Wonderful Engineering

Why Go To Work In A Car When You Can Travel On This Robotic Couch

How would you like to surf on the robotic couch? Wait, what? What in the world are we talking about? A team from the University of New South Wales comprising of engineering students has created a robotic couch and as you can imagine, the project started out as a joke between friends but managed to gain 9 team members and was completed in a year.

The Robotic Couch is capable of moving in any direction and is controlled via an Xbox gaming pad. The project is a brainchild of 3rd year computer engineering student, Steph McArthur and 2nd year electrical engineering student, Will Andrew. The omnidirectional ride comes with a steel chassis that has been custom built while incorporating mecanum wheels instead of legs. These wheels are powered up by a 12 V electric scooter motor that is connected to a Raspberry Pi based central controller.

The Robo-couch is capable of attaining speed of 9.3 miles/hr and weighs in at 220 pounds. The cost of assembling it is $2802. Steph McArthur says; ‘The couch fits quite nicely down corridors and in lifts, so if we can fit it out with different sensors to map indoor areas, then it could potentially navigate from one place to another, and not crash into things along the route.’

The couch made its debut at the University of New South Wales Open Day after plethora of several test runs.