The Electrolux Design Lab 2009 annual global design competition showcases the style and creativity of undergraduate and graduate industrial design students who imagine what home appliance and electronics products might look like in the near future. This year's 8 finalists range in concept from robotic greenhouses to waterless washing machines
1. Cocoon by Rickard Hederstierna, Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden
"Cocoon" is a sustainable response to the world's growing population and its desire to consume meat and fish. Similar to heating popcorn in a microwave, Cocoon prepares genetically-engineered and pre-packaged meat and fish dishes by heating muscle cells identified by RFID (radio frequency identification) signals. The signals detect the specific dish and then suggest the required cooking time. This process utilizes science to create food, lifting a burden on the planet by reducing the need for further intensive farming and fishing. The negative effects of this process, including the mass transportation of food around the world, clearing of land and distortion of ecosystems, are then negated.
2. Le Petit Prince by Martin Miklica, VUT Brno, Czech Republic
"Le Petit Prince" is a robotic greenhouse designed to facilitate the future exploration and population of Mars. Le Petit Prince takes care of a plant it carries inside its glass case, which is mounted on top of its four-legged pod. In search of nutrients to care for the plant, the robot is programmed to intuitively learn the optimal method for this process. It also reports its movements and progress to its fellow greenhouse robots via wireless communication so that they can learn from each other.
3. Naturewash by Zhenpeng Li, Zhejiang University, China
"Naturewash" is a waterless washing machine that uses negative ions to wash nano-coated fabrics. Horizontal in shape, the washing machine has three touchscreen settings: clean clothes, grass scent, and flower scent. A user can lie or sit on Naturewash to clean or refresh the clothes they are wearing. For a more thorough clean, clothes can be placed flat on the washer.
4. Moléculaire by Nico Kläber, Köln International School of Design, Germany
Nico Kläber takes the marriage of science and cooking to a new level with "Moléculaire", the 3D molecular food printer. Moléculaire is influenced by chefs that scientifically and painstakingly experiment with food and food states to surprise and provoke fresh ideas in cooking. Kläber recognizes that this approach, as it currently exists, requires great skill, time and knowledge. The Moléculaire simplifies the process and acts as a cnc (computer numerical control) food printer for both professional and domestic kitchens. It autonomously prepares basic and otherwise difficult to create two and three dimensional parts of meals. It works with a layer by layer printing process using small particles from diverse ingredients. This provides simplicity, accuracy, repeatability and, of course, great tasting food!
5. Renew by Louis Filosa, Purdue University, USA
"Renew" is a smart steamer that refreshes and cleans clothes. With two steam blades, Renew "blasts" garments clean. An infrared scanner and RFID (radio frequency identification) gather information about a garment from specifically designed clothing tags. Renew is safe to use and disables the steamer if an unidentified object is detected, like a hand. An OLED touch screen allows the user to interact with Renew and learn about their clothing. At 25% the size of a current washing machine, Renew conserves space and is made of recycled aluminium and glass.
6. Teleport Fridge by Dulyawat Wongnawa, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Dulyawat Wongnawa envisions a time when the technologies found in science fiction become reality, specifically teleportation. His concept, the "Teleport Fridge" teleports food, eliminating the time and distance a person has to travel to buy fresh groceries or products from a store or farm. Using touchscreen technology as the interface for the teleportation process, the Teleport Fridge simply teleports food to compartments in its refrigeration and freezer units.
7. Bifoliate by Toma Brundzaite, Vilnius Academy of Art, Lithuania
Putting away clean dishes from the dishwasher is often a tedious job. That's why Toma Brundzaite has designed "Bifoliate", a space-saving, wall-mounted double dishwasher that allows the user to put dirty dishes in one compartment and use the other as a shelf for clean dishes. The dishwasher uses ultrasonic wave technology to clean making it more efficient and eco-friendly than today's dishwashers.
8. Water Catcher by Penghao Shan, Zhejiang Sci-tech University, China
Penghao Shan has created a product that addresses water shortage. Her solution is "Water Catcher", a flying rain catcher and water purifier. This automated device dispatches small flying balls in the air to catch rain drops. After the rain drops are collected the balls return to a homing tray that purifies the water for drinking. Once purified, the balls take the drinking water directly to a person to be drunk. The homing tray also reads finger prints to determine what additives should be added to the water to ensure the drinker optimizes their health.
Further details about the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 competition here.