The robot revolution has been a long time coming – but technology is finally starting to catch up with our expectations. The next five years are likely to see an explosion in home cleaning technology that will change our homes forever. Here are just a few examples of gadgets designed to help you spend less time on chores.
Laundry Folding Robot (Status: 1-3 Years)
There’s nothing fun about folding laundry, which is why companies such as Panasonic have been working to create a robot to do it for you. The Laundroid, as it’s currently known, looks just like a chest of drawers, but contains technology to fold clothes before sorting them to the right owners.
At the moment, the Laundroid takes 2-3 minutes to fold one item. That means an entire load of washing takes all night. But as the process is automatic, many people will be willing to put up with the sluggish folding time.
The best part? Panasonic hopes to release the Laundroid in 2017 (although a price hasn’t been announced yet ).
Robot Vacuums (Status: Already Here)
You’ve probably heard of the Roomba, but robot vacuums have come a long way since the famous model’s initial release. Now a number of companies manufacture robot vacuums for a range of prices, meaning you don’t necessarily need to spend $500 for automatic vacuuming.
According to SpotlessVacuum.co.uk, the best robot vacuums combine more advanced path finding and better suction than the original Roomba with more flexible scheduling systems. This means you can tell your vacuum to clean when you’re at work, and return home everyday to a near-spotless floor. They might not be the robot of your dreams, but robotic vacuums are one of the few home cleaning technologies available today for a reasonable price.
Robot Butlers (Status: 3-5 Years)
Let’s move from functional-yet-limited robot vacuums to something far more advanced – robot butlers. The “dream” of home cleaning technology is a robot that can perform almost any chore around the home, and while that’s a long way off there are companies putting a lot of time and money into making it happen.
A basic example comes from a Japanese company called Flower Robotics. They are building a small butler that can be fitted with a number of modules for different tasks, such as a coffee maker or fan. The robot can then follow you around the house, and the company hope to produce other modules to gradually expand the robot’s usefulness.
True humanoid butlers, however, are a long way off. Even basic tasks such as folding clothes with robot hands have proven to be difficult, and the technology isn’t available to perform more advanced tasks.
Robot Bartenders (Status: 3-5 Years)
You’ve probably seen drones flown at the local park, but how would you like one as a personal bartender? Electrolux have released mock-ups from their design lab of a robot bartender that can mix a variety of drinks while hovering behind the bar.
Even more impressively, the robot learns exactly how you like your drinks, so it can serve them better next time. While this robot bartender may never reach the market, the idea is likely to happen – and probably sooner than you think.
Smart Home (Status: Already Here and Gradually Entering Our Homes)
While we’ve all dreamed of robots that look, act and behave like humans, the biggest changes in our homes could be almost invisible. Future smart homes could have everything linked to the internet, allowing appliances and other gadgets to work together for a more efficient home.
We’ve already seen people replace entire book collections with their Kindle and CD collections with MP3 players. This is likely to just be the beginning– smart homes of the future could have fridges that automatically order food when it runs low, or heating systems that “learn” your ideal temperature at different times of the day. Look out for smart technology becoming more mainstream over the next few years.
These are just a small selection of gadgets that could change our homes over the coming years. Technological advancement is notoriously difficult to predict, but we can be certain that the home of 2030 will be drastically different from today. And anything that reduces time spent on chores can only be a good thing!