The terms “robotic” and “furniture” are rarely mentioned in the same sentence and for good reason. If it were up to MIT, however, everyone in the world will make use of their robotic furniture very soon. Although the item costs around $10,000, it is quite an impressive piece of technology. Having furniture which can change at the touch of a button is quite convenient, albeit rather expensive.
MIT’s Robotic Furniture Is Pretty Cool
On paper, having a piece of furniture which can transform depending on its particular purpose is quite ingenious. Having an object which serves as a bureau/living room, bedroom, and has multiple shelves, is quite a convenient concept. MIT’s piece of robotic furniture is quite omnipotent in this regard, as it does a lot of things people are actively looking for. If you don’t need the bed, just tap a button, and it will slide back into the furniture without questions asked.
When MIT first presented this project, it caught the world by surprise. Interestingly enough, it took several years until a consumer-grade version was made available. To be more specific, Ori Systems are available for pre-order, but it remains inaccessible to the average person on the street. That is quite a shame, as a lot of people wouldn’t mind paying $10,000 for something that can be used for so many different purposes at the same time.
Unfortunately, Ori feels their unit should only be available to large-scale development companies. That is rather disappointing, although it does not exclude the fact consumers may have access to similar items in the future. It is an expensive piece of furniture, but still a pretty cost-effective way of managing two main living areas into one piece of furniture. The living room part still requires a couch or a bench, though, but for anyone living in a tight-spaced apartment, it can be a godsend.
The current iteration of Ori comes with a control interface at the front of the furniture. That is quite a convenient solution, as one can add or remove the bed at the touch of a button. There is also a mobile application which offers the same degree of functionality, which is quite nice. The app even supports voice commands through Amazon Alexa, which increases the convenience factor even more. It is a shame this product is not available to consumers, to say the least.
Being able to customize your living space is quite appealing, for obvious reasons. Not everyone has the luxury of living in a house, even though there is nothing wrong with apartments or condos. The only limitation is how much space we can use, which is where solutions such as Ori Systems could make a great impact. The company has recently rented prototypes of this furniture out to Airbnb, and it remains to be seen whether or not the overall response is positive.
In the end, a lot of people have been looking for solutions like these. Even though they may not be accessible by consumers right now, that situation could change at any given moment. Rest assured there are companies experimenting with similar technology to make our everyday life a lot more convenient. It will be interesting to see who comes to market first with these types of product, and more importantly, how much they will cost.
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