Imagine that a table could change itself into a chair on demand as the day moved from light to dark. Or if all your furniture could change shape and create a static structure like a wall when you don’t want them anymore. These are the things that researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) are experimenting with.
Roombots are very simple robotic modules – which resemble two dice stuck together, that can assemble and disassemble themselves, a wireless connection, a battery and three motors for movements and pivoting.
“The Roombots would be coupled with more passive materials such as a table top or cushion to create the end results,” says Ijspeert.
“Let’s say an elderly person is using a walker, the furniture could have modules attached for it to move out of the way in a cluttered apartment or have a stool follow the person and remain close by,” describes Ijspeert.
People with disabilities could eventually issue a command to move the machines closet to them or move out of their way.
“Eventually we want less and less human interaction to have a more fluid transition of furniture,” says Ijspeert.
Besides helping the elderly, the Roombots could be used to create interactive art, programmable conference rooms, fun robotic kits or come in handy on search and rescue or space missions.
“Our ultimate goal is for sure to improve the quality of life,” Vespignani tells us. “There are still a lot of research questions and technical challenges to solve. I would say they could be in the market in 20 years” says Vespignani.
Via : cnn