A team from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has created a robotic system AutoSaw to help reduce the chances of injuries to carpenters and let them focus on bigger tasks such as designing. The robots are said to be able to construct different items that have been customized using the system. Tasks such as sawing often cause injuries to hands and fingers of thousands of carpenters every year. Jeffrey Lipton, lead author of a related paper and CSAIL postdoc, said that the team has automated a carpentry process at large with the help of a jigsaw and chop-saw.
Carpenter-designed Templates Available for Chairs, Desks, and other Furniture
AutoSaw could allow easy customization and access in carpentry, said Daniela Rus, coauthor and CSAIL director. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), the robots could be able to offer mass personalization and customization besides mass production. General users could be provided with more flexibility in designing furniture because of the use of the system. This is expected to allow them to fit furniture in space-constrained apartments and houses.
The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) will see the paper being presented in Brisbane, Australia in the month of May. MIT undergrad Luis Trueba, PhD students Adriana Schulz and Andrew Spielberg, and professor Wojciech Matusik are other coauthors of the paper. The team aims to democratize customization of furniture, said Schulz. In future, it plans to integrate complex tasks such as gluing and drilling and use materials such as wood, although AutoSaw is still a platform for research.