The robotics world is on fire. From 3D printed bots and demolition machines, to Grillbots and robot journalists, the droids are invading, and we’re feeling good about that. The latest on the scene? Roombots, a system of mechanical building blocks that connect to form transformable furniture. In other words, your table is now a Transformer… and it can turn into a chair if you want it to.
These robot blocks each contain a battery and three rotating motors that twist and allow the pieces to reconfigure, latching together in different formations with retractable claws. So say you’re having pals over, and you need that bench to become an instant high-top cocktail table. That can happen.
But more interesting than satisfying your hostessing habits is what these movable and transformable pieces of furniture could do for disabled or elderly people. The Roombots table could glide over to its owner to deliver a drink of water, a nutritious dinner or vital medicine. It could help them up from a fall or move them from point A to point B. Pretty compelling stuff.
The self-configuring modular components were developed by a team of Swiss designers led by Auke Ijspeert at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Ijspreet hopes that other designers and artists will take the Roombots and find other applications for them.
No price has been laid out on the pieces yet, and the team is still figuring out how they will be controlled, whether by remote or hand gestures. But we’re thinking there should be an app for that. Until the details get sorted out, feast your eyes on what could be your future:
Think Transformer furniture will become mainstream? Let us know in the comments.
(h/t The Daily Dot)