After successfully introducing its tiny home designs, IKEA is augmenting its home concept by introducing a line of robotic furniture. With the swipe of a button or by a voice command, the furniture can convert from a storage and sofa area to a bed and wardrobe.
Essentially, the large storage unit can be activated via smart speaker or touchpad to slide across the room and divide into two living spaces. The unit also contains a bed, desk and a pullout couch.
The new line of robotic furniture, called Rognan, is a product of the Swedish company’s partnership with Boston-based Ori. IKEA says that its new products are designed to transform small spaces into multifunctional homes.
According to IKEA, the Rognan line of furniture can save 80-plus square feet of living space.
Instead of making the furniture smaller, IKEA says that it wants to transform the function needed at the time.
“Cities are booming and at the same time living spaces are shrinking,” the company said in a release. “That’s why Ikea is exploring flexible and innovative solutions that empower people to have big dreams for small homes.”
The robotic platform, developed by Ori, is already compatible with the Plasta line from IKEA and its Tradfri line of smart lighting for cabinets and wardrobes.
Robotic furniture is a new concept, and consumers are not likely to find any of these products at Furniture in Fashion or other online furniture stores. IKEA says its Rognan line will launch sometime in late 2020. Its first target markets will be extremely dense communities in Japan and Hong Kong. Worldwide rollout isn’t expected until years from now.
Pricing for Rognan has not been announced as of yet. However, the Verge covered Ori’s line of robotic furniture in 2014 when it was just a concept. It launched for Airbnbs and real estate developers for $10,000. Ori’s Studio Suite, which is an upgraded version of Rognan, starts at $18.990. The partnership with IKEA may lower the price of Rognan.
While their partnership with Ori and use of its robotic technology is one of the most robust rollouts from the company in this market, IKEA is also working on other ways to transform tiny living spaces. The furniture giant has also partnered with US-based BumblebeeSpaces, which uses technology that stores furniture in the ceiling. Furniture items are retracted into the ceiling where they’re out of sight, out of mind until needed.