Robotic furniture for tiny living

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A MIT research project that uses robotics to make small spaces more liveable has inspired a shape-shifting, expandable walk-in closet. Dubbed the Ori Closet, the innovation emerged from the CityHome research project. CityHome is a 200-square foot apartment that expands with the wave of the hand to provide triple the usable footprint. It is just one of the many innovations that aims to make more use out of limited space. For example, an AI-based storage system makes use of ceiling space and a QR code wallpaper creates a virtual bookcase.

CityHome lead researcher Hasier Larrea founded Ori to commercialise the technology developed for CityHome. Ori has developed three automated closet projects. The first is the Ori Pocket Closet, which includes storage space for clothes, shoes, and accessories. When closed, the closet can also turn into a desk, media console or bookshelf.

The second closet is the Ori Studio Suite. This transforms a studio apartment into a bedroom, office, full-size living room or walk-in-closet, all on demand. The Studio Suite has already been installed in more than 20 buildings across the US. The third product is the Ori Cloud Bed, which when lowered and raised turns into an integrated dropped ceiling. When raised, it reveals a stylish, modern sofa and coffee table underneath. All of the products can be opened using voice activation with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. They can also be opened using the Ori app, or with a built-in control, and have a manual option in case of power outages.

Takeaway: Studies have shown that homes are shrinking worldwide. Furthermore in the US, apartment floor plans have shrunk by around 10 percent over the last 10 years. As more and more people around the world move to cities, the need to make better use of small spaces will continue grow. What other innovations might make better use of limited living space?


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Spotted by Peter Gibson, written by Springwise.
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