The Future of Manufacturing

ZDNet’s Robotics, Greg Nichols | Apr. 25, 2018

Assembly required

Nanyang Technological University engineers in Singapore have built a two-arm robot that successfully put together a popular chair sold by IKEA. The robot, equipped with dexterous grippers, a 3D camera, and force sensors, is able to insert the small wooden dowels and assemble the chair frame in about 20 minutes.


No assembly required

“Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a process that allows plastic printed with a cheap 3D printer to fold itself into predetermined shapes with the application of heat, wrote ZDNet’s Greg Nichols. “The complexity of the origami-like shapes being produced in the Morphing Matter Lab even in early tests gives researchers hope that the material may one day be used produce flat-pack products that can be assembled quickly with a heat gun.”

“We believe the general algorithm and existing material systems should enable us to eventually make large, strong self-folding objects, such as chairs, boats, or even satellites,” said Jianzhe Gu, an research intern at Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

A demonstration of Carnegie Mellon’s Thermorph 3D printer can be viewed here.