In a valiant effort to rethink the ubiquitous refrigerator -- which has seen few design changes since the invention of freon fridges 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 was a finalist in the Electrolux Design Lab competition, which challenges entrants with the task of redesigning modern appliances for the future.
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.