Panasonic develops prototype for a robotic fridge

Panasonic Australia Pty Limited

By Nichola Murphy
Tuesday, 12 September, 2017

Panasonic presented its concept for a movable fridge at IFA, a large European tech conference, at the beginning of September in Berlin.

The movable fridge responds to voice commands and delivers food and drinks to an individual without them needing to move.

This raises the question: how does it avoid obstacles and prevent crashing into anyone or anything?

“With an embedded sensor technology, it accurately measures the distance, it maps out the room, it recognises itself within the room and it continuously updates the map. That is why it can move around safely without bumping into anything such as pets or kids,” Tobias Wobbe from Panasonic explained.

Theoretically, the device would listen for a command such as “Fridge, come here” and appear from a hole in the kitchen wall. With the use of the built-in LIDAR and depth sensor, the autonomous fridge would safely navigate around a property and carry food to a specified location.

The company suggested this concept was developed to prevent the elderly or those with mobility issues having to make unnecessary trips to the kitchen. However, it would likely be a popular device for other able-bodied individuals looking for convenient household technology.

Panasonic also highlighted another useful feature of the fridge, in which it can remove dirty dishes from the table after a meal and carry them to the sink or dishwasher.

While it remains a concept at the moment, the product could be available to buy in the next decade.

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