What if the couch in your living room could instantly turn into a bed when you have guests staying the night? Apparently, as CNN reports, the furniture of the future might be able to do just that. A new type of “robot furniture” is being developed and tested at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and this furniture may actually be able to change itself according to your changing needs.The furniture, called a “Roombot,” consists multiple modules which each have a battery, three motors for pivoting, and a wireless connection so that the owner can send virtual instructions which dictate which piece of furniture is needed. Multiple modules would be connected to create one piece of furniture, and at 22 cm each, the designers of the Roombot say that about 10 modules would be needed to create a variety of basic furniture pieces. The modules themselves are intended to be controlled by algorithms on a computer, and researchers have noted that they wish to make the program capable of voice recognition in order to increase its accessibility.
For now, this project is still in the early stages of research, but the developers seem confident that this product will be successful, and will eventually be marketable to the general public. While it certainly seems like robotic furniture would be more convenient than traditional furniture, many people are already wondering whether this advancement is a good thing, and whether or not it will become successful if and when it reaches the general public. There is something comforting about holding onto a tradition — like inheriting furniture that has been passed down in the family for generations — and this might inhibit the success of something like the Roombot.
“In my opinion, there’s nothing that beats high quality furniture that is hand made in the USA. Wood based furniture offers lots of different selections in material type and stains to meet the needs of your personal tastes,” says Mike McCort, Owner of Amish Mike. “The finishing process of traditional furniture is hard to match. Instead of having some mass produced engineered piece of furniture, you have an actual individual putting their heart and soul into a piece of furniture to make it unique and special.”