This desktop dishwasher inspired by rain is the space-saving solution modern homes need

I usually do my dishes just before bed so all I have to worry about in the morning is making my coffee. On some evenings, however, I just feel too tired before bed – doing the dishes feels more like running a marathon. I live in a studio apartment, so I know the importance of keeping a tidy space, but I don’t have room for automatic machines like dishwashers or steamers. To come up with a solution for small spaces in need of an automatic dishwasher, a team of creatives from Yifeeling Design felt inspired by the cleansing and quiet nature of gentle rain to design a micro dishwasher called Rain that’s functional for small spaces and also quiet, so it can run through the night.

Rain’s structure is inviting and bright, like a gentle sunshower, with rounded edges and smoothed-down sides for a reflective finish and refined shine. Then, Rain’s translucent front facade hides the dishes in plain sight with raindrops etched onto the dishwasher’s glass-pane door. The stainless steel interior of Rain reveals a compartment large enough to hold your bigger plates and a few smaller bowls, making it the ideal personal-sized dishwasher. Sockets for water tubing are attached to Rain’s rear and provide clean water for washing and an exit tube for dirty water. Finally, Rain’s control panel is located on the front-facing, digital interface where you can find a timer option, the power, start, and stop buttons, as well as a mode selector.

Yifeeling noticed a few problems in our existing catalog of dishwashing options. Mostly, dishwashers are too bulky and require too much space, they’re expensive and just don’t fit into smaller kitchens. In order to reduce the volume and space that dishwashers regularly occupy, Yifeeling aimed to design a desktop dishwasher that doesn’t rely on noisy mechanics to get the job of cleaning dishes done. Instead, Rain utilizes the gentle cleanse that follows a day of rain. The days after those summer rainstorms always bring with them cleaner air quality and naturally fresh aromas – those days just feel cleaner. While rain can sometimes be destructive and bring on floods or thunderstorms, it is also a natural element of our ecosystem and it always brings life to dry climates or lush forests, despite the floods and lightning. The creatives at Yifeeling Design utilized this latter aspect of rain to bring their own desktop dishwasher to life.

Designer: Yifeeling Design

Toyota’s new home-assist robots include a butler who will do the dishes for you!

Toyota’s Gantry robot is a real superhero for the elderly, but instead of fighting local crimes, he does house chores for them. Designed for the aging demographic that is often forgotten when it comes to technological advancements, this robot will take care of the domestic duties while sometimes hanging from the ceiling! People over the age of 65 make up for the world’s fastest-growing age group and we need more resources to give them the aid they require.

Speaking about the capabilities of robots, Russ Tedrake of Toyota Research Institue (TRI) says “Unlike the sterile, controlled and programmable environment of the factory, the home is a ‘wild west’ – unstructured and diverse. Despite recent strides in artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is still very hard to engineer a system that can deal with the complexity of a home environment and guarantee that it will (almost) work correctly.” The gantry robot is one of the prototypes being tested in mock-up home environments built-in labs in California. It is able to complete tasks like cleaning and loading the dishwasher. The design of the robot was inspired by the layout of Japanese homes, where researchers found that limited floor space would constrain a robot’s ability to help, and thus the solution would be to have robots directly integrated into the architecture for future homes. “What if instead of needing a robot to navigate the cluttered floor, it could travel on the ceiling instead, and be tucked out of the way when it’s not needed?” said Dan Helmick, co-lead of robotics fleet learning at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), during a virtual presentation. While it is a huge undertaking to construct new robot-assisted homes from scratch and will have many hurdles, the design has the potential to solve many problems faced by the old folk who live alone.

The dishwashing robot is basically a giant robotic arm which shows new technology instead of being ready for commercial use, someone even pointed out that it looks better suited to build cars than load dishes but there is a long way to go before this product hits the market and there will be many changes made to it before it is ready for sale. This is a full series of robots designed to help senior citizens manage housework and the gantry robot is just one of them. There is another “soft bubble gripper” robot that uses air-filled cushions to gently grab a variety of objects, and a floor-based mobile robot with the same basic capabilities as hanging robot friend. All robots are being trained using virtual reality – real people are performing actions like wiping down a tabletop and then using VR controllers these movements are programmed into the robots.

“The robots that you see today are prototypes to accelerate our research, but they are not going to be turned into products any time soon,”  says Max Bajrachary, TRI’s VP of Robotics. Robotics is generally a difficult field and creating robots for household tasks is challenging mainly because every house is so different and therefore the smarter option would be to construct robot-friendly houses with tracks where the residents have the option of installing the gantry robot if needed. Robots can take over my world if they take over my dirty dishes!

Designer: Toyota Research Institute

This 3-in-1 dishwasher was designed to fit in your sink – a 2020 kitchen essential!

 

Safe to say that the most hated chores are either doing laundry or doing the dishes. There is something about warm, dryer sheet scented laundry that kind of makes it worth it, so doing dishes is the most annoying household task in my list. I also feel like dishwashers are so awkwardly located, you have to bend too often and that can be a problem if you have a physical disability or if you are over the age of 26 because you have spent a good amount of time slouching over your devices. To make life easier for us all, Fotile has designed a 3-in-1 dishwasher that actually fits in your sink! Yes, that is correct – your sink is now a place for dirty as well as clean dishes.

This clever design hides your dishwasher and dryer elegantly by welding it to your stainless steel sink. The dishwasher has a larget fillet that facilitates accelerated rotation of water flow to improve the efficiency of wash cycles. Another great perk of it being fitted in your sink is that it reduces the hassle of cleaning inside the appliance. It also has a flat embedded ‘lid’ which makes it easy for you to keep your countertop clean while not sacrificing surface space. Apart from killing 99.99% of bacteria from the dishes, it also doubles up as a fruit and vegetable purifier. Using ultrasonic technology and a turbulent spray, it removes 90% of pesticide residue from your produce. This dishwasher claims to have no blind spots – 360-degree cleaning and drying!

The Fotile dishwasher is perfect for any home but especially urban homes because they don’t come with appliances (trust me, I had to apartment hunt in Manhattan which meant I chose dishwasher over having a living room), even more so when they are traditional bulky washers. Not just small apartments, but any home could benefit from space optimization with this in-sink dishwasher. It is also uses resources more efficiently and cuts the time + energy taken by existing dishwashers into half! Clean, convenient, and (very) cool.

Designer: Fotile

This toaster-inspired space-saving dishwasher pops out clean dishes in a jiffy

The Dishwasher. The must-have kitchen appliance for the time-conscious and lazy home-occupiers alike. However, justifying the loss of valuable space and the increase in water-bill that comes with them is sometimes a little tricky… especially when you live in a place that is on the smaller side! This was the motive that led to the creation of Toasher, the portable dishwasher for limited living spaces.

Toasher utilizes a method of interaction that has been lifted from another kitchen appliance, the toaster. The dirty items are lowered into the stainless steel tank, where an ultrasonic transducer agitates the dirt and separates it from the dishes. Add-ons elevate Toasher’s functionality even further; with the modular peg-board that can be attached to the rear of the unit, to expanding the amount of storage that it can hold and allowing it to be used as an item of furniture as well as just a kitchen appliance!

Designer: Lin Shuo De

Robotic dishwasher saves restaurants from drudgery

Restaurants and other eateries are facing a shortage of dishwashers, and for understandable reasons -- it's inglamorous work with low pay. Dishcraft, at least, thinks robots can fill that gap. It just revealed a robotic dishwasher intended to clean...

Kitchens and homes of the future: Everything in store at Electrolux’s 2019 product showcase

As we prepare to head down to Stockholm to see what Electrolux’s plans for our future homes and kitchens are, here’s what we know. Considered one of the biggest names in home appliances, Electrolux has, for long, had an approach that is best described as design-forward. As an organizer of the Electrolux Design Lab, a competition that encouraged innovative designers to help Electrolux envision the future of home technology, the company has always had an affinity for conceptual designs that push boundaries, resulting in products that have redefined categories. We got a look at how Electrolux redefined home and kitchen appliances with their showcase at IFA 2018 (under their German sub-brand AEG), with everything from ovens you could control with your voice, induction plates that could turn off when your food’s cooked, and some of the most incredible design details one could imagine in a refrigerator.

Electrolux’s 2019 showcase in Stockholm aims at solidifying its place in every house and kitchen, with products that combine remarkable tech with remarkable usability. Their Intuit range of kitchenware aims at bridging the gap between artificial intelligence and expert cooking. This bridge allows users to rely on AI to assist in meal preparation. The all-knowing AI helps with multitasking, knowing and optimizing cooking processes for taste, and even guiding the user through the process of meal preparation and cooking. Electrolux’s Intuit Range comprises a series of smart-kitchen appliances, featuring the SteamPro oven that’s capable of cooking with steam (an essential for baking soft, delicious bread) as well as performing sous-vide operations to sheer perfection. The oven is even designed to work with Google Assistant, allowing you to simply tell the oven to preheat itself before you use it. Voice commands allow the AI to perfectly execute tasks without having the user to interact with a complex, feature-filled interface. Electrolux’s CookView oven allows you to take your confectionery skills to the next level by remotely viewing what’s happening inside your oven using the oven’s inbuilt camera that lets you keep an eye on your food on a mobile device, even while not in the kitchen.

The SensePro induction hob also forms an integral part of Electrolux’s vision for the future, with a wireless food thermometer that actively tells the induction plate when to increase/decrease the temperature, or when to switch off the stove completely. Imagine never undercooking or overcooking your meat ever again, because the stove ‘keeps an eye on itself for you’. That’s exactly how smart the SensePro aims at being.

The SensePro induction plate even pairs with Electrolux’s Hob2Hood chimney that can intuitively switch on or off depending on what the induction hob tells it. The hob comes with a feature that allows it to distinguish between boiling, steaming, roasting, frying, grilling, and other tasks, giving it the ability to know when to power the hood and clear the kitchen of smoke or smell.

Forming an integral part of Electrolux’s intuitive kitchen is its refrigerator, resplendent with rotating shelves that make sure you don’t forget about stuff kept in the back of the fridge, along with modular containers to mount on the fridge’s door, detachable trays that you can carry to your kitchen counter, and the new UltraFresh+ fridge-freezer that keeps ingredients fresh for longer by offering smart temperature and humidity adjusting capabilities to preserve perishables for longer.

We’re especially excited to see the iF 2019 Award winning ComfortLift dishwasher, that sits on the ground level, but utilizes a clever mechanism to allow the door to open upwards, lifting the trays to an optimal height so you can load and unload the dishwasher without bending down. Using their technical prowess as well as their knack for problem-solving, Electrolux’s products are functional in many ways, offering ease-of-use as well as having a keen eye for small interaction problems that we’ve lived with for years, be it something as taxing as bending down to load or unload the dishwasher, or as critical as leaving the oven on for too long and burning your food to a crisp. We’re headed to Stockholm not to just see Electrolux’s latest products, but to actually use them too. I mean, who wouldn’t want to bake bread with their voice?!

A Modular Dishwasher-for-one

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I’d be amazed if anyone even remotely enjoyed cleaning the dishes, it’s certainly at the bottom of my list of enjoyable activities! Thankfully dishwashers are now common appliances in households and, for many, they have eliminated the need for this tedious task, but for single-person households a dishwasher just isn’t efficient.

The One-Person Household Dishwasher is exactly what it says on the tin, a dishwasher for one. Its compact size allows it to comfortably sit on the countertop without taking up too much valuable space. As the dishwasher will be a permanent feature in the kitchen it was important for the design to be carefully considered; it carries a sleek form that was inspired by that of a Dumpling Steamer, and the brushed stainless-steel finish gives a sense of quality.

I’m sure that this modular, efficient and compact appliance would be a valued addition to many people’s kitchens and it’s one which I would definitely welcome!

Designer: MJ O

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LG appliances now respond to both Alexa and Google Assistant

LG has officially joined the ranks of appliance makers that support more than one voice assistant. The electronics giant has announced that its current collection of ThinQ-branded appliances now takes commands from both Amazon's Alexa and Google Ass...

An aquarium for your dishes

With its beautiful 3D printer aesthetic and perfect countertop-worthy size, the Tetra is a $299 dishwasher that’s a pretty little aquarium for your dishes. It sits on any kitchen counter, occupying a fraction of the space you’d normally reserve for dishwashers, and will wash anything from dishes, to glassware, to baby bottles, to even food ingredients. What’s amazing is that it doesn’t conceal the dishwashing process in an opaque box, but rather shows it off with its completely transparent casing that does a wonderful Lovegrove-ish water effect on the top. With the ability to wash/rinse/sanitize everything in just under 10 minutes, and with the way it looks, the Tetra is the literal embodiment of purity and beauty!

Designer: Heatworks

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Whirlpool plugs Alexa and Google Assistant into its appliances

Whirlpool's smart appliances have already had some voice assistant control, but they're about become particularly AI-savvy. The company has unveiled a 2018 lineup where many appliances support both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, letting you contr...