MIT turned old robots and a Roomba into AI-powered carpenters

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory ( CSAIL ) today unveiled AutoSaw a custom furniture design system with carpenters robots. Anyone who has lost a wrestling match with the thumb with a table saw may appreciate this one.

AutoSaw uses a pair of youBots, an abandoned model from Kuka and a modified Roomba to make custom furniture – the kind you've assembled with a screwdriver and a minimum of auto disgust

Users start by designing their furniture in a basic computer-assisted design (CAD) interface and the AI ​​does the rest. YouBots measure the wood and place it in the path of the saw while Roomba follows precise instructions and cuts out more complex patterns with a jigsaw.

If the idea of ​​having a Roomba powered by AI that revolves around your garage with a blade does not bother you, this could be the workshop of your dreams.

According to MIT director CSAIL, Daniela Rus:

The robots have already allowed mass production, but with artificial intelligence (AI), they have the potential to allow mass customization and customization in almost everything we produce. AutoSaw shows this potential for easy access and customization in carpentry.

About 10 percent of all time lost injuries by carpenters are in their hands. And although we are not quite sure how much the Kuka youBots are going for, as they have been discontinued, it is safe to assume that they could have for less than $ 30k . And the most recent Roomba of iRobot costs less than $ 900

To make a finger, you will need a lot more. Assuming you do not need physiotherapy or any follow-up operation, $ 80k will help you get started .

If you are not the type of person who may lose a finger on a weekend project, you may be one of those who think furniture shopping is a deadly trap for healthy relationships. In this case, save your marriage and buy a robot or three.

Adriana Schulz, PhD student, one of the authors of the white paper of the project, states: "Our goal is to democratize the personalization of furniture. We try to open a field of opportunity so that users are not tied to what they bought at Ikea. Instead, they can do what best suits their needs. "

All of this sounds fantastic and the implications are enormous. For example, if these robots could be scaled and taught to build homes, this could make homeownership affordable for the first time in generations.

AutoSaw is still a research platform, the CSAIL gang has big plans to go from the front, but for now everything is considered experimental.

And before MIT closes its research labs in favor of grabbing the cheap furniture market, there is still a lot of work to be done. AutoSaw can not even make Swedish meatballs.

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