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Electrolux Design Lab 2013 won by swarm of tiny cleaning robots

Imagine being able to flop on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon safe in the knowledge that hundreds of mini flying robots were cleaning your home from top to bottom.

This is the future according to the winning concept of this year’s Electrolux Design Lab. Adrian Perez Zapata from Columbia designed automated cleaning system “Mab” for the competition.

Inspired by the way bees work together to pollinate flowers, his idea features tiny devices that clean surfaces by touching them with a drop of water. They’re controlled by a central system – Mab – which scans the house looking for dirtier areas.

My concept Mab only requires a short initial configuration to function autonomously, so you could arrive home and see a swarm of mini-robots roaming around cleaning independently,” said Adrian.

“This means you could sit back and relax, as you observe with great astonishment the little Mab ‘fairies’ working their magic autonomously.”

The theme of this year’s award was ‘Urban Living’ with 1700 ideas for breakthrough products, accessories, consumables and services submitted by design students from 60 countries competing for a 5000 euro prize.

Adrian’s design impressed the judges because of its practicality in everyday life and the new angle he looks at robots from.

“This year’s winning concept renews the idea of looking at the robot, seeing it not as one unit that mimics a person, but instead as something inspired by the magical logic of nature’s collaborative efforts and group intelligence,” said Stefano Marzano, head of the panel and chief design officer at Electrolux

“The Mab is an innovative concept which could be relevant to minimize the daily cleaning efforts of consumers as well as businesses, while maximizing the results.”

Adrian’s mechanism also bagged the People’s Choice Award after receiving 40 per cent of the public vote on Electrolux’s website. Luiza Silva from Brazil scooped second prize with her Atomium 3D food printer and third prize went to Jeabyun Yeon from Korea for his Breathing Wall.

Read more about Electrolux products

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