Economy

Watch A Robot Assemble Its Own IKEA Chair

Watch A Robot Assemble Its Own IKEA Chair

But thanks to AI, assembling the retailer's chairs could be a nuisance of the past.

Researchers in Singapore have programmed robots to assemble an Ikea chair. The robot has 3D cameras for eyes, each arm is capable of a six axis motion and has fingers with force sensors on wrists to judge how strong its grip needs to be.

Scientists have created an agile robot that can assemble an IKEA chair in under 9 minutes - potentially taking the dreaded task off human hands and putting an end to DIY disasters.

Force sensors mounted on the "wrists" of the robotic arms helped to determine the amount of force required, allowing the robot to detect holes by sliding the wooden plug on the surfaces of the work pieces and perform tight insertions. Prior to the assembly, it required 11 minutes and 21 seconds to independently plan the motion pathways and three seconds to locate the parts.

Next, using algorithms developed by the team, the robot plans a two-handed motion that is fast and collision-free.

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The team is now looking into further developing the robot so it can learn to construct furniture by copying humans, reading an instruction manual or even just viewing a finished product.

It was especially challenging for the robot to grip the pieces tightly and perform tasks such as inserting wooden plugs, said assistant professor Pham. It takes the bot about 20 minutes to complete one. Especially when you consider the robot that ended up in a public fountain when it was supposed to police the Washington Harbor complex, or another that tripped and fell over a light projector during a demo onstage.

"We have achieved the low level capability to teach the robot "how to do it" and then in the next five to 10 years, high level reasoning-the "what to do"-could be done too", researcher Quang-Cuong Pham told Reuters". It is also working with companies to put its manipulation abilities to use in applications like glass bonding for the automotive industry and drilling holes in metal parts for aircraft, dexterous tasks that industrial robots have traditionally not been well-suited to.

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School.


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