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Tiny Bit Of Magic: MIT Launches Robotic Super Furniture To Fit Micro-Apartments

Ori Systems' robotic furniture

Affordable housing is hard to come by in many U.S. urban centers thanks to rising rents that are outpacing wage growth for working Americans. In a move to capitalize on the rise of micro-apartments, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed robotic furniture.

For $10K, large developers can pre-order an Ori Systems unit, which is basically a large piece of furniture that can transform into a bedroom, a home office or an entertainment area at the click of a button, Fast Co. Design reports. It is designed for a unit about 200 SF and the entire system consumes a tenth of the power a standard hair dryer uses. Rather than requiring special electrical wiring, Ori Systems is simply plugged into the wall. At present, the futuristic furniture is only available for real estate developers to purchase within New York City, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. 

Lack of affordable housing is a real problem in many U.S. urban markets. A joint study by Hoyt Advisory Services, the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association said the U.S. needs to add a total of 4.6 million units to keep pace with growing populations and demand for affordable housing.