MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab Has Created a Chair That Puts Itself Together in Water… Future of Furniture?

By: | February 20th, 2015

The future of furniture, or at least furniture assembly, may be revolutionized thanks to a new development by researchers at MIT’s self-assembly lab.

Basically, Skylar Tibbits and his team of researchers at MIT created a chair capable of putting itself together when submerged in water, 100% on its own, without any human interaction in the process whatsoever.

The chair is comprised of six separate parts/blocks, each with magnets attached, that eventually form a chair when all are connected.

In order to begin the self-assembly process, the blocks are submerged in a water tank, where the currents slowly encourage the blocks to construct themselves by pushing them into each other.

Unfortunately, the idea is merely a proof-of-concept right now, showing that self-assembly is possible, but don’t count on it taking over the furniture world anytime soon.

At the moment, it takes the chair, which is tiny at 15 centimeters by 15 centimeters, around seven hours to build itself from start to finish. Now, imagine how long it might take to construct a regular sized piece of furniture.

Tibbits and his team are planning to test the viability of a larger self-assembly project capable of mass producing chairs large enough to sit humans in the near future.

Fluid Assembly Furniture from Self-Assembly Lab, MIT on Vimeo.

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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