[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B001PB8EJ2″ locale=”us” height=”80″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31C7DmHS6ZL._SL110_.jpg” width=”80″]Futuristic home appliances are a staple of futurist design. Dishwashers and microwaves that could ‘sense’ when your food was cooked or your dishes had cleaned were a huge part of the mid-century futurism movement. As the average household became more and more ‘electrified’, many people (including those heads of the companies manufacturing such products) saw the home of the future filled with convenience appliances. Still, when you think of purveyors of futurism, a vacuum cleaner company probably isn’t first to come to mind.
But while many companies are playing it safe, Swedish home appliance-makers Electrolux still play a huge role in envisioning and encouraging futurist designs. Their annual Design Lab competition rewards young and innovative thinkers who envision a [easyazon-link asin=”1118147820″ locale=”us”]smart, practical, and wondrous future[/easyazon-link]. This year’s winning design -MAB- came from Colombian design student Adrian Perez Zapata.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00449U3K0″ locale=”us” height=”80″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QZbwGYZjL._SL110_.jpg” width=”80″]MAB is an “automated cleaning system consisting of hundreds of mini-robots.” When the MAB detects that an area needs cleaning or cleaning is manually scheduled, these mini-robots launch from the central core and swarm around your apartment like bees. When they find a dirty spot they use a water/solution mix to absorb the dirt into an internal reservoir. Then they drop the dirty water back at the core and pick up more clean water. They talk to each other and the central core to best organize their cleaning, letting every mini-robot and the core what areas have been cleaned and when.
For power, Zapata designed MAB to take advantage of “WiTricity” (wireless energy), or get power via solar panels on the wings of the mini-robots. The latter prospect is an exciting proposition for home appliance use indeed, but it may not be necessary with the widespread use of renewable energies often predicted for the 21st century.
Mab is one of those designs that is right beyond the horizon. It takes advantage of the most modern technologies and could be built, but its not quite there yet. What an engineering feat it would be to make all of those little robots fly true and not crash into your flower vase! With companies like Electrolux encouraging such visionary designs, its not all that unrealistic. If anyone could do it, it may just have to be companies with a big enough R&D department and the will of Electrolux.
Image Source: Flickr
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