The Reading / Listening - Furniture - Level 6

Robots are taking over more and more aspects of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to perhaps feel threatened by the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have lovingly created furniture from wood. However, the next generation of master craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can create custom-made wooden furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead will improve safety. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous tasks of sawing and assembling, so carpenters can focus on design.



The MIT team used currently available technology to create what they call the AutoSaw. It differs from conventional robots that are currently used to manufacture the mass-produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from giant home-furnishing stores. People will be able to design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great precision and reduced risk of us losing a finger. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: "Our aim is to democratize furniture-customization. We're trying 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." She believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Furniture - Level 4  or  Furniture - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. CARPENTRY: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about furniture. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       robots / occupation / threatened / technology / craftsmen / humans / safety / design /
       currently / conventional / mass-produced / furniture / precision / opportunities / needs
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. TAKING OVER: Students A strongly believe robots are taking over; Students B strongly believe they aren't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. OCCUPATIONS: Could robots take over these jobs? Why? Why not? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Why?

Why Not?

Carpenter

 

 

Soldier

 

 

Teacher

 

 

Doctor

 

 

Soccer player

 

 

Comedian

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. TECHNOLOGY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "technology". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. FURNITURE: Rank these with your partner. Put the best furniture at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • bean bag
  • bookcase
  • armchair
  • clothes closet
  • sofa
  • bed
  • dining table
  • desk

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. aspects a. The progress or continuity of something that is considered to be moving continually onward.
      2. occupation b. Fitting together the separate component parts of a machine or other object.
      3. threatened c. A particular part or feature of something.
      4. march d. Be at risk or in danger.
      5. generation e. A job or profession.
      6. custom f. A single stage in the development of a type of product.
      7. assembling g. Designed and put together as the customer wanted it.

    Paragraph 2

      8. conventional h. Made in very, very large numbers, usually in factories.
      9. mass-produced i. Furniture, fittings, and other decorative accessories, such as curtains and carpets, for a house or room.
      10. furnishing j. A field or area of activity or interest.
      11. precision k. Normal; regular; ordinary; usual.
      12. democratize l. Felt forced to do something.
      13. realm m. Make something accessible to everyone.
      14. bound n. The quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article said robots have made carpenters no longer needed.     T / F
  2. The next generation of master carpenters will be robots.     T / F
  3. The carpentry robot in the article will improve safety.     T / F
  4. The carpentry robot will take on more design tasks.     T / F
  5. AutoSaw is the same as robots used to mass-produce furniture.     T / F
  6. AutoSaw will allow people to make furniture without losing fingers.     T / F
  7. AutoSaw's designer wants to make furniture design more democratic.     T / F
  8. AutoSaw could free people from relying on IKEA for furniture.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. aspects
  2. occupation
  3. skilled
  4. generation
  5. focus
  6. conventional
  7. precision
  8. risk
  9. realm
  10. empower
  1. accuracy
  2. concentrate
  3. profession
  4. equip
  5. chance
  6. crop
  7. world
  8. features
  9. established
  10. expert

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. taking over more and more
  2. feel threatened by the march
  3. skilled carpenters have lovingly
  4. next generation of master
  5. robots do the more dangerous tasks of
  6. mass-produced, flat-
  7. giant home-
  8. cut up the wood with great
  9. reduced risk of us losing a
  10. open up a realm
  1. created furniture
  2. finger
  3. sawing
  4. pack furniture
  5. of technology
  6. furnishing stores
  7. aspects of our lives
  8. of opportunities
  9. craftsmen and women
  10. precision

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
lovingly
custom
aspects
tasks
focus
safety
master
perhaps

Robots are taking over more and more (1) ____________ of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to (2) ____________ feel threatened by the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have (3) ____________ created furniture from wood. However, the next generation of (4) ____________ craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can create (5) ____________ -made wooden furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead will improve (6) ____________. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous (7) ____________ of sawing and assembling, so carpenters can (8) ____________ on design.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
precision
mass
currently
fits
giant
aim
differs
realm

The MIT team used (9) ____________ available technology to create what they call the AutoSaw. It (10) ____________ from conventional robots that are currently used to manufacture the (11) ____________ -produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from (12) ____________ home-furnishing stores. People will be able to design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great (13) ____________ and reduced risk of us losing a finger. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: "Our (14) ____________ is to democratize furniture-customization. We're trying to open up a (15) ____________ of opportunities so users aren't bound to what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best (16) ____________ their needs." She believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The latest occupation to perhaps feel threatened by ______ technology
     a.  the march of
     b.  the may of
     c.  the much of
     d.  them arch of
2)  However, the next generation of ______
     a.  mister craftsmen
     b.  muster craftsmen
     c.  mast star craftsmen
     d.  master craftsmen
3) .... (MIT) have created a robot that can create custom-made ______
     a.  wood den furniture
     b.  wooden furniture
     c.  wood dent furniture
     d.  woo den furniture
4)  They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead ______
     a.  will improve safely
     b.  will improve safety
     c.  will improve safe tea
     d.  will improve safe tee
5) the more dangerous tasks of sawing and assembling, so carpenters ______ design
     a.  can focus an
     b.  can focus in
     c.  can focus on
     d.  can focus one

6)  The MIT team used currently available technology to create ______ the AutoSaw
     a.  what they call
     b.  what they speak
     c.  what they talk
     d.  what they voice
7)  currently used to manufacture the mass-produced, ______
     a.  flat-back furniture
     b.  flat-pack furniture
     c.  flat-plaque furniture
     d.  flat-pact furniture
8)  furniture many of us buy from giant home-______
     a.  finishing stores
     b.  fern fishing stores
     c.  furnish in stores
     d.  furnishing stores
9)  cut up the wood with great precision and reduced risk of us ______
     a.  lose sin a finger
     b.  loose in a finger
     c.  lose in a finger
     d.  losing a finger
10)  Instead, they can make what best ______ needs
     a.  flits their
     b.  fits their
     c.  frits their
     d.  flips their

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Robots are taking over more (1) ___________________ of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to perhaps (2) ___________________ the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have lovingly created furniture from wood. However, (3) ___________________ of master craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can (4) ___________________ furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead (5) ___________________. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous tasks of sawing and assembling, so carpenters can (6) ___________________.

The MIT (7) ___________________ available technology to create what they call the AutoSaw. It differs from conventional robots that are currently used to manufacture the mass-produced, (8) ___________________ many of us buy from giant (9) ___________________. People will be able to design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great precision and reduced risk of us (10) ___________________. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: "Our aim is to democratize furniture-customization. We're trying to open up a realm of opportunities so users (11) ___________________ what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what (12) ___________________ needs." She believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

Comprehension questions

  1. What are robots taking over more aspects of?
  2. For how many years have carpenters been lovingly making furniture?
  3. What might the next generation of master carpenters be?
  4. What will robots improve for carpenters?
  5. What will robots allow carpenters to focus on?
  6. What is the name of the robot researchers at MIT created?
  7. What kind of furniture is in giant home-furnishing stores?
  8. What parts of our body could the robot saw mean we keep?
  9. What is a researcher trying to open up?
  10. What will the robot saw allow people to do create?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  What are robots taking over more aspects of?
a) furniture
b) our lives and jobs
c) calculations
d) technology
2)  For how many years have carpenters been lovingly making furniture?
a) hundreds of thousands
b) hundreds
c) millions
d) thousands
3) What might the next generation of master carpenters be?
a) robots
b) experts
c) PhD holders
d) children
4) What will robots improve for carpenters?
a) nailing
b) gluing
c) safety
d) wood
5) What will robots allow carpenters to focus on?
a) technology
b) design
c) shelves
d) hobbies

6) What is the name of the robot researchers at MIT created?
a) AutoSaw
b) Sawy
c) Saw-Saw
d) Robo-Saw
7) What kind of furniture is in giant home-furnishing stores?
a) badly-designed stuff
b) plastic furniture
c) flat-packed furniture
d) cheap stuff
8) What parts of our body could the robot saw mean we keep?
a) our fingers
b) our eyes
c) our brain
d) our limbs
9) What is a researcher trying to open up?
a) a realm of opportunities
b) the secrets of carpenters
c) a tool box
d) a box from a furniture store
10) What will the robot saw allow people to do create?
a) a mess
b) a world made of wood
c) a new world
d) better-designed furniture

Role play

Role  A – Sofa
You think a sofa is the best item of furniture. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their items. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): dining table, desk or bookcase.

Role  B – Dining Table
You think a dining table is the best item of furniture. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their items. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why):: sofa, desk or bookcase.

Role  C – Desk
You think a desk is the best item of furniture. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their items. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why):: dining table, sofa or bookcase.

Role  D – Bookcase
You think a bookcase is the best item of furniture. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their items. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why)::  dining table, desk or sofa.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'robot'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'furniture'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • available
    • mass
    • own
    • risk
    • aim
    • fits
    • more
    • march
    • lovingly
    • next
    • replace
    • focus




    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 - Robots to help us make our own furniture

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'furniture'?
    3. How interested are you in furniture?
    4. Would you like to make your own furniture?
    5. What do you think of the carpentry trade?
    6. How much of a threat are robots to carpenters?
    7. How important are carpenters?
    8. To what degree will robots replace humans?
    9. What furniture have you made?
    10. What is your favourite piece of furniture, and why?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'robot'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you think of the AutoSaw robot?
    5. What do you think of assemble-yourself furniture from IKEA?
    6. What are the benefits of designing your own furniture?
    7. What does "to democratize furniture-customization" mean?
    8. What kind of furniture best fits your needs?
    9. How well designed is your furniture?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Robots are taking over more and more (1) ____ of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to perhaps feel threatened (2) ____ the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have (3) ____ created furniture from wood. However, the next generation of (4) ____ craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can create custom wooden furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but (5) ____ will improve safety. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous tasks of sawing and (6) ____, so carpenters can focus on design.

    The MIT team used currently available technology to create what they (7) ____ the AutoSaw. It differs from conventional robots that are currently used to manufacture the (8) ____-produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from giant home-furnishing stores. People will be able to design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great (9) ____ and reduced risk of us losing a finger. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: "Our aim is to democratize furniture-customization. We're trying to open up a (10) ____ of opportunities so users aren't (11) ____ to what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best (12) ____ their needs." She believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     complex     (b)     aspects     (c)     respects     (d)     inspects    
    2. (a)     at     (b)     by     (c)     on     (d)     to    
    3. (a)     lovely     (b)     lovey-dovey     (c)     loves     (d)     lovingly    
    4. (a)     mister     (b)     master     (c)     mistress     (d)     muster    
    5. (a)     choice     (b)     doubt     (c)     prefer     (d)     instead    
    6. (a)     resembling     (b)     rambling     (c)     assembling     (d)     assenting    
    7. (a)     call     (b)     say     (c)     speak     (d)     voice    
    8. (a)     miss     (b)     moss     (c)     mass     (d)     mess    
    9. (a)     prediction     (b)     permission     (c)     partition     (d)     precision    
    10. (a)     realm     (b)     ream     (c)     roam     (d)     real    
    11. (a)     bound     (b)     sound     (c)     found     (d)     pound    
    12. (a)     fits     (b)     bits     (c)     nits     (d)     pits

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. more stecspa of our lives
    2. The latest uiconctapo
    3. skilled rapecnesrt
    4. the next teeraiongn
    5. master cnesamftr
    6. sawing and nebmsgsila

    Paragraph 2

    1. used currently alavbaeli technology
    2. onennvtoilca robots
    3. with great preinsico
    4. cdtrezmaeoi furniture-customization
    5. open up a realm of ittperonupsoi
    6. She believes it will mweoerp people

    Put the text back together

    (...)  up the wood with great precision and reduced risk of us losing a finger. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: "Our aim is to
    (...)  threatened by the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled
    1  ) Robots are taking over more and more aspects of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to perhaps feel
    (...)  robots that are currently used to manufacture the mass-produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from
    (...)  and women may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    (...)  carpenters have lovingly created furniture from wood. However, the next generation of master craftsmen
    (...)  democratize furniture-customization. We're trying to open up a realm of opportunities so users
    (...)  dangerous tasks of sawing and assembling, so carpenters can focus on design.
    (...)  aren't bound to what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best fits
    (...)  (MIT) have created a robot that can create custom-made wooden furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead
    (...)  The MIT team used currently available technology to create what they call the AutoSaw. It differs from conventional
    (...)  will improve safety. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more
    (...)  giant home-furnishing stores. People will be able to design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut
    (...)  their needs." She believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. aspects   Robots   taking   our   over   more   lives   .   are   of
    2. from   created   have   carpenters   Skilled   wood   .  furniture   lovingly
    3. that   furniture   .   robot   Created   can   create   a   custom
    4. the   not   replace   robots   will   say   humans   .   They
    5. tasks   robots   the   dangerous   of   do   sawing   .   Let
    6. technology   .   MIT   The   currently   used   team   available
    7. will   furniture   .   able   design   be   their   People   to   own
    8. with   great   cut   precision   .   up   will   wood   AutoSaw
    9. to   open   We're   realm   up   a   trying   of   opportunities   .
    10. create   better-designed   to   people   Empower   furniture   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Robots are taking over more and more inspects / aspects of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to perhaps feel threatened / threatening by the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled / skilling carpenters have lovingly created furniture for / from wood. However, the next generation of mister / master craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans / humane. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can create customs / custom-madewooden furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead will improve safe / safety. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous tasks of sawing / seeing and assembling, so carpenters can focus on design / designed.

    The MIT team used currently / current available technology to create what they call the AutoSaw. It differs / differentials from conventional / convenience robots that are currently used to manufacture the mass-produced / miss-produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from giant home-furnishing stores. People will be able to design their gown / own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great precisely / precision and reduced risk of us losing a / the finger. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: "Our aim is to democratize / democracy furniture-customization. We're trying to open up a ream / realm of opportunities so users aren't bound to what they've bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best fits their needs." She believes / beliefs it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    R_b_t s  _r_  t_k_n g  _v_r   m_r_ _n d   m_r_ _s p_c t s  _f  __ r   l_v_s ,  _n d   j_b s .   T h_  l_t_s t  _c c_p_t__ n   t_  p_r h_p s   f__ l   t h r__ t_n_d   b y   t h_  m_r c h  _f   t_c h n_l_g y  _s   c_r p_n t r y .   F_r   t h__ s_n d s  _f   y__ r s ,   s k_l l_d   c_r p_n t_r s   h_v_  l_v_n g l y   c r__ t_d   f_r n_t_r_  f r_m   w__ d .   H_w_v_r ,   t h_  n_x t   g_n_r_t__ n  _f   m_s t_r   c r_f t s m_n  _n d   w_m_n   m_y   b_  r_b_t s ,   n_t   h_m_n s .   R_s__ r c h_r s  _t   t h_  M_s s_c h_s_t t s   I n s t_t_t_ _f   T_c h n_l_g y   ( M I T )   h_v_  c r__ t_d  _  r_b_t   t h_t   c_n   c r__ t_  c_s t_m   w__ d_n   f_r n_t_r_.   T h_y   s_y   t h_  r_b_t s   w_l l   n_t   r_p l_c_  h_m_n s ,   b_t  _n s t__ d   w_l l  _m p r_v_  s_f_t y .   T h_  r_s__ r c h_r s   s__ d   t h_  g__ l  _f   t h__ r   p r_j_c t   w_s   t_  l_t   r_b_t s   d_  t h_  m_r_  d_n g_r__ s   t_s k s  _f   s_w_n g  _n d  _s s_m b l_n g ,   s_  c_r p_n t_r s   c_n   f_c_s  _n   d_s_g n .

    T h_  M I T   t__ m  _s_d   c_r r_n t l y  _v__ l_b l_  t_c h n_l_g y   t_  c r__ t_  w h_t   t h_y   c_l l   t h_  A_t_S_w .   I t   d_f f_r s   f r_m   c_n v_n t__ n_l   r_b_t s   t h_t  _r_  c_r r_n t l y  _s_d   t_  m_n_f_c t_r_  t h_  m_s s - p r_d_c_d ,   f l_t - p_c k   f_r n_t_r_  m_n y  _f  _s   b_y   f r_m   g__ n t   h_m_- f_r n_s h_n g   s t_r_s .   P__ p l_  w_l l   b_ _b l_  t_  d_s_g n   t h__ r  _w n   f_r n_t_r_ _n d   A_t_S_w   w_l l   c_t  _p   t h_  w__ d   w_t h   g r__ t   p r_c_s__ n  _n d   r_d_c_d   r_s k  _f  _s   l_s_n g  _  f_n g_r .   R_s__ r c h_r   A d r__ n_  S c h_l z   s__ d :   " O_r  __ m  _s   t_  d_m_c r_t_z_  f_r n_t_r_- c_s t_m_z_t__ n .   W_' r_  t r y_n g   t_ _p_n  _p  _  r__ l m  _f  _p p_r t_n_t__ s   s_ _s_r s  _r_n ' t   b__ n d   t_  w h_t   t h_y ' v_  b__ g h t  _t   I k__ .   I n s t__ d ,   t h_y   c_n   m_k_  w h_t   b_s t   f_t s   t h__ r   n__ d s . "   S h_  b_l__ v_s  _t   w_l l  _m p_w_r   p__ p l_  t_  c r__ t_  b_t t_r - d_s_g n_d   f_r n_t_r_.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    robots are taking over more and more aspects of our lives, and jobs. the latest occupation to perhaps feel threatened by the march of technology is carpentry. for thousands of years, skilled carpenters have lovingly created furniture from wood. however, the next generation of master craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans. researchers at the massachusetts institute of technology (mit) have created a robot that can create custom-made wooden furniture. they say the robots will not replace humans, but instead will improve safety. the researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous tasks of sawing and assembling, so carpenters can focus on design.

    the mit team used currently available technology to create what they call the autosaw. it differs from conventional robots that are currently used to manufacture the mass-produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from giant home-furnishing stores. people will be able to design their own furniture and autosaw will cut up the wood with great precision and reduced risk of us losing a finger. researcher adriana schulz said: "our aim is to democratize furniture-customization. we're trying 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." she believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Robotsaretakingovermoreandmoreaspectsofourlives,andjobs.Thel
    atestoccupationtoperhapsfeelthreatenedbythemarchoftechnologyi
    scarpentry.Forthousandsofyears,skilledcarpentershavelovinglycre
    atedfurniturefromwood.However,thenextgenerationofmastercrafts
    menandwomenmayberobots,nothumans.ResearchersattheMassac
    husettsInstituteofTechnology(MIT)havecreatedarobotthatcancreat
    ecustomwoodenfurniture.Theysaytherobotswillnotreplacehumans,
    butinsteadwillimprovesafety.Theresearcherssaidthegoaloftheirproj
    ectwastoletrobotsdothemoredangeroustasksofsawingandassembli
    ng,socarpenterscanfocusondesign.TheMITteamusedcurrentlyavail
    abletechnologytocreatewhattheycalltheAutoSaw.Itdiffersfromconv
    entionalrobotsthatarecurrentlyusedtomanufacturethemass-produ
    ced,flat-packfurnituremanyofusbuyfromgianthome-furnishingsto
    res.PeoplewillbeabletodesigntheirownfurnitureandAutoSawwillcutu
    pthewoodwithgreatprecisionandreducedriskofuslosingafinger.Rese
    archerAdrianaSchulzsaid:"Ouraimistodemocratizefurniture-custo
    mization.We'retryingtoopenuparealmofopportunitiessousersaren't
    boundtowhatthey'veboughtatIkea.Instead,theycanmakewhatbestfi
    tstheirneeds."Shebelievesitwillempowerpeopletocreatebetter-desi
    gnedfurniture.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    We don't need robots to help us make furniture. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. FURNITURE: Make a poster about furniture. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. HOME DESIGNED: Write a magazine article about everyone designing and making their own furniture. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on furniture. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how we can improve our furniture design. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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