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Roombots Self-Assemble into Furniture

5/23/2014 06:40 PM EDT
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daleste
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CEO
something different
daleste   5/25/2014 1:01:25 PM
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Very cool invention.  It will be interesting to see the applications that come out of this.  Are there additional applications for a miniaturized version?

_hm
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Re: something different
_hm   5/25/2014 2:48:02 PM
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Yes, good idea. But it needs to find profit making applications for this.

R_Colin_Johnson
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Re: something different
R_Colin_Johnson   5/25/2014 3:54:56 PM
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are there additional applications for a miniaturized version? - daleste

EPFL is investigating different sizes and configurations for a whole range of applications, but mostly they are right now concentrating on the communications algorithms needed to control and configure them easily.

Susan Rambo
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Clever but durable?
Susan Rambo   5/25/2014 1:17:01 PM
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A very clever innovation but I wonder how quickly it will break, especially when under full load -- aka, someone sitting on the chair.

R_Colin_Johnson
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Re: Clever but durable?
R_Colin_Johnson   5/25/2014 4:01:13 PM
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I wonder how quickly it will break, especially when under full load - Susan Rambo

One of the reasons I included the second photo showing the little grippers that bind Roombots together was to give you an idea of their load capacity. Since they are still only proof-of-concept prototypes, there may still be some hurdles ahead to make them stronger enough for tough applications like chairs which need to maintain 200+ pound loads.

wilber_xbox
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Re: Clever but durable?
wilber_xbox   5/26/2014 2:12:45 AM
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These will still be expensive robots for daily items. We might find some unique applications in military or space where such transformable robot objects can provide advantages.

R_Colin_Johnson
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Re: Clever but durable?
R_Colin_Johnson   5/26/2014 2:44:03 PM
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EPFL was founded by the Swiss Federal Government, but is not known for thier high-tech military research. I believe this project is a proof-of-concept whose real utility has yet to be discovered, even though they talk alot about configurable furniture.

DrFPGA
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Re: Clever but durable?
DrFPGA   5/27/2014 1:02:52 PM
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Just think. The furniture you buy from Ikea in 10 years will say self-assembly required...

R_Colin_Johnson
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Re: Clever but durable?
R_Colin_Johnson   5/27/2014 1:35:57 PM
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LOL

DrQuine
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CEO
Next Generation Furniture
DrQuine   6/6/2014 5:35:49 PM
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Self assembling furniture is a wonderful concept: someday perhaps we'll buy the modules and then just download new software to update the living room design without buying any new hardware! Technology could even be implemented to change the color of the modules with the redesign (or between day and night). 

R_Colin_Johnson
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Re: Next Generation Furniture
R_Colin_Johnson   6/6/2014 7:47:37 PM
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 someday perhaps we'll buy the modules and then just download new software to update the living room-DrQuine

You are right, and not just about living rooms, there could be quick reconfigurations for all sorts of things. Say a doctor's patient with a particular disability comes to the waiting room--the receptionist could send a command to reconfigure a wheel-chair that exactly matches his disability. Or in factory settings, robots could reconfigure to perform different tasks like when its time to take inventory. The possibilities are endless.

DrQuine
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CEO
Re: Next Generation Furniture
DrQuine   6/7/2014 9:36:10 PM
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@R_Colin_Johnson An elegant insight - having furniture continuously reconfigure as required for the circumstances.

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