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Ikea is going to sell robotic furniture to maximize space for city dwellers

Ikea's robotic furniture system Rognan
Ikea's robotic furniture system RognanIkea

It can morph into a bed, couch, desk, or wardrobe, depending on which setting you choose.

The idea: The large storage system slides across a room, transforming into different pieces of furniture depending on which you need to use at that moment. It’s controlled by a touch pad and is designed to let people in cities make the most of the space in their apartments. At its full extent, it takes up 3 by 3.5 meters of space. It’s Ikea, so of course it has a fun name: Rognan (that’s a small village in Norway, if you’re interested). It was developed through a partnership with Ori Living, a US robotic furniture startup.

Can I get one? Not yet. It’ll launch in Hong Kong and Japan (where inner-city apartments are famously bijou) in 2020. And Ikea has yet to tell us how much it will cost.

The big picture: Cities are booming. At least 1.5 million people move to a city somewhere in the world every single week, and living spaces are shrinking to pack them all in. Ikea’s betting on a rapidly growing market.

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