Here Comes the Transforming Room
by Michael Keller
Swiss roboticists are at work making modules that will put brains into your furniture. The autonomous building blocks are being designed to make furnishings and room layouts reconfigurable based on a user’s needs.
These so-called Roombots, the brainchild of Auke Ijspeert at EPFL’s Biorobotics Lab, The project is aiming to make stools, chairs, sofas and tables that change from one type to another over time. When not in use, the units could store themselves in a box or self-assemble into a wall.
Ijspeert’s team says the Roombots will be useful as assistive furniture for the elderly or for those who have motor disabilities. They could also make programmable conference rooms or adaptable modules for satellite or space station components.
See videos and photos below for more on how the Roombots could be used.