AE The R Fest

Retro Futurists Blog

Retrofuturism in Robotic Vaccum Cleaners

  • Home
  • Retro
  • Retrofuturism in Robotic Vaccum Cleaners

If you browse the internet frequently, then the chances are that you have seen pictures from different eras. You may have seen multiple images of people making predictions of how our houses would look like years ahead. This is the essence of retrofuturism. Most popular retrofuturism predictions involved the home’s kitchen. In between the fifties and sixties, most people saw the kitchen as the domain of women. The kinds of technology that was predicted involved women in the kitchen. What you would usually hear about back then was the kind of inventions like smart kitchens with computers that manage your diet. You might also hear about how appliances give you food that has been uniquely made, and the food is safe to eat and available to be eaten straight off a can or with minimal cooking. However, back then, you would rarely hear about the kind of predictions for the technology that would be used to clean floors.

What Did They Think About Robotic Vaccum Cleaners Back Then?

The prediction of a robot that cleaned your floor wasn’t only a prediction. It was an invention that wasn’t fit to be invented at the time. In 1957, the floor cleaner robot’s patent was submitted by Donald G. Moore. The robot would have a central console that would control it. All you’d have to do is press a button, and then the robot would come and move around the room like today’s Roomba. The technology for the sensors is similar to that of the Roomba. The robot navigates throughout the area down a predetermined path. The path it goes down will lead to making it clean the whole room. The difference between the predicted robot floor cleaner and today’s Roombas is that the predictions had the robot vacuuming and mopping the floor. The original design of the floor cleaner robot back then looked charming, but it’s dated compared to today’s style.

There is a presentation made by RCA Whirlpool of a kitchen that they called the Miracle Kitchen. It was in the July issue of the Look magazine in the year 1959. They had a special exhibit that you could go to that was held in Russia’s Moscow. The exhibition contained various technological inventions from the United States, including the robot floor cleaner. If you want to learn about the Miracle Kitchen, look for it online. There is a promotional film on the internet of the Miracle Kitchen. You’ll be able to see the entire kitchen as it would work, which includes the floor cleaner robot.

You might be wondering about why the invention didn’t come to fruition and gain immense fame. The explanation of why the floor cleaner robot didn’t become a household staple isn’t challenging to understand. The inventions, including the robot floor cleaner, may have already been patented. But being patented doesn’t mean it works perfectly. The appliances that you’d see working weren’t doing what they seemed to be doing. The ideas for the invention were real, but they didn’t have the level of technology required to have the devices working as they wanted them to work.