Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Cleaning

Prof. Tim Leighton and Dr. Peter Birkin with their ultrasonic nozzle

In many industries, such as health care, food preparation and electronics manufacturing, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. It’s important enough that huge quantities of water are used – and left tainted – in order to remove contaminants. While some groups have concentrated on creating better cleansers, a team of scientists from the University of Southampton have taken a different approach. They’ve created an ultrasonic tap nozzle, that allows the water itself do a better job at cleaning. The better that a given amount of water is able to clean, the less of it that needs to be used.  Read More

The Russell Hobbs washing machines offering a 12 minute cycle - 7kg white and graphite mod...

Doing the laundry probably isn’t high on anyone’s list of fun things to do, so anything that speeds up the chore, while also cutting down on the amount of water and energy used, is going to be welcome. A new washing machine from Russell Hobbs looks to accomplish all these goals with its “super rapid wash” cycle rinsing and spinning a load of lightly soiled clothes in a world record time of just 12 minutes as opposed to an average 90-minute wash cycle.  Read More

The Dustball robotic vacuum cleaner would roll around public spaces, like airports and tra...

We do like our robotic vacuum cleaners here at Gizmag, but most of those that we have featured so far have, for good reason, followed a similar short and squat design. Dutch designer Dave Hakkens has opted to turn his back on this familiar shape and the household cleaner environment in which such a device might be found, in favor of a fairly large, industrial-strength ball for cleaning up public spaces.  Read More

The HOT reactor (the silver-colored tank left of center) at the Lake Taihu cleanup site in...

Just under a year ago we reported on a method to clean polluted water and soil by infusing them with pressurized ozone gas microbubbles. The process was developed by Andy Hong at the University of Utah and has now moved out of the lab and is being put the test in a demonstration project in eastern China. If all goes to plan the process has the potential to boost a wide range of environmental cleanup efforts around the world.  Read More

Windoro stays vertical using neodymium magnets

Vacuum cleaning robots like the Roomba, LG Roboking, Electrolux Trilobyte and Neato XV-11 are already on dust patrol in countless homes around the world, saving people from untold hours of drudgery and aching backs. Now researchers at the Pohang Institute of Intelligent Robotics (PIRO) in South Korea have developed a robot that can handle the equally tedious – and often dangerous depending on which floor you live on – task of cleaning windows. Called Windoro, the robot consists of two separate modules that clean the window by spraying detergent and scrubbing away with a series of spinning pads.  Read More

The first Seaswarm prototype being tested in the Charles River in mid-August 2010 (Image: ...

Over 800 skimmers were deployed in the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2010 to help clean up the Deepwater Horizon leak; however, it is estimated that these skimmers collected only three percent of the surface oil. Researchers at MIT have devised a system, called Seaswarm, consisting of a fleet of vehicles that may make cleaning up future oil spills both less expensive and more efficient than current skimming methods. A robotic prototype created by the researchers could autonomously navigate the ocean surface using cutting edge nanotechnology to collect surface oil and process it on site.  Read More

The ANYWAY Spray allows spray bottles to be used at any angle

Perhaps you haven’t given this problem a lot of thought, but it is a problem nonetheless... most spray bottles can’t be used upside down, or even at much of angle once they’re half-empty. Not only that, but there’s always that last little bit of liquid in the bottom that gets wasted. That's because most of them have rigid-tubed sprayers that just have a single hole at the bottom, so they only suck up liquid from the bottom middle of the bottle. Well, British inventor Michael Pritchard has come up with something he calls the ANYWAY Spray, a tube that allows you to hold your spray bottles any way you darn well please, and keep spraying until they’re as dry as Keith Richards’ bourbon glass.  Read More

The Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner in its native habitat

Robot floor cleaners designed to free us from the drudgery of keeping the house clean are nothing new. Robotic vacuum cleaners, such as the Roomba, Electrolux Trilobite and Neato XV-11, have already found a place patrolling the carpet in many homes, and now the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner that was first announced at CES in January is nearly ready to report for duty on hard surface floors.  Read More

Activeion's ionator products use tap water to disinfect and clean surfaces

We know it’s bad news for the environment (and our health) to use cleaning products that contain nasty chemicals, but until now, there have not been a lot of viable alternatives. Enter the Activeion ionator – it’s a cleaning product that transforms humble tap water into a super-powered, germ-destroying, dirt-removing dynamo – with absolutely no chemicals. That’s good news for your family, your pets and the environment.  Read More

The Chinavasion robotic vacuum cleaner not only cleans your floors, it allows you to surve...

Some things are just made for each other…bread and butter, coffee and cream, maple syrup and waffles, robot vacuum cleaner and wireless camera…wait a minute, that last one doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven. But this robot vacuum cleaner with an IP WiFi enabled camera could prove me wrong. This little dynamo not only keeps your floors clean, you can direct it to vacuum from your holiday destination and even use it to communicate - or keep an eye on - your family back home.  Read More

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