Brit Liggett

Zero-Energy Bio Refrigerator Cools Your Food With Future Gel

by , 05/28/10

zero energy refrigerator, bio robot refrigerator, electrolux design lab competition, electrolux design lab, green design competition, appliances of the future, no energy appliances, low energy appliances, energy efficient appliances

In a valiant effort to rethink the ubiquitous refrigerator — which has seen few design changes since the invention of freon refrigerators in the 1930′s — Russian designer Yuriy Dmitriev has unveiled a fresh-looking, gel-filled appliance of the future. His Bio Robot Refrigerator utilizes a special gel-like substance that suspends and cools food once inserted. Dmitriev’s design is one of 25 finalists in the Electrolux Design Lab competition, which challenged entrants with the task of redesigning modern appliances for the future.

zero energy refrigerator, bio robot refrigerator, electrolux design lab competition, electrolux design lab, green design competition, appliances of the future, no energy appliances, low energy appliances, energy efficient appliances

The Bio Robot Refrigerator mounts on a wall — Dmitriev points out it can be mounted horizontally, vertically or even on the ceiling. The fridge does not have a motor or other traditional technology like most refrigerators, — the gel does all the work — so, 90% of the appliance is actual usable space. To use the fridge you basically shove food into it’s biopolymer gel — which has no odor and is not sticky — and it is suspended and cooled until you need it again.

Dmitriev notes that the cooling agents are the “bio robots” inherent in the gel that use luminescence — light generated in cold temperatures — to preserve food. Although this sounds super techy and fun, Dmitriev doesn’t really explain how it’s going to work, so we’re a little skeptical of the Bio Robot Refrigerator becoming a reality someday. Viability aside, the fridge is definitely a huge step forward in terms of rethinking the design of one of our most-used appliances. Probably the best thing about this concept machine is that it uses zero energy for cooling — it just needs energy for it’s little control pad. Compared to the typical modern fridge, which uses about 8% of a household’s energy, this nifty-looking gadget of the future could cut our energy use significantly.

+ Electrolux Design Lab finalists

Via DVICE

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40 Comments

  1. Dan Scott August 2, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Considering how often I have to clean grimy finger and handprints off the fridge door now, and wipe up spills from leaky foods and poorly sealed containers, a gel fridge like this looks like it would be a hygenic nightmare in just a few months. And what happens if that apple or cucumber gets pushed to the rear and gets leaky after its long forgotten stay back there? And how do you get all the little bits of broccoli floret back out of the gel once they’ve separated from the broccoli crown during their trip into and out of the gel? What about loose hairs from people’s hands as they reach into and out of the gel?

  2. sadhanaprathi July 19, 2014 at 7:57 am

    i just wona know………what well be the estimated cost of this Refrigerator…and how does the gel ll b used(means….it should b changed or elz cleaned or permanent )

  3. deepak9mahale January 20, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Good Knowledge of design..i like this site there is bank of knowledge to implement in various part of the world……

  4. shipoopi November 28, 2013 at 3:54 am

    I want one I want one I want one I want one I want one I want one I want one …. And did I mention I want one?

  5. Max Noble September 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    technology!…man i hope that doesn’t happen in my lifetime…it freaks me out…but really cool thinking…ya weirdo

  6. Ken Biron September 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Shutup already and take my money! Errr, how good is my credit… :)

  7. Aaron Svela September 1, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Everybody is calling this fake and acting like they know how it works, show me your experiments and data on this, then complain.

  8. Glenn Daugherty July 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I would love to test this fridge in my RV with solar energy for the little energy it uses. It would take up a fraction of the space as well. Where I live and travel to I could test it in extreme heat and cold weather as well as around animals. Is it safe around them?

  9. Jared Shepherd July 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

    what happens if you fall into it?

  10. dedleexcplicit July 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    these are 2000 dollars! i bought mine!

  11. wiolakk June 26, 2013 at 12:00 am

    How to put liquid gelatin to solidify into it? Or the cake with some cream in the baking tray?

  12. Brandon Kline June 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    @C Benham; Ever hear of containers? I mean what you just lay a raw fish out in a regular fridge directly on the shelf? I dunno about you but I put my fish in a container then put it into the bridge. But I do wonder about how it is cleaned though. I mean I suppose they could make it to where you can have it clean itself some how. Not sure how that would work though. That wouldn’t be a zero-energy thing. As for the seemling strangeness with the interacting with the gel, people will get used to it.

  13. Hemanth Kota June 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    idea is nice its not an impossible one, if u r interested u can take my help

  14. C Benham November 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Ewwww. I do not want to put my hand it that! Can you imagine taking out that fish? I’m frosty on the whole idea.

  15. benspeed October 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Where does all the displaced gel go when the fridge is “full”?

  16. EatYourPeas September 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Gross!

  17. raycohen September 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Most of you are naive believers. The reason this isn’t on the market is because it needs magic to work. This supposed gel defies a few laws of thermodynamics. Keeping it’s shape against gravity will take energy, cooling will take energy, creating bubbles will take energy.

    How is it supposed to exchange heat with the objects, but not with the outside air?

    This is neither an invention nor innovation nor sustainable nor zero-energy. This is just a guy drawing some nice artwork.

  18. TWOSTORYTORI August 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I THINK SOMEONES ON THE RIGHT TRACK,JUST WILL TAKE TIME TO FIX ALL THE BUGS…

  19. kelborne July 28, 2012 at 2:10 am

    I just got a chillow and it’s great. I think they do make a large full body version.

  20. redbeardthedunce July 23, 2012 at 3:11 am

    several questions:
    what keeps it in the frame?
    how do you clean it?
    where does the heat go?
    seriously? where does the heat go?
    how do you regulate the tempurature?

    and totally off topic, anyone remember the chillow? self cooling 1 inch pillow pad? i was waiting for prices to come down and buy one but they disappeared. I was thinking if they made a whole mattress sized chillow, poor people(me) could sleep on it on hot summer nights and not use air conditioning or even fans. never understood how it worked as i never bought one.

  21. jbdean July 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I’m not eating anything that’s been stuck in some gel that’s also open to the surrounding atmosphere. How do you clean the gel? Sometimes a thing doesn’t need to be made better if it works as it is. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.”

  22. ahinalu June 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I’m pretty sure it’s just a “concept”, it’s hard to tell, but I doubt highly that it works. If this gel were real, I’m sure we’d be seeing it reported all over the place. The the uses for this are sweeping.

    If we really wanted to conserve energy from our fridges we’d put some insulation around that box. As any boater who has cruised on their vessel with an icebox, you can keep a block of ice cold for a couple weeks with only 4″ of good insulation. Having 1-2″ of crappy fiberglass insulation is a huge waste.

    If we all had built in fridges with 4+” insulation (including the doors), with the motor and condenser outside or at least isolated from the inside temps you could reduce cooling costs in the summer as well (not that with 4″ of insulation that it would have to run very much to stay cold.

    All that said, nice “idea”, but lots of issues as many have said before me.

  23. Derp June 19, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Uh… What if hair and crap gets in? Would you be able to clean it? Or is it FUBAR and have to replace the gel

  24. cheddear June 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    someone should tell this Yuriy Dmitriev to go on kickstarter and start a project

  25. Camomile March 27, 2012 at 10:21 am

    How would you clean it?

  26. Shescountry00 February 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I really need this!! please get this out soon!

  27. mellowde July 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Weird science on steroids. No practicality involved. Only getting the prize was kept in mind through the design process.

  28. joal July 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Cool concept. I’m just wondering how you’ll clean it from: Smell and traces of fish, blood, rotten produce, sour milk, moldy cheese, et al.?

  29. Negrosoju June 22, 2011 at 12:11 am

    If the jell moves what prevents it from falling out?
    I don’t like the space wasting design either, or trust that it can keep FDA approved temperatures.
    Seems like a gimmick for the elite rich.

  30. Milieunet Milieunet May 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Great, but still a design. I’ve seen so many great designs that we never can buy.

  31. mirandapanda March 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    The gel fridge idea is cool. But how would you keep it from getting dirty with hand and food particles? I bet after a month that green goo would be almost black.

  32. sexybeast777 November 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    that was sooooooooo cool!!! i wonder what that gel-y stuff feels like! can you put cake in there?

  33. sydbean1617 November 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    dat is awesome!!!(:(: hay does anyone know da price! cuz i m 1 rich fucker!!!!

  34. n3m22 September 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    CAN’T wait to my Hand in that lol =)

  35. stix June 19, 2010 at 8:34 am

    It may use negative luminescence which is a phenomena happening in some kind of semiconductors: http://www.springerlink.com/content/540453h5h5x08706/
    http://mirdog.spb.ru/Negative_luminescence.htm
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7473896.html
    Is the technology so mature that it could already reach the house appliance market? I am not so sure, but it’s a great idea if the gel is safe enough.

  36. 77headadead June 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    You can cool with radiation provided the wavelength matches what you are trying to cool. Alburton.

  37. Zecozi.com June 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    This is really exciting. Even if it never makes it to market, it shows that people are putting their time & effort into finding new conscious solutions for all of the outdated technologies that strangle our planet. Great article.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft
    http://www.zecozi.com

  38. miket01 June 15, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    i bet this guy is on mushrooms.

  39. Alburton June 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    ¿? A gel that constantly freezes through radiating light??
    Doesnt seem probable at all,as radiation is a form of heat transfer,and heat ALWAYS goes from the hotter to the cooler…
    Which reminds me…nice way of making ice:
    Put a closed,thermally protected “bin” with a “window” facing the starry night. If only radiation goes through this window it will exchange heat with the atmosphere and cool to subzero temperatures!
    Thats the way I heard they used to do it back then…never tried it though ,but it makes sense,unlike this thermodynamicall rebel of a gel :P

  40. akornblatt June 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I seriously want one…. NOW. why can’t we just make this now?

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