Automakers Nissan have developed a unique solution to the problem of tidying up rows of chairs after office meetings. The Japanese firm has invented self-powered office chairs that park themselves back into their original position with a simple clap of the hands.

The company placed four motion sensitive cameras in the corners of a ceiling and used them to track regular office chairs on wheels. The wi-fi controlled cameras detect each chair’s location and calculate a route back to its starting point.

The room layout is pre-programmed into the system, with individual chairs assigned their own spot at the table. The chairs have been programed to respond to the sounds of a human clap, with each chair automatically sliding back to its designated spot.

Nissan developed the project while working on its self-driving car technology.

“We were actually looking at office chairs as a motif and hope there is a need for this in some actual company, in their meeting room,” said Yuuki Tomii of Nissan’s sales promotion department.

He added: “Nissan’s ultimate goal is self-driving (cars), and the self-parking part is just one of the processes along the way. More than thinking of them as just furniture, we hope people can see it as how our technology can be introduced into other objects.”

Four of the self-parking chairs were displayed to the public in Yokohama City last Friday (February 19). Nissan had already released a video of the chairs, which quickly become a viral internet hit, meaning local visitors were eager to try them out.

“I had heard it was still only being developed and not to the point of being public. So I could only see here and that’s why I came,” said Sachiko Kuwana at the Nissan showroom. 

Some even said they wished to see it in their own homes.

 “While I don’t know the price, it is likely to be very expensive for the average household. I would love to have this at home if it was cheap enough to afford,” said Shuichi Aizawa.

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