Shape-Shifting Robots Designed To Build Furniture When You Need It

Before the nightmare of having to build it all yourself begins, wandering through Ikea and deciding what furniture to buy is actually kind of fun. But researchers at EPFL are working on a better approach. Instead of deciding on a specific piece of furniture, they're working on tiny modular robots that simply assemble into whatever furniture you happen to need at the moment, be it a table, a chair, a bench, or whatever.

The research project seems to be targeted at those dealing with physical disabilities, since having a chair automatically assemble and roll over to them when needed makes a lot of sense. But there's still a lot of potential in this creation for everyone else.

When miniaturized further, the modular robots would even be able to recreate specific designs. So one day, instead of browsing the Ikea catalog and heading to its warehouse to find your next dining set, you could simply download the instructions and let a small army of robots automatically assemble themselves into your new Torsby table.