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Ikea taps engineer's firm from Tecnun to turn its furniture into robots

The Swedish furniture giant has announced its alliance with Ori Systems, the company headed by Hasier Larrea.

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Alumni Tecnun, Hasier Larrea, looks at one of his designs. PHOTO: Voz Pópuli
06/06/19 15:12 Voice Pópuli


Homes are getting smaller and the world's largest furniture manufacturer is looking for alternatives. Ikea has launched a project to convert their furniture into robots to adapt to the space automatically. An innovation that comes to the market under the name of 'Rognan' and has developed Ori Systems, the company led by a 31-year-old entrepreneur born in San Sebastian and who has studied engineering at the University of San Sebastian. Tecnun.  

This new Ikea partner is Alumni Tecnun Hasier Larrea. "The concept of robotic furniture comes to the market so that a micro-floor can have a room, a room with a living room, an office or a dressing room," explains the CEO of Ori Systems. A collaboration with the Swedish furniture giant has been two years in the making in secret and has seen the light at the home of Ikea in Älmhult (Sweden) with Democratic Design Day 2019.

This entrepreneur from San Sebastian saw an opportunity in the lack of development in the real estate industry. "While in any factory we find robots and new advances, in the real estate sector we continue to build homes like in Roman times with conventional living rooms and bedrooms," he explains. His ideas started with beds that descended from the ceiling automatically or prototypes of sofas that moved around the house.

A research that has allowed him to reach Ikea's shop windows. The first version of Rognan is controlled by a button placed in the house that allows the wardrobes to be moved to create a dressing room and the bed to be taken out to rest. Larrea explains that in the United States they are already working on voice-operated models that can be controlled by mobile phone.

His idea, although it has the San Sebastian seal, was born and developed in Boston (USA). Larrea decided in 2011 to cross the pond to complement his industrial engineering degree at Tecnun-University of Navarra with a master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he would start this project.

And, at just 31 years old, Larrea is leading one of the main innovations of a company that invoice is worth more than 37 billion euros a year. "In the U.S. market we supply real estate developers with products that are somewhat more sophisticated, but this collaboration with Ikea gives us access to an infrastructure that reaches all over the world," concludes the engineer from Tecnun.

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