Ori is robotic furniture for those in tight living quarters

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member

A researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab has created a line of robotic furniture designed to maximize space for those in tight living quarters.

While the concept of such tiny living quarters may be foreign to some, it’s quite common for homes and apartments in many parts of the world to be very small. In New York City, for example, where real estate is cost-prohibitive, many can only afford small studio apartments consisting of just a few hundred square feet.

People across the country are also embracing the tiny house movement – downsizing from large homes in order to break free of mortgages they can’t afford or to simply have more money for travel and other experiences.

Whatever the case, living comfortably in such situations all comes down to being able to maximize the space you do have which is where Ori comes in.

Derived from the Japanese word “origami,” Ori was created by MIT’s Hasier Larrea in collaboration with renowned designer Yves Béhar. The modular furniture affords the ability to transform micro living spaces into multi-use areas such as living rooms, dining rooms, offices, bedrooms and more – all at the touch of a wall-mounted button (or via mobile app).

As demonstrated in the clip above, Ori furniture can take many shapes including retractable beds and desks as well as movable walls.

In a press release, Larrea said Ori’s systems provide the totally new experience of having interior spaces intelligently conform to activities rather than activities being forced to conform to our spaces.

No word yet on what sort of price points you’d be looking at for a complete system although I can’t imagine it’d be cheap.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
Seriously??? This stuff has been around for decades! Oh, maybe not on the consumer market but for business offices and executive "overnight" spaces it was all the rage back in the late 70's. I guess it's all like the yo yo, you just wait awhile and it's all "the latest and greatest" just one more time!


Posts: 1,806   +1,038
None of this is new. My school's library had bookshelves that did exactly this.

Ignoring whether its 'new' or not, it is not robotic. Nothing about this system replaces a human, or even behave autonomously. she has to stand there and hold a button the entire time. If they made it so that it used sensors and clocks to anticipate what the user wanted ("after alarm goes of", "after no weight on bed", "after bathroom faucet runs", "before bathroom faucet turns off" > "retract bed", "open closet"), then it would be a robotic system - and pretty cool. I can imagine a few scenarios that would 'streamline' home living - regardless of living space size.

I honestly expected more out of an MIT media lab project; this just feels like a 3rd year BA in Interior Design project.


Posts: 1,199   +743
None of what's in the video needs to be automated - put it on an easy glide roller system instead.
Look up "space saving furniture" videos on YouTube for ideas that already exist.
And looking at that photograph, the fit is terrible.
The Fifth Element did it better than that (the fridge/shower).