The Reading / Listening - Furniture - Level 5

Robots are taking over more parts of our lives and jobs. The latest job to feel threatened by technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have created furniture from wood. However, the next generation of master carpenters may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can create custom-made furniture. The robots will not replace humans, but will improve safety. The goal of the project is to let robots do the more dangerous task of sawing so carpenters can focus on design.



The MIT team used today's technology to create the "AutoSaw". It differs from robots that are currently used to make the mass-produced, flat-pack furniture we buy from home-furnishing stores. People will design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great precision. It will also reduce the risk of us losing a finger. Researchers said: "Our aim is to democratize furniture-customization...to open up a realm of opportunities so users aren't bound to what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best fits their needs." This will mean better-designed furniture.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Furniture - Level 4 or  Furniture - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43251669
  • https://www.theverge.com/
  • 2018/2/28/17058532/robot-carpentry-automated-mit-assisted-furniture
  • https://www.cnet.com/news/mit-autosaw-roomba-robot-system-handles-carpentry-csail/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. taking over more
  2. feel threatened
  3. the next
  4. master
  5. create custom-
  6. The robots will not
  7. the more dangerous
  8. focus
  1. task of sawing
  2. generation
  3. made furniture
  4. on design
  5. parts of our lives
  6. carpenters
  7. replace humans
  8. by technology

Paragraph 2

  1. The MIT team used today's
  2. mass-produced, flat-
  3. home-
  4. cut up the wood with great
  5. reduce the risk of us
  6. open up a realm
  7. make what best
  8. better-
  1. precision
  2. fits their needs
  3. losing a finger
  4. designed furniture
  5. technology
  6. furnishing stores
  7. pack furniture
  8. of opportunities

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Robots are taking over (1) ___________________ our lives and jobs. The latest job to feel threatened by (2) ___________________. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have created furniture from wood. However, the (3) ___________________ master carpenters may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can (4) ___________________ furniture. The robots will not replace humans, but (5) ___________________. The goal of the project is to let robots do the more dangerous (6) ___________________ so carpenters can focus on design.

The MIT team used (7) ___________________ create the "AutoSaw". It differs from robots that are (8) ___________________ make the mass-produced, flat-pack furniture we buy from home-furnishing stores. People will (9) ___________________ furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great precision. It will also reduce the risk of us (10) ___________________. Researchers said: "Our aim is to democratize furniture-customization...to open up (11) ___________________ opportunities so users aren't bound to what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best (12) ___________________." This will mean better-designed furniture.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Robotsaretakingovermorepartsofourlivesandjobs.Thelatestjobtofe
elthreatenedbytechnologyiscarpentry.Forthousandsofyears,skilled
carpentershavecreatedfurniturefromwood.However,thenextgenera
tionofmastercarpentersmayberobots,nothumans.Researchersatthe
MassachusettsInstituteofTechnology(MIT)havecreatedarobotthatc
ancreatecustomfurniture.Therobotswillnotreplacehumans,butwilli
mprovesafety.Thegoaloftheprojectistoletrobotsdothemoredangero
ustaskofsawingsocarpenterscanfocusondesign.TheMITteamusedto
day'stechnologytocreatethe"AutoSaw".Itdiffersfromrobotsthatarec
urrentlyusedtomakethemass-produced,flat-packfurniturewebuyfr
omhome-furnishingstores.PeoplewilldesigntheirownfurnitureandA
utoSawwillcutupthewoodwithgreatprecision.Itwillalsoreducetherisk
ofuslosingafinger.Researcherssaid:"Ouraimistodemocratizefurnitur
e-customization...toopenuparealmofopportunitiessousersaren'tbo
undtowhatthey'veboughtatIkea.Instead,theycanmakewhatbestfits
theirneeds."Thiswillmeanbetter-designedfurniture.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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