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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.
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 and 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 as a 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 knows no boundaries.