Inner-city living spaces are continually shrinking but researchers in the US have come up with an inventive way of using every inch, twice.
A robotic, multi-purpose furniture and storage unit created by MIT Media Lab in partnership with designer Yves Béhar, claims to almost double the small space of a micro apartment by quite literally shifting a room from one end of the apartment to the other.
The floor-to-ceiling design, named Ori, has a retractable bed, desk and wardrobe on one side to make a collapsible bedroom. But when not needed for sleeping, the unit can be rolled across the apartment to create a bigger living room, with a TV stand and fold-out home office built into the other side.
It all functions at the touch of a button thanks to its modular and scalable mechatronics - which is based on a combination of mechanical and electronic engineering - and has the ability to connect to other smart devices.
Ori's founder Hasier Larrea tells the Evening Standard, there's a need for intelligent solutions that tackle the space challenges of urbanisation.
"Think about spaces that are hyper-functional and intelligent. A 300 sq ft Ori-enabled apartment could become more attractive than a 500 sq ft one," she says.
Unfortunately, the unit won't be launched til next year and a price has yet to be determined.