgeton

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A new mural was completed in Bridgeton depicting an historical building once owned by a Bridgeton native, who was responsible for many important inventions during the 1800s.

Coincidentally, the mural was being painted by a first-of-its-kind technology.

“Albert is a mural printing robot. One-of-a-kind in the world," said Mihkel Joala, inventor of Albert and SprayPrinter.

Albert and his inventor got their start in Estonia.

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The robot itself has two parts: the print head that moves across the wall and the server mechanism that tells it where to go. It uses two cables to suspend and move the print head using X and Y coordinates.

“It uses a normal digital image file [and] it takes the image file and turns every pixel in that image file into actual paint dots on the wall," said Joala.

Albert also has propellers to keep it from swinging away from the wall, which are controlled by Joala.

“I started off with Albert about three years ago, and what pushed me toward it was to create my own styling in street art," said Joala.

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Originally, Joala was a street artist, but said he couldn’t actually draw, so he would use stencils.

“I wanted to do something very different, something completely different that pops out, so I chose this kind of pixilation method," said Joala.

During the last week of September, Albert took on a painting of the Ferracute Machine Company building, which originally started as a machine shop and ended up being a well-known metal forming press manufacturer in the late 1800s.

Local sponsors of the painting hope it brings awareness to the deteriorating building still located on East Lake Street.

"We really need more things to highlight or local history," said Steven Paul, executive director of the Bridgeton Main Street Association.

"The Ferracute building — a lot of famous inventions came out of that building and what’s ironic is that we have a new invention, Albert, painting the mural of a previous inventor.”

This specific mural only took roughly 10 hours of painting time. Joala compared Albert to painting by hand, and said it's much quicker.

He explained that transforming cities this way means a lot to him and is excited to create more Alberts to continue the work with his SprayPrinter team.


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