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"Robotic Furniture" Makes Micro Apartments More Practical

WIRED | 2:02

"Robotic Furniture" Makes Micro Apartments More Practical

Peter Smisek

12 January 2018

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THESE "robotically powered furniture units" could be the answer to flexible living space in micro apartments. 

The term "micro apartment" refers to a fast emerging typology that is particularly prevalent in cities such as London and New York - where increasing numbers of people want to live centrally, but where property prices are at a premium.

Our video explaining the term gives some more detail.  

Above: The interior of one of New York's first micro apartments, Carmel Place, completed in 2016 (image courtesy of nArchitects).

To stave off feelings of claustrophobia, architects and developers aim to increase the feeling of spaciousness inside micro apartments, by creating tall ceilings, built-in storage or Juliet balconies.

But there’s another way - as seen in this video - to make living in a micro dwelling more amenable: intelligent folding furniture that can transform the limited space inside depending on the occupant’s needs and desires.

Above: Mobile furniture, such as Ori, can help users to create an interior that's responsive to their needs. Below: Ori can free up space in micro apartments, creating more usable and functional space (image courtesy or Ori Systems).

Ori, short for Origami, is an MIT Media Lab spin-off that manufactures, sells and assembles an adjustable, modular and robotically powered furniture units.

With pre-set configurations, these moving cabinets can help provide space for a fold-out desk, a pull-out bed, and provide access to storage.

When not in use, Ori can be positioned into a corner, freeing-up space for other activities within the apartment.

Above: Mobility and folding parts, such as a desk, are crucial to these multi-functional furnishings. Below: Ori's control panel which allows the user to choose from three pre-set configurations (image courtesy of Ori Systems).

Additionally, this system can be voice controlled by a smart home assistant, though, of course, it also comes with a manual control panel.

Ori is currently available to developers in the United States, and retails at around USD $10,000 a piece.

You can learn more about the innovation here

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