Are all couches created equal? Apparently not, although it can be pretty difficult to tell right from the get go with this particular iteration. This particular couch so happens to be an innovation that will introduce an entire new dimension to the term “couch surfing”, as you can see from the video above. Thanks to the team which comprises of UNSW engineering students, they have come up with this robotic couch that is capable of moving in just about any direction desired (all on a flat surface, of course), and best of all is, an Xbox gamepad is used to control it.
This particular omnidirectional robotic couch started off as an idea from third-year computer engineering student Steph McArthur and second-year electrical engineering student Will Andrew. McArthur shared, “It started as a joke between friends. We’d been using a particular type of wheel in our robotics program for a few years, and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if they were on a couch?’”
Having received funding from the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, this is one idea that took nine UNSW engineering students and a year to complete, with Laura Hodges, Munaum Muhammad, Hannes Firgau, John Lam, Fred Westling, Luke Macdonald and Hugh Braico making up the rest of the team. I do wonder whether the motor will be able to handle two really huge people sitting on it without overstraining.