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New Robotic Furniture System Transforms Tiny Apartments

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Making studio living more than bearable

Today, designer Yves Behar of fuseproject and the MIT Media Lab unveiled Ori, a new line of furniture solutions billed as the first "intelligent, responsive systems combining robotics, architecture, and design." What does that mean exactly? Well, remember all the magical transforming tiny apartments we’ve seen, with movable walls and multifunctional components? Ori—short for origami—basically takes those concepts and automates them.

Using technology developed as part of the Media Lab’s CityHome project, Ori lets you transform a studio space into a full apartment with the push of a button.

In the animation below, you can see how an Ori system, which also contains a ton of built-in storage, can glide back and forth in a compact space to form a living room, office area, and bedroom in the process.

In a statement, Behar says Ori, which allows customized finishes, materials, and colors, will make "studio city living a practical, comfortable, and beautiful experience." His favorite part of the design? Having the bed "automatically made by having it glide away and disappear."

The first Ori systems will be introduced this summer by developers in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. Full product rollout is anticipated for early 2017. Stay tuned.