“Alexa, Transform My Room.”

What if I told you that phrase could actually entirely change up the layout and furniture of your room. Welcome to the future of robotic furniture!

Parmin Sedigh
The Startup

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Close your eyes. Imagine you’re moving to Boston to pursue a path of innovation. But when you get there, reality hits you like a brick wall and you realize just how expensive living spaces are. You rent a tiny, shoebox studio and get to work, changing the world.
Now open your eyes. And get excited because you may not have to live like that anymore!

From oriliving.com

What Is Robotic Furniture?

Great question! It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s furniture that can move and conform to your needs.

Let me give you an example. One of the front-runners in this space, Ori, has a product called the Cloud Bed. It’s the product from the above GIF 👆 A bed is the perfect example of a piece of furniture we really don’t use very often outside of just sleeping.

Maybe right now during the pandemic that’s changed, with our beds becoming the space for everything other than sleep. But when everything gets back into full swing and we all fully get back to work or school, our beds become what Hasier Larrea, the CEO of Ori, calls a “space killer”.

The Cloud Bed changes all that. When you need to use it to go to sleep, boom it’s just like a regular old bed. But in the morning, when you get up and no longer need your bed, boom it moves out of the way into the clouds and you’ve got a couch and a coffee table right there.

It’s functional, and efficient, and personal. It conforms to your needs no matter the size of your space.

How It Works

If right now, you’re thinking, how is this any different than those good ol’ Murphy beds? Or how does robotics plays a part in this? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

A Murphy Bed! From the Wurts Brothers/Museum of the City of New York

For this one, let’s take a look at another Ori product called the Studio Suite, designed for– you guessed it –studio apartments. It functions as basically everything you’d need in a home besides a toilet and a kitchen. With a retracting bed, pull-out table for everything from work to dinner, spacious but hidden closet, and writing desk for all your writing needs, the Studio Suite’s got you covered!

Now back to how it works. In a few hours, some installers install a small guide track and assemble the whole structure. It’s then plugged into a normal outlet and it’s ready to go. But here’s where the magic really happens…

You can transform the Studio Suite from bed to closet to table using 3 methods
– The Ori Square (a small and sleek interface on the furniture that can transform it with a simple touch)
– The Ori Mobile App
– Google Home/Amazon Alexa

Pretty insane right? You just say “Alexa, ask Ori to make the bed” and voila! Your bed is right there! Pretty science fiction-y right?

This product even has an obstacle protection feature! Whenever 20 pounds or more of force is exerted onto the product when it’s moving, it’ll automatically stop.

But wait, what if there’s a power outage💡It automatically detects the lack of power and switches to manual mode. This is where it works just like the regular retractable furniture you’ve seen! You’ll still be able to use the functionalities but as soon as the power’s up and running again your super-powered furniture will get back to work!

Do we really need robotic furniture?

Short answer: yes. Long answer…

Let’s take a look at a very interesting quote from Larrea in his TEDx Talk

Old solutions don’t solve new problems

As he goes on to explain, we’ve been living in the exact same way that we did thousands of years ago. The only mass change we’ve had has been to start building up higher and higher. But in this case, the sky is the limit and with a projected 2/3 of the world population expected to live in cities by 2030, it’s time to start augmenting our space now.

It’s not just that people are moving to cities. It’s that apartments are getting smaller and smaller, taking away functionalities that we used to have. Apartment sizes have dropped by nearly 90 square feet in just the last 10 years. It’s time we start getting creative with our living spaces just as we have with other fields 🎨

But if you still don’t think this is legit? Then look no further than the largest furniture company in the world and everyone’s favourite place to get meatballs, IKEA! Ori and IKEA had a partnership to create a space maximizer called ROGNAN. Their goal is to bring this innovative solution to areas outside of the US like China. Click here and watch the video below to learn more about ROGNAN.

TL;DR

  • With more people than ever moving to cities and apartments getting smaller and smaller, we need creative solutions to augment our space like robotic furniture!
  • Ori is one of the companies at the forefront working on several robotic products like the Cloud Bed and Studio Suite
  • These can be controlled in 3 ways: using the Ori Square, the Ori App, or a Google Home or Amazon Alexa
  • IKEA did a partnership with Ori on a product called ROGNAN!

Learn more…

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Parmin Sedigh
The Startup

Science communicator trying to learn something new everyday | Published in Start It Up, Predict & The Writing Cooperative