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Automated Housework ~ This Could Be The Wave Of The Future

Updated on March 12, 2013

A "SmartBed" That Makes Itself

The iRobot Roomba Vacuum

A Roomba iRobot automatic vacuum that cleans all surfaces from carpet to laminate to tile by gliding across surfaces picking up dirt along the way.
A Roomba iRobot automatic vacuum that cleans all surfaces from carpet to laminate to tile by gliding across surfaces picking up dirt along the way. | Source

Is This Helpful Or The Ultimate In Laziness?

In the summer of 2012, I was surfing the Internet and came across an ad for a unique new kind of bed. It's made by a furniture company called OHEA in Spain. This bed makes itself right when a person gets up out of it. I remembered thinking, NICE... but then I thought "how lazy could a person possibly be to feel like they need a bed that makes itself right after they get up in the morning"?

I was thinking maybe I might want one of these beds. Then I thought about things that are already automated like the iRobot Roomba vacuum, which automatically moves all over your house vacuuming for you. So, how great would a bed like this be as an extra time and energy saver?

Imagine this scenario on a normal weekday. Get up out of bed, the bed makes itself.

If your coffeemaker was already set to be brewed at a certain time, you could just go downstairs (in my case I have to go downstairs) and enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee.

You enjoy some breakfast,and then - what if there was a robot that could do your dishes for you? Hmmm. Food for thought. Then you go to take your shower while Roomba cleans every floor in the house for you. Sound like a lazy persons dream? It might be a reality before we know it!

How The Self Making Bed Works ~

This bed, made by a company called OHEA, is touted as the bed of the future. It works on the idea that making a bed is really a simple thing. It is basically straightening the sheets after the sleeping person gets up out of it. There are pillows and sheets especially made to go on this bed, so no more shopping for bargain sheets to save a few bucks.

If the idea of only a sheet on a bed to cover up with makes you feel like you would freeze, you're not alone. That was my first thought as well. Supposedly, these are specially designed sheets with a unique design similar to that of a duvet cover. If the weather is cold or you simply need more than just a light sheet to cover up with at night, you can slip additional bedding into this special sheet to make it warmer. Thank goodness for the extra thought that was put into this. The idea of covering up when I'm sleeping with only a sheet would have been a deal breaker for me.

There is a special mechanism in the headboard of this bed that is attached to the specially made pillows. When it's time for the bed to make itself, the pillows are lifted by this mechanism. The sheet itself has a cord that runs through the sides of it and is attached to the foot of this bed with Velcro

The entire process of this bed making itself begins with a special sensor to sense weight on the bed. Once a person gets up, the bed senses that the weight is gone and begins the bed making process about three seconds later. The special device in the headboard lifts the pillows up. The sheets then are straightened when two special sideboards open on the bed and a set of robotic arms then appear to pull the bed sheets towards the head of the bed.

Once the sheet is straightened and pulled entirely up to the headboard end of the bed, the pillows are set back down and the bed is completely made. The side robotic arms go back to their retracted position and the sideboards close back up again. I don't know about you, but this all sounded pretty crazy to me when I first heard about it.

These automatic self making beds are not available for sale right now, but people can inquire about them at the OHEA company's website.

A Robot Graduation Ceremony From May Of 2010

Now That The Bed Is Made, Let's Do The Dishes, Shall We?

Once your bed has automatically made itself and you've gone downstairs to enjoy that cup of coffee and breakfast, it is probably time for the dishes to be done. A company known as Willow Garage in Menlo Park, California has come up with a unique concept robot that may one day be able to help people with those simple household chores, like washing dishes.

Unfortunately, the reality of these robots being available for purchase and for home use could be as much as ten years away, or maybe sooner. We'll have to wait and see. In the summer of 2010, a special graduation ceremony was held for the first batch of these special robots. Watch the video to the right of this. They even featured the song "Mr. Roboto" for their graduation song. How fitting was that?

After their graduation, the robots were then divided up and sent to different learning institutions to be used and studied. Results of these studies were to be shared with the company that created the robots. From there, it is hoped that one day robots will be able to be produced and sold to homes and other places where they might be able to help people with simple chores in everyday life situations.

The schools that received these robots were the University of Freiburg in Germany, Stanford University in California and UC Berkeley, also in California. Some were also sent to the University of Tokyo. The robots are known as PR2 robots. The company simply wanted to get the robots out of the factory setting and into some real life situations so they could be evaluated and improved when and if that was necessary.

The hope one day is that these special PR2 robots can help people who need a little extra help like senior citizens who need help lifting things or to help in other real life easy chore situations like washing dishes and folding laundry. Sign me up! Hey, I'm almost a senior citizen! OK, so I think those who really NEED something like these robots should get first crack at using them. I can wait. I think. Not that I'm lazy or anything.

Every robot comes with specialized computer software installed. So, I imagine there will be bugs that will have to be worked out before they are even made available to those who want to be casual robot users. Or lazy people. Again, not me (laughing!)

The robots were to be used at these Universities for two years, and then the Universities were supposed to share results of using them and comments about how they can be improved or changed. The company that created them hopes to one day make these helpful robots available to a mass audience, but for now, very few are out there being used for these purposes.

Now I am imaging lines at stores in the middle of the night on Thanksgiving night before Black Friday, of people waiting to get their hands on the first of these robots to come out. People camping out and maybe even fighting over them. Yeah, there's that ole Christmas spirit!

Then again, maybe they won't be available quite that easily. The company has said that making money off of the robots isn't their real focus right now... the idea is to see growth of people wanting these in the long term.

I don't know about you, but when I was researching for this, I kept thinking about a cartoon I watched as a child called "The Jetson's." They had a robot similar to these PR2 robots, her name was "Rosie." Just think, in the future we all may be able to have our own version of "Rosie the Robot" in our homes to help us with the housework.


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    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      That might be a worry, Kathryn! Either that, or what if you have a cat or a puppy that jumps up in your bed after you get up? I'd be worried that the "weight" sensor might not pick up an animal that is so light-weight, even though they say it does. There has to be a way to turn off the auto bed making feature before it finishes making, though (at least I hope so!) Thanks for commenting! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I would be worried that the bed-making robot would malfunction, and try to make the bed while I was in it!

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      You're welcome, Dianna! :) Glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for commenting. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      Would love automated help around the home. I have toyed with the idea of getting one of those little vacuums. Thanks for the review.

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Eddy! I appreciate that so much! Have a great day! :)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Oh how I loved this gem !!!Here's to so many more from you and I vote up and share all around.Eddy.

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks, catgypsy, so glad you enjoyed this! :) I thought about getting one of those vacuums, but thought our cats would be too freaked out by it, so we do it the ole fashioned way! :) Thanks so much for commenting!

    • catgypsy profile image


      5 years ago from the South

      I saw that bed that makes itself and my first thought lazy can we get? I've had two of those vacuums and neither of them worked well! I think we need to refine these things and would love one that worked! I also would love a robot, especially for the heavier chores around the house that my achy old body is protesting more and more against! Great hub...maybe someday!

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks, collegedad! I never saw that episode of NCIS, interesting that they used a roomba in that episode! :) Thanks for reading and for your comment, much appreciated. :)

      Me too, sleepymouse! :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Me too, Sarah! Washing dishes is one of my least favorite things. :) Thanks for your great comment. :)

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Beckie! So glad you found this interesting. These are some terrific ideas to help those who need help with housework, they probably would add so much value to life. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Hi blcurry! I hope so, if you can order them in advance, I'll be right there in line with you! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)

    • Sleepymouse profile image

      Judi Ann 

      5 years ago from Manchester, NH

      I'll take 5 of them, please.

    • collegedad profile image


      5 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      This reminded me of the episode of NCIS where the roombot policed the brass. I still believe that getting your hands dirty is a great thing, but for those that can't these make great alternatives.

    • sarahshuihan profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I'd love for someone to wash my dishes, haha!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Kathy - I watched the bed making video and my first thought was "this concept would be great for people needing added assistance such as a senior citizen with health issues or someone with a disability." Then I read further and you included it in your article!

      I, like you, think it is the epitome of laziness if you are capable and still need assistance making your bed. But the possibilities for these concepts are endless and will add great comfort to those requiring assistance.

      Very interesting article. Voting up

    • blcurry profile image


      5 years ago

      Can I place an advance order? If so, sign me up for ALL of it!! hahahahahaha!!


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