First of all: Yes, it must be. The research likes to choose everyday examples. In the background, however, it’s all about very different things.
Robots Build Chairs: How Complex Everyday Tasks Are
At first glance, you might smile. Because when you learn that two robots take nine minutes to build an Ikea chair, you know you can do better. Moreover, their production and programming has cost a lot of money and time.
But this example shows how complex our everyday life is when you try to think it algorithmically. Take a look at Harvard University’s CS50’s first-ever lecture on YouTube or iTunes U. You’ll find that even making a jam-peanut butter sandwich is not trivial. But we are able to do that. Our “machines” not yet.
In fact, even 20 minutes
In nine minutes, the two robots built the chair together. But the whole process took 20 minutes and 19 seconds. Because before the assembly phases come, in which first the individual components are detected and recognized, in which but also a blueprint is created.
Where is the journey going?
The scientists from Nanyang want to expand the project. The robots should be able to read the assembly instructions themselves in the future. Currently these are programmed. It is also planned that the robot will be able to assemble more pieces of furniture and that it will also be able to determine if a finished piece of furniture has actually been assembled correctly.
Companies in the automotive and aviation industries are already using resources the academics back and want to let the robots work on the tape sometime.