Flying mini-robot cleaners win Electrolux Design Lab

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Electrolux
Look at this mess. Mab, I want you to clean it all up. Let’s go!

Every year, Electrolux Design Lab holds a competition that encourages design students all over the world to create the best appliance models imaginable. The winner gets an award of almost $7,000, plus 6 whole months to work with professionals at Electrolux’s main design center.

After 7,000 people from 60 different countries competed this year, the grand prize went to Adrian Perez Zapata for his house-cleaning robot system called Mab! Zapata found inspiration for his design in part from regular working bees who travel long distances to collect nectar, and also from Harvard’s robotic bees – RoboBees. His system is pretty impressive, and I can already imagine all the maids starting to shake in their boots, wondering if they’re going to be replaced.

Mab features 908 mini-robots that’ll travel throughout a house and clean dirty surfaces with drops of water. Then, almost like bees bringing nectar back to the hive, the insect bots will flap their solar-powered wings to a ball-shaped home called the core. Powered by energy collected from the tiny wings, the core will clean the dirty water with a filter. During the process, chemicals are added to the water so that the next time dirt is collected, a fresh scent can fill the air. The core will also go around the house and take note of which parts need the most cleaning, so when the tiny drones are released, they’ll know exactly where to go!

I’m usually not a fan of tiny bugs buzzing around the house, but if it means no chores, Mab is definitely the exception.

Images courtesy of Electrolux Design Lab.