Flat-pack wardrobe that tells you how to do it
Those frustrating weekends spent trying to turn flat-pack furniture into the finished article may be about to end, thanks to a new system that uses computer chips to tell you when you go wrong.
Stavros Antifakos, working with colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, has developed a next-generation wardrobe whose pieces contain cheap microprocessors to warn you before you connect Part C to Part F, and might even light up to show you where a piece should go. He hit on the idea after realising that the graphic-only instructions seem to impose an arbitrary order on the assembly. "People find this [order] annoying so they don't follow them," Mr Antifakos, a PhD student, told New Scientist magazine.
He also discovered that there were 44 different ways to put together an Ikea PAX wardrobe, although only eight methods would produce a safe piece of furniture.
"That's our best-seller," said an Ikea spokeswoman yesterday. "Our experts reckon it's probably one of the easiest to put together."
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