Japanese office furniture manufacturer Okamura fuses robotic technological innovations with smart design to create even smarter chairs.
3 June, 2011
The human body is the inspiration for many an amazing new technology in the field of robotics, and fittingly the technologies have come back around to benefit the human body. Meet Leopard and Luce, two chairs infused with robotic technological innovations.
Leopard was developed when a designer at Okamura saw how a robot leg created by Japanese robotics specialist Oki could jump and land by itself! Amazed, he could not get the images out of his mind and was inspired to develop Leopard.
One of the driving concepts behind Leopard is titled “Seat Cradle Design”: they wanted to create a chair that literally cradles you like a parent would cradle a child. The robot leg technology is instrumental in providing this feature. Derived from the mechanisms that human muscles have, the innovations behind the robot leg were adapted so that Leopard intuitively provides continuous support for every possible posture change.
Leopard’s form stemmed from the need to combine the technology with an advanced sophisticated chair design, and a mesh was specially used for the backrest for the ultimate in soft, sturdy and airy comfort.
The reaction to Leopard was so heartening that the team behind it realised that a chair like the Leopard, with a little refinement and adaptation, would be perfect in the workplace where people were constantly sitting and standing.
This time, by collaborating with Italian design studio Giugiaro Design as well as Oki, Okamura developed Luce which combines the comforting feel and the soft but sturdy support of Leopard with a polished, airy form.
The Seat Cradle Design was refined so that the mechanism absorbs most of the impact to the body regardless of height or weight, and whether the user is sitting or getting up.
The mesh used for the backrest was given particular attention. It features areas of high weave density in order to support the lumbar region while other areas are left with a broader weave density for a soft fit.
Hero image: Leopard
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