Ikea is launching a new robotic furniture system called Rognan, developed in collaboration with American furniture startup Ori Living. The large storage unit, controlled by a touchpad, can slide across a room to divide a small room into two living spaces, and contains a bed, desk, and a couch for people to pull out when needed. It’s designed for people living in urban areas to maximize their small spaces, and will launch first in Hong Kong and Japan in 2020.
Rognan is built on Ori’s robotic platform, and works with Ikea’s Platsa line of storage furniture. It’s also compatible with Ikea’s Tradfri line of cabinet and wardrobe smart lighting. Ikea says the Rognan can save an extra eight square meters (about 86 square feet) of living space. That might not sound like much, but if you live in a tiny home, it could make all the difference.
“Instead of making the furniture smaller, we transform the furniture to the function that you need at that time,” Ikea product developer Seana Strawn said. “When you sleep, you do not need your sofa. When you use your wardrobe, you do not need your bed.”
We covered Ori’s line of automated furniture back when it started as a concept from MIT’s CityHome concept project in 2014, and when it launched for real estate developers and Airbnbs for $10,000 as Ori Systems. Pricing for the Rognan hasn’t been announced yet, but hopefully the Ikea partnership can bring down the cost of the unit and make it more accessible to those who really need it.