Ikea has unveiled a new type of robotic furniture designed to serve multiple functions within a small space by automatically transforming itself into different forms.
The Rognan furniture system was built in collaboration with US startup Ori Living, and its developers say it can add an extra eight square metres to a living space.
Internal motors allow the furniture to switch between being a bed at night time to a sofa during the day, with the transformation taking place at the touch of a button.
It also serves as a cupboard, shelves and desk, in order to maximise the usability of places with limited space, such as studio apartments.
The Swedish furniture giant plans to launch the Rognan robot furniture in Hong Kong and Japan at some point next year, though no exact date or price has been set.
“Cities are booming and at the same time living spaces are shrinking,” Ikea said. “More and more people are living and moving into cities where approximately an extra 1.5 million people join the urban population every week.”
Ikea describes its new robot furniture as “a product for this new reality of modern urban life”, saying it is no longer necessary to simply make furniture smaller in order to fit to a space. Instead, furniture can be built to transform itself depending on what function is needed from it.
Beyond cramped urban living, the furniture also fits with the “tiny house movement”, which has been gaining popularity in recent years as people decide to simplify and declutter their lives by choosing to live in smaller and more environmentally friendly spaces.
“Rognan transforms small spaces into comfortable, multifunctional homes,” a spokesperson for Ikea said. “It changes to meet your needs, from sleep, to getting dressed, to having guests, and more. The population of cities is growing, and our living spaces are shrinking.”
More details about the Rognan furniture are expected to be announced later this summer.
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