For those who are tired of assembling IKEA furniture, researchers have created a new robot to help with the task.
The robot uses a force sensor and a vision-tracking system to learn how a user wants it to move. Then the robot essentially becomes an extra pair of hands — moving freely when the user tugs on a table top, flipping the tabletop over, and then becoming stiff as a person screws in the legs, Gizmodo reported.
Unfortunately, the robot can't do everything. It doesn't know which pieces go where, meaning there could still be some head-scratching involved in assembling the Expedit shelf.
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Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.