It may not feel like it, but technology has indeed made our lives significantly easier. Case in point: just look at how many tasks you can now delegate to robots and smart devices—including many of your chores.
The Roomba revolutionized the way we clean our floors, but there are so many other robot devices out there (and more still in development) that we can use to take care of the worst and most inconvenient household chores.
Here are 10 interesting ones to get you started.
1. Autonomous Lawnmower
Husqvarna Automower 430X
If you’ve watched the latest season of Black Mirror, you might not be a fan of robots with blades. But trusty autonomous lawnmowers have been around for some time and have proven incredibly useful when it comes to gardening.
Much like autonomous vacuums, they have a variety of sensors that make it easier for them to navigate certain areas. And whereas autonomous vacuums only save you the work of cleaning a small amount of indoor space, an autonomous lawnmower like the Husqvarna Automower 430X can effortlessly cover multiple acres.
Furthermore, robot lawnmowers have safety mechanisms in place that prevent household accidents. It turns out that they are actually safer than regular lawnmowers in some ways. Robot mowers have sensors that are sensitive to collisions. They also deactivate the blades automatically when the device is handled—something which traditional mowers do not do.
2. Smart Vacuum
ILIFE V8s Robot Vacuum
Smart vacuums are one of the original mainstays of autonomous appliances—and over time, not only has the technology become more affordable, but the robots have become more advanced.
There are entry-level vacuums that trade price for a shorter battery life, that can effectively clean one room at a time but are a bit of a nuisance. Then there are also higher-tier vacuums with a bevy of autonomous functions, including stairs detection, area mapping, and automatic docking in charging station.
3. Smart Mop
iRobot Braava 380t Robot Mop
It seems that having our homes vacuumed by robots is not enough—we also want our floors mopped! That’s where smart mops come in, which are basically robots that wash your floors. They either come as standalone devices or vacuum hybrids that include a washing function.
Just like smart vacuums, smart mops are able to navigate around your house. Instead of sucking up debris, however, they spray jets of water and wipe over it with a mop attachment. Some mops also have a sweep function, in case you need them to clean up a bit before adding water to the mix.
Many of the companies that make smart vacuums also have smart mops in their catalogs, such as the iRobot Braava 380t Robot Mop which comes from the same makers behind the popular Roomba.
4. Laundry Folding Robot
FoldiMate Laundry Folding Machine
Folding laundry is not an energy-intensive chore, but it definitely takes time. So it’s no wonder that scientists created a laundry-folding robot. The FoldiMate Laundry Folding Machine was showcased at CES 2018, but its automatic folding abilities were overshadowed by the machine’s hefty price tag.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), the robotic folding machine is able to fold according to your preferences. But at nearly $1,000, you must really hate folding laundry (or have inordinate amounts to fold) to actually invest in one of these. If you can, you might fare better by waiting a few years for the price to drop.
5. Robotic Gutter Cleaner
iRobot Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot
Cleaning gutters is a nightmare for anyone who isn’t comfortable with heights or the gunk that accrues over time. Luckily, robotic gutter cleaners have been invented to take care of the task on your behalf.
They’re not as high-tech as some of the other robots on this list—which have app and internet connectivity—but they get the job done. You can operate them with remote controls and set them to different modes. But best of all, you do not have to manually guide them along.
The gadget is also a safer way to clean your gutters if you live in a multi-story house. If you’re thinking about getting one, consider starting with the iRobot Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot.
6. Smart Iron
Effie Smart Iron
Ironing is a chore you need to stay on top of if you want your clothes to look presentable and clean. But when you have a massive wardrobe, ironing can be a hot and tiring process—which is why there’s currently an automatic ironing robot under development.
An automatic iron is similar to a clothing press or hanging clothes dryer, but gentler and does not require you to handle the clothing during the ironing process.
These smart irons, however, seem to be few and far between in terms of consumer availability. The Effie Smart Iron is one possible option, but its release date hasn’t been announced.
7. Robotic Window Cleaner
HOBOT-188 Window Cleaning Robot
If you’ve ever had to clean glass sliding doors and large windows, you’ll understand the appeal of a robotic window cleaner.
This type of robot has existed for some time, but on a much larger scale only for commercial buildings like skyscrapers. However, much smaller consumer versions of the technology are now available for home use.
It is also a safer way to clean those hard-to-reach exteriors on multi-story buildings. If you’re dying to get started with one of these, check out the HOBOT-188 Window Cleaning Robot.
8. Pool Cleaning Robot
Dolphin Nautilus Plus
Automated cleaning solutions for home pools has been around for some time, such as the popular Kreepy Krauly in South Africa. Yet while original models were dependent on your pool’s pump system, modern pool cleaning robots are smarter than ever.
The latest robotic pool cleaners have sensors that prevent them from getting stuck in corners or floating aimlessly on the water’s surface. More recently, companies introduced app-enabled pool cleaning robots that allow you to guide the robot, adjust modes, set timers, and more from a distance.
The Dolphin Nautilus Plus is one such device with great reviews, great performance, at a reasonable price.
9. Grill Cleaning Robot
Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner
Grill enthusiasts can rejoice now that there are robots that clean your grill top for you. You don’t have to break a sweat while attempting to vigorously scrub away at grease—if you’re willing to pay extra for a gadget that does it for you.
One downside is that the lack of sensors means you have to keep your grill lid closed during cleaning. Also, nothing quite beats the effectiveness of elbow grease. Considering the price, it might make more sense to just suck it up and do the chore yourself.
But if you want your grill to be cleaned without any effort on your part, this is one more chore you can delegate to robots like the Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner, which looks funny but works pretty well.
10. Toilet Cleaning Robot
SpinX Toilet Cleaning Robot
You would think that for a chore this hated, robots that clean your toilet would already be widely available. However, like the smart iron, this technology is still in its early days, with only a few products available.
The team at SpinX recently announced their SpinX Toilet Cleaning Robot. The device includes scanning technology, making it suitable for different types of toilet bowls. Altan Robotech has also introduced their own Giddel Portable Toilet Cleaning Robot, which has similar features like scanning and collision detection.
More Robots for Automated Chores on the Horizon?
With internet technology becoming increasingly advanced, people are sure to find a way to automate more chores with smart devices.
Already, companies are envisioning robotic beds that straighten up the covers for you automatically. Meanwhile, companies are refining smart fridge technology so that even your grocery shopping is taken care of without your intervention. This raises the question about whether we are set to become too dependent on technology—but that’s a discussion for another day.
For now, if you’re looking for more ways to turn your house into a smart home, take a look at these useful smart devices that are worth every penny.