Video: Ikea developing robotic furniture for small living spacesPeter Brown | June 06, 2019
Ikea is working with U.S. startup Ori to develop robotic furniture designed to turn small spaces into smart spaces.
Because more and more people are living in cities, housing resources have become unsustainable. In a small space, it is difficult to find all the storage necessary for the home, especially in big cities where apartments are often compact in order to accommodate mass urbanization.
The Rognan brand would allow furniture to become smart and capable of changing with the push of a button based on Ori’s robotic platform. For instance, a closet can move into a room, allowing for easier access, or a couch can move to reveal a bed underneath, or drawers can emerge from a wall unit for additional storage.
Ikea said the furniture allows homeowners to get at least eight square meters of extra living space for a bedroom, work space or living room. The furniture isn’t smaller, but packs more into a tighter area controlled through robotics.
The first launch of the robotic furniture will take place in Hong Kong and Japan in 2020 and the company may bring the Rognan brand to other regions later.
Ori initially started selling robotic furniture in the U.S. two years ago, but working with Ikea will reportedly expand its reach. While Ori’s system connects through a home’s Wi-Fi and works with Amazon Alexa, it is unclear if the same will apply to Ikea’s brand.