Using AI and robotics to free up cramped living spaces
As the Internet of Things becomes increasingly omnipresent and everything seems to be a “smart” device, you may be left wondering, “What’s next?” One answer, apparently, is robotic furniture.
When first hearing the term, you might think of cold, sterile furniture and living spaces, but this idea is actually furthest from the truth. San Francisco-based company Bumblebee Spaces has developed a way to free up floor spaces in tight urban apartments by using AI, robotics, and deep learning.
Founded by Sankarshan Murthy, a former engineer for Apple Watch and Tesla, Bumblebee Spaces sees a lot of unused space on the ceilings of people’s homes and hopes to take advantage of that.
Offering products like the Bumblebee Bed, the Bumblebee Closet, and Bumblebee Storage, the startup aims to help customers reclaim floorspace that is normally occupied by clunky furniture. The bed, closet, and storage space are strapped into pulley-type systems which lift the furniture to the ceiling when they’re not in use, dramatically increasing the open space in the room for exercising, hosting friends, and more.
The furniture is equipped with sensors that will stop it from lowering if a person or beloved pet happens to unknowingly wander under its path while it’s lowering. Additionally, the furniture has been tested in homes and in the Bumblebee Spaces warehouse and is in compliance with building codes.
AI and Storage
Maybe the idea of having your clothes stored away on the ceiling seems problematic for those who like to spend time searching through closets and drawers for the perfect outfit. Bumblebee Closet and Bumblebee Storage are loaded with cameras and deep learning technology to track what you own and how often you use it.
A searchable inventory is created and accessible from a control pad or via voice command, and your “AI butler” learns your patterns and can make suggestions of which clothes to wear. By logging your usage of items, the butler can also suggest getting rid of things you rarely, if ever, use — freeing up even more space.
The Future of Robotic Furniture
As urbanization increases and more people move to overcrowded cities with limited housing and skyrocketing rents, there is undoubtedly an appeal in furniture that can help maximize floor space. Currently, Bumblebee products are only available to developers and landlords in a few apartment buildings in San Francisco and Seattle, but people looking to create a more spacious living environment in studios and small apartments will almost certainly be intrigued by the possibility of using robotic furniture to make their tiny home more habitable.
Take a look at Bumblebee Spaces’ video: