Skip to Content

The days of floor-cleaning drudgery may finally be over. Erwin Prassler and his colleagues at the University of Ulm, Germany, have designed a cleaning robot that moves about in a room without damaging the furniture. As the robot moves, a towel attached to its base runs through a container filled with a cleansing liquid and scrubs the floor. Two computer-controlled motors drive the robot, and a sensor-based navigation system lets the robot find its way around obstacles. The robot weighs less than 10 kilograms and would be suited for homes and restaurants. Prassler is discussing commercialization with a U.S. appliance maker and expects the robocleaner to reach the market in two to three years.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

AGI is just chatter for now concept
AGI is just chatter for now concept

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.