Watch A Robot Assemble Its Own IKEA Chair


The actual assembly phase took 8 minutes and 55 seconds. A team from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU Singapore) developed an autonomous robot that can assemble an IKEA chair without mistake.

And it's faster than humans, taking less than nine minutes to assemble a simple chair.

"For a robot, putting together an IKEA chair with such precision is more complex than it looks", Pham said in the statement.

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Looking into the future, the team said it hopes to take the successful technology of the chair-building robot to other industries, including automotive and aircraft manufacturing.

Scientists, with the help of researchers from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, have taken three years to develop two robotic arms that can assemble IKEA flat-pack furniture in just 20 minutes.

The engineers equipped each arm with similar range of motion to that of a human.

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On its wrists are sensors that determine how strongly its "fingers" grip and push objects. Besides the pre-set algorithms for the robot to work on chair assembling, the machine comprises two arms and a 3D camera equipment to help it read the furniture parts presented to the robot. This motion pathway needs to be integrated with visual and tactile perception, grasping and execution. The next stage will be expanding the machines' intelligence to be able to assemble a chair just by looking at a photograph of the final product, Wired reported. This allows the robot to detect holes by sliding the wooden plug on the surfaces of the parts and perform insertions.

"One reason could be that complex manipulation tasks in human environments require many different skills", says Cuong.

The robot had to identify and locate each piece in its area, plan its motions and avoid collisions, and decide how much force was required when attaching the workpieces. That's the time posted by NTU's new robot, which is built using off-the-shelf components. "The way we have built our robot, from the parallel grippers to the force sensors on the wrists, all work towards manipulating objects in a way humans would". The team is now working alongside automotive and aircraft manufacturers to see how this robot could be used in their respective industries.

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