Robot Furniture?

Inspired by MIT research, Ori (rom “Origami”) “architectural robotics” reconfigures a small apartment into different configurations. The bed slides away, a desk slides out, the wall slides over to make more living room when the bed is not in use.

This is described as “modular and scalable mechatronic”, though it is triggered by pushing a button. The only “automation” I can find mentioned is presets, a la a thermostat.

Oh, and, of course, an “app to reconfigure the unit from anywhere in the world.”  Sigh.

I’m trying to find the innovation here.

Murphy beds and other fold out/ slide away furniture have been around since, well, forever. (They work fine without a motor, if you design them well.) The motorized sliding wall looks pretty much like the compact shelving my local library installed decades ago. The interface even looks similar.

I have to wonder if this could possible be work the expense and complexity. I’m user you could make it work without the motors. In fact, it better work without the motors, otherwise your home would become unusable in a power failure.

I hate to think of the failure modes, jammed or failed motors, debris, junk, or toddlers in the way of the works. Spilled drinks. Real life is a lot messier than architectural renderings.

In the end, this is just barely robotic. And with the silly app, I’m going to have to consign this to the Inappropriate touch Screen File.


Robot (?) Wednesday


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