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MIT’s $10K Robotic Apartment-In-A-Box Is Finally Hitting The Market

The morphing system maximizes space in your tiny apartment at the push of a button. Today, it’s available for purchase in select cities.

A 200-square-foot living space is nobody’s idea of luxury. Yet as people continue to flock to cities, micro apartments and tiny houses are becoming more popular. And with these emerging types of spaces have come new types of furniture, including Ori Systems from Fuseproject’s Yves Behar and MIT Media Lab. The robotic furniture system transforms into an office space, bedroom, and living room at the press of a button–or a voice command.

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Ori Systems was announced in July of 2016, with the aim of coming to market in early 2017. Today, the robotic apartment-in-a-box is available in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, among other major U.S. and Canadian cities. The system comes in two sizes, “Ori Full” and “Ori Queen,” and is exclusively available for pre-order by real estate developers for now, with delivery scheduled for later this year.

Ori—named after the Japanese art of origami—is essentially one furniture unit that looks like a large wooden closet. It includes a bed, a closet, drawers, a workstation, and storage. Pushing a button will slowly eject the bed, for instance, or move the unit back to make more room for a living area. One side of the unit comprises a full closet and a desk for a home office; the other side includes an entertainment center that can slide out. The systems—which use about a tenth of the power of a hairdryer consumes—can be powered through a standard electrical circuit, with no extra wiring required.

Since its original announcement last year, Ori has been working on building out a new digital interface to accompany the system. It comes with an app that allows users to shift the unit to one of several pre-defined settings, even when they are away from home. Alexa owners can also activate the unit by voice. The video below demonstrates how it works:

Ori was born out of a project at MIT Media Lab, led by Ori CEO Hasier Larrea and four others. Wanting to create a compact design solution for the growing number of urban micro-apartments, the team initially produced a prototype called CityHome–essentially an early iteration of Ori that was activated by hand gestures instead of a button or app. After testing out the units by renting them out on Airbnb, the team decided to finesse the product to be less focused on the robotics and more centered on a design that people would want in their homes. For that, Ori turned to Fuseproject, which collaborated with them on the design. After a year of getting the system ready for market, the units are finally here.

Ori is only selling to large-scale development companies initially–pre-orders begin today–and the units will start at a steep $10,000. Individuals can stay updated on when the units will be available for everyone here. If you’re living in 200 square feet, this is an occasion for a tiny house party.

About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.

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