Is robotic furniture in our future?

Meet the space-age coffee table created by Jessica Banks, founder of RockPaperRobot.

By Control Design

What constitutes a "space-age coffee table?"

Jessica Banks, founder of RockPaperRobot, offers up her "float table" as a new space-age coffee table and with it a vision of where she sees the future smart homes.

Called the float table, Banks' design is a series of wooden cubes suspended in a grid formation. Each cube can be gently pushed out of place before snapping back, thanks to the powerful magnets embedded in each cube.

According to Inc., Banks is hoping her carefully engineered and designed furniture can reinvent how her customers think of the smart home.

"Physical objects give us a great deal of joy," she tells Inc. "Yet so much is built so that the human can ignore it." In her work, she says, she's looking to create "a favorable intrusion. Beauty is a welcome intrusion. Awe is a welcome intrusion." 

There were many engineering and construction challenges presented by Banks' float table. The magnets on the bottom row of cubes have to support the whole table, but in the upper two rows, any magnets Banks added would also increase the cubes' weight, and therefore the difficulty in repelling any particular cube from its neighbors.

Click here to read more and learn how Banks overcame the engineering and construction challenges of her float table. Also, you can learn about other ventures Banks has on the horizon and how her idea of the smart home fits into the vision.