Robotic Furniture From MIT Is Making Its Way To Small Homes

Robotic Furniture From MIT Is Making Its Way To Small Homes
Design & Architecture

The $10,000 setup is designed for compact spaces and includes robotic furnishings that change based on the owner's immediate needs

Zack Palm
  • 16 june 2017

In 2014, MIT engineers created CityHome, a piece of robotic furniture that at first looks like a large storage cabinet, but can transform based on the owner’s needs. Now called Ori, this design was intended to operate as an all-in-one room for compact spaces. If the owner needs to work at a desk, Ori pushes the front section forward and makes room for a chair. When the owner wants to lie down for the night, the entire section slides out in the back and brings out a bed.

This highly adaptable setup is now available to preorder for $10,000. Prototypes were tested by Airbnb renters to see how well the robotic cabinet responded to hand gestures, but the final product uses vocal commands, a control panel and an app.

Only large-scale development companies in select states in the U.S. have access to the Ori preorders. Interested individuals will have to look for apartments in buildings that decide to install it.


+Compact Living

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Katie is the director of research and design for the Institute of Play, an organization dedicated to its mission of helping children learn through the principles of game design. In this role, she is responsible for developing new projects, programs, products and services. Part of her responsibilities include establishing a consulting practice within the Institute to work with a wide range of organizations seeking to leverage the Institute’s cutting edge work in their own domains. She is an active game designer and, as one of the Institute’s founders, a pioneer in applying game design principles to challenges outside the field of commercial game development. Katie is also a professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. She lectures widely and writes extensively on game design, design education and gamer culture. She has co-authored and edited several books, including Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, The Game Design Reader, and The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, and the Interconnections series, all through MIT Press. Katie was also co-lead designer on Gamestar Mechanic, an award-winning online game with a built-in game design curriculum. She has been involved in the design of slow games, online games, mobile games and big games in the commercial and independent games sectors around the world. Check out her exclusive interview with PSFK &  HP/HP Matter here!


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