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Futuristic Robots For The Home

iF award-winning designs in robotics bring the idea of blindly mastering household tasks very much to life –  from vacuum cleaner to security dog and wearable robot for physical exercise.

Robots hold a great fascination for many people. They embody an ideal to which humankind has already been attached in ancient cultures. Creating something that executes commands, acts or even thinks on its own, satisfies our pursuit of perfection and obedience. It’s especially robots which have been continuously promoted to the most diverse genres of art and media coverage – including Terminator, Star Wars and Matrix – bringing this topic to a wider audience. Current designs make the attraction to engineered beings to come alive.

More than ever, designers are helping to shape the developments in robotics, a research field hitherto rather associated with both computer scientists and engineers. It is often they who give solutions on where exactly we need robots and how we communicate with them. At this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD, dozens of products and concepts create an inspiring bridge between fantasy and reality. Especially robots for the personal use have experienced a remarkable growth, based on the statistics of the past years.

iF award-winning designs 2021

KODA is a robot dog based on AI machine-learning. It has four 3-D cameras and 14 motors which give it dog-like gestural qualities, such as running and climbing stairs. KODA learns from every environmental condition and can further respond to voice commands and emotional state, whether sad, happy, or excited. In terms of design, it strikes a good balance between a friendly Labrador and a slightly intimidating Doberman.
Koda | Manufacturer: Delu Dynamics Technology Co., Ltd., Chengdu, China

KODA is a robot dog based on AI machine-learning. It has four 3-D cameras and 14 motors which give it dog-like gestural qualities, such as running and climbing stairs. KODA learns from every environmental condition and can further respond to voice commands and emotional state, whether sad, happy, or excited. In terms of design, it strikes a good balance between a friendly Labrador and a slightly intimidating Doberman.

This is an intelligent washing machine based on AI control, equipped with fabric recognition, stain recognition, and fluid analysis sensors. These sensors synchronize the data to the control center to calculate the appropriate washing program and distribute the detergent according to the fabric and dirty degree.
AI Laundry Robot | Manufacturer: Shenzhen Yimu Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

This is an intelligent washing machine based on AI control, equipped with fabric recognition, stain recognition, and fluid analysis sensors. These sensors synchronize the data to the control center to calculate the appropriate washing program and distribute the detergent according to the fabric and dirty degree.

BOCCO emo is a communication robot. When a user sends a message through the designated app, BOCCO emo will read it aloud to family members at home. Users can also record and send messages using just the robot thanks to a voice recognition function. This robot acts as a reliable family member with the capability of displaying a wide range of emotions.
BOCCO emo | Manufacturer: Yukai Engineering Inc., Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

BOCCO emo is a communication robot. When a user sends a message through the designated app, BOCCO emo will read it aloud to family members at home. Users can also record and send messages using just the robot thanks to a voice recognition function. This robot acts as a reliable family member with the capability of displaying a wide range of emotions.

DEEBOT N9+ is a floor cleaning robot with self-cleaning station. It is equipped with two counter-rotating brushes for a deeper clean and a built-in tank that automatically replenishes water to ensure the mop is always wet. The base station can self-clean the mop. The attached air dryer automatically dries the mop. Users can personalize settings on the app, such as the area to be cleaned, cleaning frequency, suction power, and water volume.
DEEBOT N9+ | Manufacturer: ECOVACS ROBOTICS Co., Ltd., Suzhou, China

DEEBOT N9+ is a floor cleaning robot with self-cleaning station. It is equipped with two counter-rotating brushes for a deeper clean and a built-in tank that automatically replenishes water to ensure the mop is always wet. The base station can self-clean the mop. The attached air dryer automatically dries the mop. Users can personalize settings on the app, such as the area to be cleaned, cleaning frequency, suction power, and water volume.

This teapot is equipped with a tea basket that lifts automatically when the tea is ready to drink, simplifying the complex process of making tea. It features a simple and intuitive user interface with five tea brewing solutions. When the water reaches the ideal temperature for the selected type of tea, the tea filter is automatically steeped into the water and automatically lifted once the brewing time is up, ensuring a perfect cup of tea.
Automatic Teapot | Manufacturer: Guang Dong Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings Co., Ltd., Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China

This teapot is equipped with a tea basket that lifts automatically when the tea is ready to drink, simplifying the complex process of making tea. It features a simple and intuitive user interface with five tea brewing solutions. When the water reaches the ideal temperature for the selected type of tea, the tea filter is automatically steeped into the water and automatically lifted once the brewing time is up, ensuring a perfect cup of tea.

This robotic mop sets a new standard for hands-free cleaning. It includes a function that changes the cleaning pads for different areas and one that lifts the pad for different surfaces to reduce the transfer of dirt between rooms. The mop builds up a map of your home thanks to the built-in LDS technology for navigation.
Robotic Mopping Cleaner | Manufacturer: Positec Technology Co., Ltd., Suzhou, China

This robotic mop sets a new standard for hands-free cleaning. It includes a function that changes the cleaning pads for different areas and one that lifts the pad for different surfaces to reduce the transfer of dirt between rooms. The mop builds up a map of your home thanks to the built-in LDS technology for navigation.

This is a wearable robot for active seniors with a built-in actuator reducing the risk of injury while assisting with light muscle training. It is designed to address the drawback of conventional exercise methods for the general population, as strenuous exercise equipment and machines are not appropriate for senior citizens.
Fit Bot | Manufacturer: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Corporate Design Center, Seoul, South Korea

This is a wearable robot for active seniors with a built-in actuator reducing the risk of injury while assisting with light muscle training. It is designed to address the drawback of conventional exercise methods for the general population, as strenuous exercise equipment and machines are not appropriate for senior citizens.

The BOBOT WIN 3030 robotic window cleaner improves on the shortcomings of traditional window cleaners, which can be heavy and large. A mobile app and a remote control are intuitive and improve the users’ experience. Three cleaning modes, an edge detection mode, and an extra-long power cord will clean a range of window sizes and shapes.
BOBOT WIN3030 | Manufacturer: Bobot Robotics lnc., Shenzhen, China

The BOBOT WIN 3030 robotic window cleaner improves on the shortcomings of traditional window cleaners, which can be heavy and large. A mobile app and a remote control are intuitive and improve the users’ experience. Three cleaning modes, an edge detection mode, and an extra-long power cord will clean a range of window sizes and shapes.

This floor mopping robot performs both driving and cleaning at the same time by spinning three mop discs without any wheels. The cleaning mops stay wet during operation because the electronic water tank automatically supplies water to each mop. It is further equipped with several anti-collision and fall prevention sensors for safe use and peace of mind.
EVERYBOT Tri-Spin | Manufacturer: EVERYBOT INC., Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

This floor mopping robot performs both driving and cleaning at the same time by spinning three mop discs without any wheels. The cleaning mops stay wet during operation because the electronic water tank automatically supplies water to each mop. It is further equipped with several anti-collision and fall prevention sensors for safe use and peace of mind.

The XDJ X100 is a handheld floor scrubber equipped with a micro water circulation system. 60 percent of the wastewater can be returned to the clean water tank after purification. This product has a self-cleaning mode for the brush and is equipped with a cleaning tool that can effectively remove foreign objects such as hair/sticky attached to the scrubbing brush.
BDR Hand-held Scrubber XDJ X100 | Manufacturer: Bright Dream Robotics, Foshan, China

The XDJ X100 is a handheld floor scrubber equipped with a micro water circulation system. 60 percent of the wastewater can be returned to the clean water tank after purification. This product has a self-cleaning mode for the brush and is equipped with a cleaning tool that can effectively remove foreign objects such as hair/sticky attached to the scrubbing brush.

MIND KIT is a highly integrated, easy-to-use programmable robotics kit. It provides you with all the hardware and software to build your robots, including a plug-and-play modular design with multiple sensors, flexible motion controls, powerful processors and a built-in batterie to name just a few.
MIND KIT | Manufacturer: Vincross Inc., Beijing, China

MIND KIT is a highly integrated, easy-to-use programmable robotics kit. It provides you with all the hardware and software to build your robots, including a plug-and-play modular design with multiple sensors, flexible motion controls, powerful processors and a built-in batterie to name just a few.

Goliath CNC is the first portable and autonomous robotic tool for running large projects anywhere. It is a CNC machine without a frame, which makes it smaller than a desktop tool, designed to carry out small to very large constructions. This tool is equipped with a sensor system that triangulates the position of the machine on the workpiece. The user uploads the drawing to Goliath CNC and supervises the work progress on a computer.
Goliath by Springa | Manufacturer: Springa SRL, Milan, Italy

Goliath CNC is the first portable and autonomous robotic tool for running large projects anywhere. It is a CNC machine without a frame, which makes it smaller than a desktop tool, designed to carry out small to very large constructions. This tool is equipped with a sensor system that triangulates the position of the machine on the workpiece. The user uploads the drawing to Goliath CNC and supervises the work progress on a computer.

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Robotic items in our homes may not save a species or even the world but help make everyday life easier. The most prominent applications include robotic lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners. Technical innovations such as cloud technology and artificial intelligence – first in foremost in machine learning – even push the development of intelligent robots to the next level.

Particularly in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, assistive mobile robots for cleaning, mopping and disinfection have become popular. They are fun gadgets and great little tools to eliminate one of the most despised household chores. The latest "DEEBOT N9+" is at the top of its game with a self-cleaning station. Its attached air dryer automatically dries the mop, which helps to inhibit the spread of bacteria. If you are tired of wiping your windows yourself, "BOBOT WIN3030" might be an option for you. This robotic window cleaner is provided with a mobile app and a remote control.

Among the many fascinating examples of this year’s award-winning mobile robots is "Koda", an versatile robotic security dog. It mimics the characteristics and tasks of a guard dog and serves an perfect alternative to fixed security cameras. But that’s not all: Product designers continue to push the limits of what’s possible, developing innovative robots for a wide variety of uses in our households. Take, for example, the smart washing machine "AI Laundry Robot" which uses AI to detect stains and dirt in clothes and further ensures that our laundry is always washed at the right temperature and with the exact amount of detergent. "Fit bot" is an innovative wearable robot designed specifically for seniors to help them exercise their muscles. Another clever device is, "BOCCO emo", a robot for edutainment and interaction. Its distinctive feature is the ability to read out messages sent through a particular app.

It’s hard to imagine what designers will come up with next, but it’s safe to say that the future deployment of robots at home know no boundaries.

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(published in July 2021)

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