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Is This the Future of Electrical Appliances?

Plugging in your appliances to connect them with an energy source is par for the course when you want to run your dishwasher or your dryer. In modern homes, increased electrical output due to household technologies and devices can lead to tangled cords, overwhelmed circuits, and even home fires due to overloaded electrical connections.

Most experienced electricians would recommend that you contact them right away if you find you lack proper outlets, and would be happy to install more GFCI-protected outlets and update your circuit breaker, to ensure that you have all the power you need.

However, the Japanese have come up with an interesting future solution: a power-delivery robot.

Meet the Mobile Outlet and Power-Feeding Robot

The idea behind this fascinating concept is an autonomous robot that delivers electricity to battery packs with outlets attached to them around your home. While the idea is in no way effectively optimized at this point, development currently includes a proof-of-concept system detailing how this would work.

Researchers from the University of Tokyo and Keio University, led by Professor Takeo Igarashi, altered the wiring in a Roomba and modified a few charging docks to create a delivery system for electricity. In their scenario, an altered Roomba no longer vacuums, but moves around a space in search of charging dock locations. Each charging dock has been modified to include a battery pack and an inverter so that, when the Roomba attaches to the dock, energy transfers into the dock’s battery pack from that of the Roomba. When the Roomba detects battery depletion, it returns to and recharges at its own unmodified dock.

With a system like this, all of your home’s appliances will get the charge they need, without constant connection to an energy source.

Future Updates

As researchers work to further refine the system, improvements may include a dedicated mobile platform or a supercapacitor that could deliver electricity even faster. However, the concept of using a Roomba clearly illustrates the delivery model and provides a charming update to the independent vacuum.

Other charging strategies, which the user can select through a WiFi app for each dock location, include:

The “greedy” strategy. This method delivers as much power as possible. This option works best for high-drain, less used appliances.

The “optimistic” strategy. This works best for lower power devices that operate for long periods of time, like lamps or fans, delivering power when they need it.

Your robot will be able to deliver power on a schedule set by you, allowing you to decide when this mobile energy-delivery bot moves about your home and when it remains docked.

Updates in home energy delivery will change the way we charge our appliances and devices. However, in the meantime, be sure to contact an electrician you trust to make sure your electrical system can provide enough power to meet your home’s current demand.

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