Imagine if walls and furniture could grow straight from the floor, transforming a studio apartment into a two- or three-bedroom dwelling in a matter of minutes. Now imagine that the whole operation is being conducted by an army of miniature, underground robots. Fantastical and improbable as it may seem, that’s the promise of DOM Indoors, a new robotic system for reconfiguring rooms.
Designed by Asmbld, a Brooklyn-based robotics company, the system is based around a gridded floor that’s raised five inches off the ground. Using light sensors and markers on the surface to orient themselves, small robots rove about the space underneath, assembling modular tiles and lifting them into place. It’s all designed and monitored via a handy mobile app. By merely swapping out your normal floor for DOM Indoors floor, your home becomes a shapeshifting living space that can adapt to any need or situation.
Asmbld’s system immediately calls to mind Minecraft or life-sized Lego, but it could have a wide range of real-life applications. You could transform your living space into a workspace during the day, then back again before nightfall. Or have a guest room assemble itself in the time it takes your friend to get from the cab to the front door. Fight with your roommate? Put up some boundaries, take ’em down when you’re ready. All you need is enough square footage to parse in the first place.