Robots are starting to spread in all types of markets nowadays. We have medical robots, cleaning robots and space robots. Their versatility makes them perfect for almost anything. However, the idea of robots that turn in different types of furniture and follow you where you go sounds alien. We can see something like this in movies, but can we see them in real life?
Roombots were designed with the elderly and disabled in mind. They arrange themselves in different shapes and types of furniture. Moreover, they move around the house on command. These small robotic modules were created by a team from Switzerland to fit together like Lego blocks.
Massimo Vespignani, an engineer at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland talked about the small robotic units saying: “The idea of different units that self-assemble and change morphology has been around for quite a while, but nobody came up with a good idea for how to use them.” As a result, Massimo and his team decided to implement this idea with robotic furniture. Their roombots could turn into a chair and follow elderly people around, available for them when they need to sit down.
Each roombot is an individual unit that looks like dice joined together. With the help of a battery and three small motors it can move in three directions. It also has a set of claws that allows it to hook to other roombots and create larger structures. The blocks were designed to interact not only with each other, but with other furniture as well. They can attach themselves to walls, floors and other pieces of traditional furniture.
The roombots could also be used to move normal furniture around. They could bring chairs closer or move obstacles out of the way. Would you like to have furniture that moves around and rearranges itself?