Ikea to launch new robotic transforming furniture

Ikea has partnered with US tech startup Ori to develop a transforming robotic piece of furniture, which can change to the user’s needs throughout the day.

The Swedish furniture brand’s new product Rognan, due for release in 2020, is a large storage unit which contains a desk, a couch, a closet and even a bed.

Set for initial launch in Hong Kong and Japan where living spaces are especially small, Rognan is built on a robotic platform controlled by a touch-pad which allows it to slide across a room and divide it into two living spaces, reportedly saving around 86q ft of living space.

It is based on Ikea’s Plasta line of furniture and will fit with both other items in that range and Ikea’s Tradfri line of cabinet and wardrobe smart lighting.

Though no details about how much Rognan will cost have been unveiled similar units from Ori, which has been developing the concept with Ikea for around two years, can fetch as much as $10,000.

“We have been working with developing small space living solutions for a long time, and we know that some of the biggest challenges in peoples’ homes are storage and finding the place to do all the activities that you’d want to do in your home,” Ikea’s product developer for new innovations Seana Strawn said.

“This is especially the case in big cities where people have to make compromises in the functions of their homes. We wanted to change that.

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“Instead of making the furniture smaller, we transform the furniture to the function that you need at that time. When you sleep, you do not need your sofa. When you use your wardrobe, you do not need your bed.”

Ori’s chief executive Hasier Larrea told Reuters: “This is technology, robotics and design coming together to solve a problem that needs to be solved: As living spaces become smaller and smaller we can’t keep using all the same furniture we’ve been using for many years. We need to think of a new generation of furniture. You can almost call it furniture with superpowers.”

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