OK, robots have passed the Ikea test. Now let them clean our toilets
Listen, I’ve probably been a bit hard on this whole robot uprising thing. The idea of losing my job to something as coldly logical as an algorithm spooked me for a bit, plus I wasn’t exactly jazzed by the prospect of being rendered obsolete as a species by a platoon of super-intelligent militarised killing machines. But you know what? I’m actually coming around to the idea.
This is mainly because robots can assemble flatpack furniture now. Engineers at Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore, have built two robots that can put together an Ikea Stefan chair in 20 minutes, a job that at last count took me upwards of six weeks. The robots didn’t get halfway through the job before realising that a key piece had been fitted upside down. The robots didn’t throw a tantrum about a misplaced Allen key. At no point did the robots angrily threaten each other with divorce before dissolving into a tearful fit of resentment that lasted the entire weekend. Robots are better than us. I get that now.
I’m very much an early adopter of our faceless robot overlords, but I’m certain that everyone else will come around in time. If they don’t have their heads turned by the Ikeabot, a few more genuinely useful everyday robots will be sure to win them over. Boffins, if you’re reading, here are all the tasks I want you to robotise next.
Read more at The Guardian