In Brief

A pair of robots can assemble a chair a lot faster than IKEA customers can

IKEA is famous for its economical home goods—and infamous for its sometimes frustration-generating furniture assembly. While the Swedish retailer previously acquired TaskRabbit to provide customers with human taskers to put their furniture together, now technology is poised to eliminate the need for anyone to tire themselves over screws and tiny wrenches. Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore engineered two AI bots that work in tandem to assemble the $25 Stefan chair in 20 minutes.

Resembling two robotic arms, the machines are composed of grippers, sensors and a 3D camera that allow them to locate the various assembly pieces within three seconds, pick them up and start building. While whether these robots will someday be able to put together furniture other than the Stefan chair remains to be seen, this experiment does point to potential future applications of AI in the realm of convenience.

NTU

IKEA is famous for its economical home goods—and infamous for its sometimes frustration-generating furniture assembly. While the Swedish retailer previously acquired TaskRabbit to provide customers with human taskers to put their furniture together, now technology is poised to eliminate the need for anyone to tire themselves over screws and tiny wrenches. Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore engineered two AI bots that work in tandem to assemble the $25 Stefan chair in 20 minutes.