IKEA brings robotic furniture for small living spaces

With population of the planet growing the need for homes worldwide  has increased exponentially, especially in urban areas where  living space has been shrinking at a rapid rate. To meet the need for more housing in less space, IKEA is launching a new robotic furniture system called Rognan.

The new system is capable of transforming small spaces into comfortable, multi-functional homes based on a person’s needs. Rognan converts a living area used for relaxing and entertaining guests to a work area with privacy, a dressing room or a cozy sleeping area, with just the press of a button.

Developed in collaboration with American furniture startup Ori Living. The large storage unit, controlled by a touchpad, can slide across a room to divide a small room into two living spaces, and contains a bed, desk, and a couch for people to pull out when needed. It is designed for people living in urban areas to maximize their small spaces, and is slated to launch first in Hong Kong and Japan in 2020.

Rognan is built on Ori’s robotic platform, and works with IKEA’s Platsa line of storage furniture. It is also compatible with the Swedish furniture giant’s Tradfri line of cabinet and wardrobe smart lighting. IKEA says the Rognan can save an extra eight square meters (about 86 square feet) of living space. That might not sound like much, but if you live in a tiny home, it could make all the difference.

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

Ori’s line of automated furniture was launched way back in 2014 for real estate developers and for Airbnbs with an asking price of $10,000 for a full-fledged Ori Systems. The pricing for Rognan has not been announced yet, but hopefully, the IKEA partnership can help Ori bring down the cost of the unit and make it more accessible to those who really need it.