For those who are tired of assembling IKEA furniture, researchers have created a new robot to help with the task.
Italian researchers showed their robot how they wanted it to assist in building an IKEA table.
The robot uses a force sensor and a vision-tracking system to learn how a user wants it to move. Then the robot essentially becomes an extra pair of hands — moving freely when the user tugs on a table top, flipping the tabletop over, and then becoming stiff as a person screws in the legs.
A robot learning to collaborate with a user to assemble an IKEA tablefrom Sylvain Calinon on Vimeo.
Unfortunately, the robot can’t do everything. It doesn’t know which pieces go where, meaning there could still be some head-scratching involved in assembling the Expedit shelf.