Going round the house and working away on chores isn’t what any of us want to be doing on a Saturday morning.
Thankfully, technology is here to lend a robotic hand.
It’s been suggested that by 2040 robots will be able to perform 90% of household chores. The prospect is great – more time for exercise, hobbies or friends and family. But who wants to wait another two decades for that to happen??
In fact, many handy robotic servants are already here. You can delegate a vast range of household duties to machines that’ll never whine, complain or ask for financial remuneration.
Here’s some of the sci-fi technology that can make your home even smarter.
The cleaner: Dyson 360 Heurist
This dutiful dust and dirt muncher is a very clever robot vac that brings improved navigation, a more powerful motor, an LED-lit 360-degree fisheye camera for improved lowlight manoeuvrability and sensors that allow it to cling to walls and leave your fancy furniture alone.
Rolling around on tank-style tracks, the clue is in the name. Its heuristic natures means its mapping system continually familiarises itself with your home layout and cleaning patterns, adapting itself to suit them. This means it can remember where it is at all times, enabling you to choose specific areas for it to clean, the power settings (quiet mode, high mode and max mode) and get real-time cleaning
Whether scheduled, activated via the app, Alexa or the power button, as long as its path is obstacle free, it’ll get the job done.
The doorman: Ring video Doorbell 3 Plug and Chime Pro
Doorbells just got even smarter.
Adjustable motion zones of your front door prevents overly active neighbours from triggering phone alerts, and its clever Pre-Roll-cum-digital curtain-twitcher feature captures four seconds of footage before motion is detected, so you can see exactly what activated it.
Unfortunately for Google Assistant, Ring is owned by Amazon, so while it can perform a number of commands, it misses out on showing who’s at the door.
Improved connectivity and up to six months battery makes this one of the best
battery-powered doorbells around. Coupled with the Chime Pro, expect Wi-Fi extending superpowers, a built-in nightlight and amplified alerts.
The security guard: Swann Wire-Free Security Camera
Swann’s clever-clogs camera is a great addition to the do-it-yourself security scene. Designed to protect your abode, whether sitting inside or outside, this versatile camera makes home security simple and boasts everything you need: a wide 180-degree viewing angle, 1080p HD quality and two-way audio.
With no wires to faff about with, it can be plonked on a flat surface like a bookshelf, or installed on a wall using the magnetic mount and plate provided.
Night vision and facial recognition are much welcome additions, and because it combines heat, motion and person-sensing prowess, it’s pretty spot on when it comes to detecting movement.
Seven days of footage can be stored in the cloud, but if that’s not enough, 60-day storage will set you back £4.95 per month. It’ll need to be charged every few months, but that’s a small price to pay for an excellent digital guard dog.
The gardener: Husqvarna 305
There’s something so undeniably satisfying about watching this automated robomower tidy your overgrown garden. Designed for lawns up to 600 square metres, it’ll move unaided and return to its charging station upon completion.
The optional Automower Connect accessory that equips it with phone and voice controlled smarts means if you’re feeling particularly lazy on a Sunday afternoon, you don’t even need to leave the sofa. Even better, it offers IFTTT integration for more automated control like parking the mower if rain is forecast, or cutting the lawn when you leave the house. It’s a standard feature on the X-Line series of Automowers and delivers all kinds of convenience.
Getting started is a case of laying the boundary wire; it’s also clever enough to adapt according to the weather, mowing less, for example, when the sun’s
out by adapting to the growth of the grass.
With a GPS and pin-equipped anti-theft feature that also sends a smartphone alert if moved, this is hands down the best groundskeeper with the most sophisticated system we’ve ever put to work.
The butler: Google Nest Hub Max
Digital assistants aren’t quite as sophisticated as, say, Rosie from the
Jetsons. But the disembodied voice emanating from Google’s big-screened 10-inch smart speaker can remind you of incoming calendar appointments, guide you through recipes and keep you company while the lasagne cooks and take (another) video call via Google Duo or Meet and, soon, Zoom.
It can even remind you to pick up more bog roll. Its multifaceted nature makes it a surveillance camera, complete with remote access and a monthly Nest Aware
subscription (from £4) to store clips, a tiny TV, and a dinky Hi-Fi.
And whether you’re asking for Madonna or firing up your favourite show on Netflix, sound quality is surprisingly satisfactory. Of course, one of the best things about this is its compatibility with connected home devices and arming you with voice control.
It can even switch on and control compatible goggleboxes. Great if the remote’s down the back of the sofa.