How robotics are transforming living spaces
The use of smart furniture to maximise space is nothing new. Yet with robots the options are limitless, transforming living spaces in ways that were not previously possible. In this article, we take a brief look at the history of space saving furniture, before sharing how a pioneering company is taking this to the next level.
Smart furniture has been transforming living spaces for over a 100 years. Leonard C. Bailey took out a patent for making the first “folding bed” on 18 July 1899. five years later, Rudolf Coopersmith filed a patent for the Davenport bed. In the ensuing 40 years Coopersmith filed over 30 patents for mechanical parts of sofa beds, mattresses and mattress manufacturing machinery. In 1925 he took out a patent for the sofa bed, the precursor of the modern day pull out sofa.
At a similar time William Lawrence Murphy designed a wall bed, though it didn’t have the pistons and the aesthetics of its modern day counterparts. Today wall beds are common in many studio apartments in cities where space is at a premium.
Expanding tables have been around for a lot longer. In 1835 Robert Jupe designed a table that used a swivel mechanism to separate sections of the table top and allow for segmented leaves to be inserted. Fast forward to today, and most dinning room tables are expandable with a more refined design.
Smaller living spaces
Property has changed significantly over the years. In the 21st century property has become comparatively expensive. Back in the mid nineties the average property was a multiple of three times salaries. Fast forward to today and property is on average seven times the average wage. Reasons for this are extensive, but it is primarily driven by a lack of supply and generally lower borrowing costs. Though the latter has changed slightly with interest rates rising.
First time buyers
In cities such as London, property prices are over 10 times that of the average wage. This makes it very difficult for would be buyers to get on the ladder. One solution is to commute. Yet this is time consuming and it is costly to travel. The alternative is to live is a smaller apartment.
For private renters, location is key. Young professionals in particular, have a preference for city life and a smaller property is a worthwhile sacrifice to enjoy the benefits that city life entails. This is why the buy-to-let market is dominated by small city apartments.
Advances in technology have enabled employees to work remotely as they can interact with colleagues or clients via zoom or teams. This trend has been accelerated due to COVID, as employees and employers were quick to see the benefits.
However, this change towards hybrid working means that space in the home has become an even greater premium.
As space is at an all time premium and people needs have changed, there is a greater emphasis on space saving furniture. One start-up company has taken this to a new level by utilising advances in robotics to maximise space.
Ori Living offers a range of solutions for transforming living spaces. They offer expandable semi furnished studios and other expandable apartments. Their business model is to work in partnership with developers to integrate their technology into the build process. The company has already gained significant traction in the US. It is only a matter of time before this technology becomes readily available in the UK.