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.
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.