This robotic furniture system can transform a tiny room into a spacious apartment
A new robotic furniture system allows apartment-dwellers to transform their space for sleeping, entertaining, and working with the push of a button.Ori, a company spun out of MIT Media Lab, partnered with designer Yves Béhar to create a storage system that triples the usage of any given space. The high-tech armoire slides components (like the bed or drawer) in and out, converting a single room into a one-bedroom apartment complete with a bed, closet, media center, desk, and lighting.
The Ori unit aims to provide the experience of luxury without the luxury of size.When the resident wakes up in the morning, they can tap a button to tuck the full- or queen-sized mattress under the unit, much like a trundle bed. This configuration allows for easy access to a pull-out desk, drawers, and closet.On the flip side, a media center leaves room for a television, knickknacks, and more. Hooks hang on the side of the unit.
The system glides across the floor thanks to a track that runs along the wall. The user can make room for a bigger bedroom or living room depending on their needs, without having to push or lift the massive unit."I think when technology enters the home, it has to be simple to use," Béhar says. "It has to follow the flow of everyday life. In every way possible, Ori does that."
The most exciting part is by far the customization. Not only can the owner personalize the (albeit, limited) material finishes and shelving and cabinet layout, but they can also create room-configuration presets using the company's smartphone app. If they're bringing a date back to the apartment and want to hide an unmade bed, for instance, they need only hit the living room button on their app to transform the room remotely.
As someone who has screaming matches with her IKEA furniture during the build phase, I imagine struggling to assemble furniture that brings robotics into the equation. The good news is that Ori handles the installation for individual customers, while developers might someday outfit apartment units before occupants move in.The bad news: you can't easily take the system apart if you move to a new apartment.
Still, the Ori robotic furniture system maximizes storage space while minimizing clutter.
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