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Home Appliance Automation

Posted February 23, 2013 12:00 AM by SavvyExacta

Do you remember the scene from the Disney movie The Sword in the Stone where the kitchen cleaned itself? Wort (the future King Arthur) was supposed to scrub the pots and pans and clean the rest of the kitchen but Merlin wanted them to go out for a lesson in physics. The enterprising Merlin got the kitchen to go work for Wort.

That is how I feel when I make use of some of the technologies in my home. The washing machine is cleaning the clothes, the dishwasher is taking care of everything that had been piled high in the sink, and my robot vacuum cleaner is getting all the dog hair and dirt off the floors. I can sit back, relax, and blog for CR4!

I realize that with the exception of the robot vacuum (I have a Neato model) most of my tools are not that innovative compared to what's on the market today. Nevertheless, the vacuum is pretty cool. Her name is Rosie - remember The Jetsons? It senses objects in its path and goes around them - everything from the dog to furniture. It even knows when it's at the top of a staircase and avoids falling down the stairs. It can be scheduled to run at certain times or on demand.

Here's a glimpse of some other tools you may be interested in getting to help with the housework!

  • A robot lawn mower (or several, if you've got a big lawn) can cut the grass without you lifting a finger. The Husqvarna robot works similarly to an invisible dog fence, staying inside a specific area.
  • A robotic liter box for cats, like the Litter-Robot, scoops the box and stores waste in bags beneath the unit. The bags can be disposed of at the owner's convenience.
  • Serving robots aren't widely used or available. As they become more popular they will help people with basic domestic tasks such as moving dishes to the dishwasher and dirty clothes to the washing machine.
  • A simple helper is the Scrubbing Bubbles automated shower cleaner. At the touch of a button the unit sprays down the shower to help prevent mold and mildew from forming and spreading.
  • Garduino, a precursor to grower-bot, waters plants based on soil wetness, adjusts the lights, and notifies the user of humidity levels and other conditions.
  • There's a mop based on the robotic vacuum model. I'm not sure how well it cleans, for example, items that are really stuck to the floor and require a lot of scrubbing. Also, if this can happen with a robot vacuum, I'd hate to see a mishap caused by a robot mop.

Home automation systems and smart homes take care of a lot of everyday things for you. There are many types of these on the market - our local cable provider, Time Warner, offers such a service.

  • Turn lights on or off
  • Adjust temperature
  • Play music or videos in different rooms
  • Home security
  • Reminders about garbage day
  • View surveillance videos

Taking automation a futuristic step forward is the University of Florida's 500 square foot automated model home for "Matilda." Matilda symbolizes an 85-year-old woman who may not be safe living home alone. The smart home designed by UF can alert her that there's a water leak, show her who's at the door, and unlock the door remotely if she's unable to get to it.

The Gator Tech Smart House (GTSH) is an extension of Matilda's smart home. Also developed by UF, it's a 2,500 square foot home that can be lived in to test the environment.

Read more about robots and automation on CR4:

Paro, the robotic seal and other robotic animals

Automate your cell phone

Automate your computer

Do you have any gadgets that help out around the house? Anything you wish could be automated? (I vote for a robot pooper-scooper for the yard!)

Resources: UF Smart Home; Gator Tech Smart House

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#1

Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/23/2013 5:55 AM

A robotic litter box, hmmm? Del, any thoughts?

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#2
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/23/2013 9:27 AM
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#3
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/23/2013 1:54 PM

Better, yet, robotic cats.

No shedding, no messes outside of the litter box, and no cat vomit on the bed.

Purrrrfect.

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#4
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/23/2013 4:44 PM

So whats your thoughts on when robokitty decides to burn down its lithium battery on your bed?

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#5
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/23/2013 7:33 PM

Probably a hit right now in the North East.

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#7
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 5:49 AM

I wouldn't want this thing stalking around the house at night, kinda creeps me out....

On the other hand why settle for a cat.....

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#8
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 5:54 AM

Growing a Bonsai kitten is also an option.

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#9
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 7:20 AM

Cats are the only creature that can assume the shape of any container they are put into.

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#10
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 1:53 PM

Jellyfish can give them a run for the money!

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#11
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 3:12 PM

The group of things we have apparently deemed 'appliances' is pretty amusing.

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#12
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 3:32 PM

One man's junk is another's appliance.

Or is that; one man's junk is TSA property? I get those confused.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 3:49 PM

Official TSA business, maam.

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#14
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 3:50 PM

Octopus gets my vote....

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#15
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/26/2013 11:12 AM

Gimme a Dog and a baseball bat... no prob
Del

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#6

Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/24/2013 5:11 AM

The 4 legged robot could be used as a horse to travel on tough terrain too.

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#16
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

02/27/2013 6:00 PM

and if the 4 legged robot had 5 arms... a know, it was well armed, it would probably be very handy!

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#17

Re: Home Appliance Automation

03/21/2013 8:45 AM

I have 4 gadgets that help with housework; the kids. And yes I wish they could be automated.

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#18
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Re: Home Appliance Automation

03/21/2013 9:24 AM

Dave Ramsey has an excellent method for doing that. He creates a chart for each child with a list of things to be done (both on a recurring schedule and spontaneous basis) that he puts on his refrigerator.

Also, on that same list is a monetary amount for each task - a payment for that service.

When the child completes that task he/she puts a check mark on the completed task and he/she is awarded the funds that are associated with that task providing the task is performed to expectation. If they fail to do that task they simply do not get paid.

Now, some parents provide their kids an allowance. Typically, this is a weekly fund that the child gets and usually there is nothing directly associated with it as far as responsibility. This is an excellent tool for teaching the kid the entitlement mentality.

Dave Ramsey's method teaches the kid the idea that you only get paid for the work you do mentality.

It motivates the child to perform services so that they can achieve personal goals with those rewards (i.e., funds) and it directly links those rewards with specific tasks.

In your case it would be the same as automating your kids since all you need to do is create a task list and its associated funds and input that data to the child (post it on your refrigerator). Sort of like programming a robot in BASIC.

As a side benefit you teach your children a solid work ethic and you can expand that further with teaching the child financial responsibility with those same funds.

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