職人MADE 大川家具 by 大川市

What is the furniture of the future?
Okawa Furniture got an idea.
It is “Robot Furniture.”
It looks the same as other furniture, but it’s a mysterious furniture that walks by itself and stops on its own. It even spins around.
This “Robot Furniture” will be a new partner in your life.
It makes redecorating easy, it becomes a ride for children, and it makes your time at home more fun.
Assembling innovative ideas with traditional technology.
Okawa Furniture proposes rich lifestyles with its furniture.

【Robot Furniture MOVIE】

OKAWA-KAGU×TECHNOLOGY

The birth of furniture in the near future

Robot Furniture came about while seeking new possibilities for furniture.
There were struggles and failures that had to be overcome for the completion of the furniture that moves, stops, and rotates automatically, furniture never seen before.
The company that created Robot Furniture is Marusho, a company that has been pursuing customer satisfaction through furniture for 76 years in Okawa.
We interviewed the creator, Managing Director Sakami and Mr. Shimazaki, about the behind-the-scenes story of the making of future furniture.

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Behind-the-Scenes Story of Robot Furniture

01

What kind of furniture store is Marusho?

Mr. Sakami

We have been making furniture since my grandfather’s time. We are not a mass-production manufacturer, so we have been making furniture that is unique and slightly different from others, such as making furniture from a single unit or making high-end furniture. The furniture we make has changed with the time, but our stance has always been to try something new and satisfy our customers. We continuously pursue new technologies every day to bring satisfaction to our customers.

Mr. Shimazaki

We compete with our technology. We make everything that we are asked to. Sometimes we receive orders from customers saying, “Marusho will accept orders that were turned down by other makers.” I think Marusho is a company with a deeply seated spirit of facing new challenges, fostered from the time of the previous generations.

02

What was your honest thought when you received a request to make Robot Furniture?

02

What was your honest thought when you received a request to make Robot Furniture?

Mr. Shimazaki

“Furniture that moves!?” was my thought, and I had no image in my mind of what the finished furniture would be at the time the order was placed. I had always wanted to liven up Okawa, so I wanted to try it to see if it would liven up the city. Besides, trying these new things leads to motivation.

Mr. Sakami

I thought that concepts of “new value in furniture” and “the future of furniture” with moving furniture were interesting. Of course, it was our first time to make furniture that moves, but we have faced challenges that people said were impossible and made it possible with new ideas before, so I thought that this was not impossible. Facing such challenges brings diverse requests and fulfilling them raises our value. That is why we are always eagerly willing to try new things. Our staff in the factory always say “What?” in the beginning, but they enjoy creating once they get started.

03

What points did you keep in mind when making Robot Furniture?

Mr. Shimazaki

As the sofa on which we based the Robot Furniture, we selected a casual design sofa with softly curving armrests and a low backrest that does not block eyesight. This was because the robot was far bigger than we expected, and we wanted to avoid making the furniture look heavy when the robot was built in. We could have easily built in the robot and created the shape of a sofa to fit, but then, design quality and comfort would be lost. As a furniture maker, that was unacceptable. If we enlarged the space for the robot, it would be easier to incorporate it with the sofa. The larger the space, though, the smaller the cushion area, which would leave the sofa with inferior sitting comfort. That is why we have put in the effort to keep the space for the robot as small as possible and incorporate it with the sofa.

Mr. Sakami

We are a furniture maker, so I definitely wanted to maintain design quality and comfort. To hide the robot, it would have been better to have boards (front/side/back rails) surrounding the sofa to extend down to the floor, but then the sofa would not be stylish. So, we designed the sofa with rails 5 mm above the floor. This enabled a smaller contact area between the sofa and floor for smoother movement. Normally we don’t design furniture considering movement, but for this one, we had to consider.

04

What is your prospect for the future?

04

What is your prospect for the future?

Mr. Shimazaki

I want to pursue woodworking technology so people will say, “Go to Okawa for woodwork furniture.” I also want to do things that will make many people see the attractive aspects of Okawa and enjoy this town. In fact, Marusho has renewed its showroom, actively welcomed factory tours, endeavors that help people to see furniture not just as a product to purchase but also to find joy in. I hope that such movement is spreading to the entire town so that we can be, in name and reality, “Town of the interior, Okawa.”

Mr. Sakami

Marusho intends to move forward with full force, continuing to “bring comfort to customers.” We always want to try new things and respond to customs’ requests. With this, I want the entire staff to grow together. In Okawa, as a whole, furniture, fitting, and other industries are interchanging, springing over the fences between them. I hope to accelerate this movement and work on various things in cooperation with the entire Okawa.

MARUSHO.,LTD

543 Sakami, Okawa-shi, Fukuoka
TEL: +81-944-86-3651
https://k-marusho.com/

TAKUMI Co., Ltd. in charge of the robot

Being a part of Robot Furniture making

The robot used in this Robot Furniture is a robot for transport operations, which is mainly used in logistics warehouses and manufacturing factories. We never imagined combining the robot with furniture, so when we were consulted, I thought it would be so interesting. Our corporate objective is to contribute to the “realization of the coexistence and collaboration between humans and robot.” We see new potential for the coexistence of humans and robot in this Robot Furniture concept. I look forward to a future in which Robot Furniture moves freely in homes.
Yusuke Sakai
Mechanical Design Team, Technology Development Group, Technology Department

TAKUMI Co., Ltd.

Toshiba Fukuoka Bldg. 6F, 2-4-1 Nagahama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi
TEL: +81-92-707-3620 https://www.takumi-robo.com/

Robot Furniture Is A Future Partner

Easy to Redecorate

Robot Furniture makes redecorating rooms, which used to be such a big job, an easy task. You can layout furniture as you wish and enhance your home life.

Play Equipment for Children

Children will be very excited with a moving sofa. It will be play equipment in the house, and children can have fun indoors even on a boring rainy day.

Romantic Cradle

Slow rocking Robot Furniture is like a cradle. Look up at a night sky by the window for a romantic night.

Gentle for the Elderly

The furniture will support the lives of the elderly with easy moving and moving while sitting on the furniture-a gentle partner for life.

Okawa City, Fukuoka, a city of furniture and artisans

Okawa City in Fukuoka is the number one furniture producing area in Japan with some 480 years of furniture-making history.
Many artisans, such as masters inheriting traditional technology and young workers coming up with outstanding designs, make furniture in this town. A project named “Okawa Furniture MADE by Artisans” was launched to let people know about Okawa. We hope that people will see the technology and good taste put into the making of Okawa furniture and want to use it. We want to enrich peoples’ lives. That is our wish.

Contact below for inquiries about the Robot Furniture Project.

Interior Division, Okawa City Office