“Ratchair: Furniture learns to move itself with vibration” by Parshakova, Cho, Casinelli and Saakes

  • ©Tetiana Parshakova, Minjoo Cho, Alvaro Casinelli, and Daniel Saakes

  • ©Tetiana Parshakova, Minjoo Cho, Alvaro Casinelli, and Daniel Saakes

Title:


    Ratchair: Furniture learns to move itself with vibration

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Entry Number: 19


Description:


    An Egyptian statue on display at the Manchester Museum mysteriously spins on its axis every day; it is eventually discovered that this is due to anisotropic friction forces, and that the motile power comes from imperceptible mechanical waves caused by visitors’ footsteps and nearby traffic. This phenomena involves microscopic ratchets, and is pervasive in the microscopic world – this is basically how muscles contract. It was the source of inspiration to think about everyday objects that move by harvesting external vibration rather than using mechanical traction and steering wheels. We propose here a strategy for displacing objects by attaching relatively small vibration sources. After learning how several random bursts of vibration affect its pose, an optimization algorithm discovers the optimal sequence of vibration patterns required to (slowly but surely) move the object to a very different specified position. We describe and demonstrate two application scenarios, namely assisted transportation of heavy objects with little effort on the part of the human and self arranging furniture, useful for instance to clean classrooms or restaurants during vacant hours.

References:


    LASSY, ADAM, 2010. Ikea robotics. http://gizmodo.com/5556187/ this-hacked-ikea-furniture-takes-care-of-its-own-feng-shui.

    LAU, M., MITANI, J., AND IGARASHI, T. 2011. Automatic learning of pushing strategy for delivery of irregular-shaped objects. In ICRA ’11, 3733–3738.

    NISSAN, 2016. Intelligent parking chair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1D07dTILH0.

    RUBENSTEIN, M., AHLER, C., AND NAGPAL, R. 2012. Kilobot: A low cost scalable robot system for collective behaviors. In ICRA ’12, 3293–3298.

    SPROEWITZ, A., BILLARD, A., DILLENBOURG, P., AND IJSPEERT, A. 2009. Roombots-mechanical design of selfreconfiguring modular robots for adaptive furniture. In ICRA ’09, 4259–4264.

    VARTHOLOMEOS, P., VLACHOS, K., AND PAPADOPOULOS, E. 2013. Analysis and motion control of a centrifugal-force microrobotic platform. Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on 10, 3 (July), 545–553.


Acknowledgements:


    This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF – 2015R1C1A1A01051808).


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©Tetiana Parshakova, Minjoo Cho, Alvaro Casinelli, and Daniel Saakes ©Tetiana Parshakova, Minjoo Cho, Alvaro Casinelli, and Daniel Saakes ©Tetiana Parshakova, Minjoo Cho, Alvaro Casinelli, and Daniel Saakes

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