Fancy coming home to find a swarm of flying mini robots doing your cleaning? That's the futuristic picture of domestic bliss envisioned by young Colombian designer Adrian Perez Zapata, whose Mab concept has won this year's Electrolux Design Lab competition.
Each year the Design Lab competition sees students from all over the world invited to submit futuristic and life changing appliance designs and concepts. In 2013, the competition was inundated with over 1,700 entries from 60 countries, focusing on the themes of Urban Living, Social Cooking, Natural Air and Effortless Cleaning.
Electrolux's panel of judges put their heads together to come up with eight deserving finalist, before announcing the winner last week.
Adrian Perez Zapata's winning design turns the cliché of a humanoid robot doing the dusting on its head, and while the technology might not be quite there yet, the approach definitely makes sense given the rapid development of swarming micro-UAV systems. Mab consists of a compact circular unit that hosts hundreds of flying mini robots designed to clean surfaces around the home. The central unit scans the house before sending its army of 908 tiny flying cleaning machines. Each mini robot would be fitted with solar technology on their wings to generate clean energy while they are set to the task of cleaning and deodorizing the programmed area. We're not sure if this is a case of "set and forget" or "turn on and run."
In second place, Luiza Silva from Brazil presented her Atomium design concept, which involves a 3D food printer that in her words "prints each meal with the taste and aesthetic desired". The concept food printer would even allow children and family members to draw their desired meal before the printer scans the image and reproduces the real thing.
Third prize in the 2013 Design Lab competition was awarded to Jeabyun Yeon from Korea for his Breathing Wall concept. This design features an integrated air cleaning unit which can be customized to emit perfumed odors, while the LED lighting changes color depending on the chosen scent or desired mood.
The remaining finalist submissions included the flexible 3F vacuum cleaner which changes shape depending on the desired cleaning tasks. As well as surfaces, 3F is designed to clean and deodorizes the air.
Joining the clean air theme, the OZ-1 concept sees both an air purifier and stress relief gadget compressed into a necklace. The compact design can be worn comfortably around the neck while it sets to task of purifying the air you breathe, accompanied with therapeutic aroma oils.
The Global Chef incorporates laser hologram technology to beam distant loved ones or friends into the kitchen while you cook. The concept also allows budding cooks to take part in virtual lessons from top chefs around the world.
Sticking to the cooking theme, the Nutrima design calculates the nutritional value of your food while you prepare it. It also informs you of potential toxins and the freshness of your food.
Finally and my personal favorite is the Kitchen Hub, which keeps control of your household's food supplies. The appliance informs you of what needs to be eaten before its expiration date or what you need to get from the store. It also offers recipe ideas incorporating the ingredients you have at home, taking away the need to shop while also reducing food waste.
Source: Electrolux Design Lab
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