IKEA furniture adorns more homes than we could even begin to estimate, and every one of those pieces had to be put together by someone. If those people are anything like us, there was probably a little frustration, cursing, and maybe even some tool throwing involved. But a group of Italian researchers have invented something that might make the process a little less frustrating: an IKEA furniture building helper robot.
The robot isn’t autonomous; it can’t just read the instructions and do the whole thing for you (we wish). But it can learn what you want it to do when you take it through the movements you want it to perform, essentially providing an extra set of hands while the human builder performs the finer tasks. It’s not the hands-off furniture-building robot we’d hoped for, but it’ll do for now.