Russian designer invents a zero-energy ‘Bio Robot’ refrigerator which cools food with future gel

A
top 25 finalist in the Electrolux Design Lab competition has imagined a fridge
that uses zero energy and cools by suspending food in a bio-polymer, gel-like
material.

Refrigerators
are the second biggest energy zappers in household appliances today (about
13.7%), next to air conditioners, which use about 14.1% of the total household
power expenditure. Since the refrigerator’s urban genesis in the mid-20th
century, we’ve managed to refine their energy expenditure from 1400 kWh/year to
about 350 kWh/year on average, an impressive 75% reduction.

Even
so, modern designers and innovators are working diligently to reduce this
number to zero. Coming out of the Electrolux Design Lab competition is Russian
designer Yuriy Dmitriev’s Bio Robot Refrigerator – a sleek, wall-mounted fridge
that cools our food in the most peculiar of ways: by shoving food into an
odourless, non-stick bio-polymer gel.


 Image
credit: Yuriy Dmitriev

Credit:
Electrolux

His
Bio Robot Refrigerator utilizes a special gel-like substance that suspends and
cools food once inserted. Dmitriev’s design was 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 its 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 its 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. 
(Source: Inhabitat)

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