Although it’s been over 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities act has passed, less than one percent of U.S. housing is wheel-chair accessible. According to a study by the Department of Urban Development, about a third of housing is potentially modifiable for a person with a disability but haven’t unlocked their full potential. This is all about to change with the introduction of new accessible-friendly furniture. Through advancements in technology, the house doesn’t have to be wheelchair friendly, just the furniture that people choose to go in it.
Robotic Assistants Disguised as Furniture
1 in 5 people in the United States live with a disability, yet many home furnishings do the bare minimum to accommodate everyone. Therefore, one company is revolutionizing the industry by introducing robotic furniture designed to help people live independently within their own homes. The robot is known as Relay and is considered a cross between a multifunctional table, a walking device, and a voice-controlled assistant. Each piece of furniture performs meaningful tasks for the homeowner. The furniture can carry heavy items around the home, help someone stand up from a seated position, provide extra support while walking throughout the house, and open doors. All the homeowner has to do is say a command like “Come here”.
Smart Homes Making Smart Choices
The smart house concept started in 1996, allowing humans to interact with robots living within the walls of their house. Nowadays, smart technology is everywhere and can be fitted to help everyone with their daily activities. These smart house devices can be installed within a home and allow users to simply talk to their furniture. You can install a smart light to allow you turn lights on and off with your voice, connect a smart remote so that you can turn the TV on just by talking, or utilize smart cooking technology so that you can make a meal right from the palm of your hand.
Furniture that Turns into Whatever You Want
A new system of furniture is being developed at a lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology that uses modular robots to assemble into different pieces of furniture. Therefore, you can use these tiny robots to assemble into a full-sized couch or break apart and become six dining chairs. Researchers are currently manipulating the robots, called Roombots, through a Bluetooth device, but they are attempting to provide control via gestures and Microsoft Kinect. This will allow elderly people or anyone with disabilities to simply make a motion to move a glass of water closer, pull a dining chair in and out, or turn a table into a walker. Technology is working to make our lives easier and, in the future, non-accessible homes will be a thing of the past. Eventually, our furniture will not only be stylish but accessible-friendly as well.
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