These Robots Can Build Ikea Furniture

Ikea furniture-building robots are here.

These researchers from Nanyang Technological University designed a pair of robotic arms that can assemble an IKEA chair in 20 minutes. The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Science Robotics.

The robotic arms are equipped with 3D cameras, force sensors, are grippers. Researchers first programmed a manual into the robot — it then took 11 minutes to identify and match materials to the manuals and to come up with an action plan. From there it took 9 minutes to build the chair.

“If you think about it, it requires perception, it requires you to plan a motion, it requires control between the robot and the environment, it requires transporting an object with two arms simultaneously,” explained Dr. Quang-Cuong Pham, an assistant professor of engineering at the university and one of the paper’s authors to the New York Times. “Because this task requires so many interesting skills for robots, we felt that it could be a good project to push our capabilities to the limit.”'

Robots have built IKEA furniture, but nothing as complex as a chair. The researchers hope to design a robot that can build furniture by mimicking a human or with spoken instructions. Who knows, hopefully with creations like this robot, going through the annoyance and time of assembling will be a thing of the past.