In my computer science program i had to take a course about how to
design stuff from a point of view of how people think and how the mind
works. One of the assignments was to create a panel or a remote
controll for controlling things in the home such as the light, window
shutter, fridge and so on.
It was fun to come up with one crazy idea after another but for me the
intelligent home means something else. I don't mind getting out of my
chair for turning off the light when a film starts. What i would
appriciate a lot is not having to clean the house. The real
intelligent home would have a button some where and when you push it
the house would be cleaned! And when i say cleaned i mean vacuumed,
dusted and dishes done. Maybe even laundry but i don't dislike doing
that so much. I know that there are vacuums now that don't need
operate yourself. It goes over the floor on it's own and if it hits on
obstacle it turns or around and goes the other way. But what about
dusting shelves? i don't see a robot doing that yet. So my question
is, is this something that could be designed when the house is first
being designed? I would like to be able to push a button before i
leave the house in the morning and when i get back home the house is
cleaned. It would make my life a lot easier.
ER, you have at least a first name?, gal? boy? Like to have some
concept of who I am writing back and forth to. If you can't manae that
much communication, I usually can't manage to present any of my personal
First thing you can design is a remote that you don't have to carry
around from room to room, don't have to push buttons on and don't have
to wear like a headset.
My name is Endrew. I am a computer science student and i work with
So there will be dust. Ok. But what about designing the house so that
it is easy to get rid of the dust? Is that hard to do? Maybe you can
have something that works the same way as a wind shield whiper but
made for the floor? Or you could have a two floors. One that you are
walking on and one under it. When you want to clean the one you are
walking on you it rolls away and the one from under comes up and you
have a clean floor. In the mean time the one that you used to walk on
is being cleaned under the clean floor.
All i am saying is that with the amount of time we spend on keeping
the house clean somebody should have come up with a good solution for
this by now. We have put a man on the moon but we still don't have
houses that clean themselves!? It's unbelieveble!
The think maybe the design of the home is more important, and like others
have said, not eliminating the need to do the cleaning, but making it easier
or happen less often. So on any given lot, try to keep the house far away
from streets, which kick up dust like crazy just from cars driving by.
Possibly have abundant vegetation between the house and the street (don't
know how well that works).
One idea that possible could help with dust is air pressure. Design the
home to be well sealed and have almost zero leaks. Have a sort of "air
lock" foyer that could blow off people gently as they walk in and won't
allow the inner door to open until the outer one is closed. And possibly
have some sort of increased air movement that blows over everything somehow,
and then gets vacuumed away at the other end while people are away (just
don't leave paper lying around). Of course all of this relies heavily on
filters, and thus, on human error that is prone to not changing said filters
often. That could possibly be automated or done as a service by other
professionals. I think it will also help to keep out dust by being able to
somehow pressurize the inside of the house so that air pushing out keeps all
those particles out. Of course you have to get fresh air in there somehow
too. Not sure how well all of that would work, but just something to look
Maybe have an external intake that has several layers of filters (whcih
decrease in pore size)? Maybe set it up is a sort-of heat-exchanger
design so that colder Winter air passes by warm-air ducting, and hotter
Summer air passes (maybe on the otehr side?) cool air ducting...? Or run
the intake piping/ducting run underground to use the Earth as a heat-
IMO, teh best idea is to not have exposed shelves in the first place. If
art is to be displayed, have a reasonably well-sealed cabinet either of
all glass (or other celar material), or an enclosed cabinet with a
transparent door. Dust isn't any good for art, anyway. Same goes for
most things - dust isn't good for either their longevity, or their
appearance. The Japanese ahve the right idea IMO, where what look like
walls are very often cabinets. If this were done, there wouldn't be a
lot fo small surfaces/nooks in which dirt could collect.
If ther were positive pressure in the cabinets, supplied by a filtered
source, the interiors should remain very clean.
A major surce of dust is wall to wall carpeting. I personally hate the
stuff, it's a pain in the ass because the corners, and the area where the
carpet tucks under mouldings/walls, get black pretty quickly if not well-
vacuumed. It puts out fibers, plus it collects dust and crud. Also, not
evena Roomba can really deal with it. Roomba is designed for hard
surfaces, because to really clean a carpet, you need powerful suction
*and* a beater. It's hard to pack all of that in a small self-mobile
unit. So, an INtelligent House would prob. skip the wall-to-wall
carpeting in favor of something like bamboo flooring or tile.
ANd it'd prob. have under-floor heating. Forced-Air gas heating is a
dust-generator. ANd it never does really warm the floor.
IOW, the idea is not to have "push button cleaning", so much as it is to
have a place that eliminates as much of the *need* to clean as possible.
COnsidering that dust-sources also tend to be fume sources, you get the
bonus of cutting back on potential fumes/outgassing.
Now, what I'd like to see is a combination dishwasher/cabinet that
transfers teh washed and dreid dishes right into a cabinet ;) Maybe
some sort of "dumwaiter" type of system ;) I'd have to think about it
some more, but it might be possible to set up a rotating arrangement...I
can sort-of picture some possibilities, but the problem would be sealing
the Wash part so that you don't get water or even steam/heat through the
Laundry is something that I don't knwo how it could be automated, unless
everythign you wear can be washed the same way. I still wash some stuff
in hot (165 deg) water, heh, because there are certain things I want to
sanitize - but certainly not everything can take that. Maybe there is a
way to do it, but I can't imagine it. Personally, I don't even care
about the washign part so much - it's the folding and putting-away that
takes the longest, and is also brain-meltingly boring...
But generally, cleaning is an after-the-fact action - what'd be ideal
would be to reduce the *need* to clean. Whcih also would reduce
allergens and general pollutants.
I *like* how you think!!
Esp. the countertop part. I saw something like that somewhere, a little
countertop unit...can't recall where :(
It's all of that "putting away" of stuff that IMO is the biggest time-
waster. And part of what often gives em the urge to just rent a big
dumpster and throw most of my stuff out the window and right into it.
Clip hangers. I hang gloves up that way - keeps them together, and it's
Oh yeah, that'd be handy, to be sure. Have to add jeans for me, tho',
since they're somethign of a "bug barrier" ;)
You know, it makes me wonder whether such disposables really would be
less energy-efficient (which is the general argumant against
I satarted using a hair-dryer. I hae this thing where I get unbnearably
itchy if my skin remains damp, and towles don't do it for me. Hair dryer
works pretty good, got a "travel" think at WalMart for under $10. A
small hand-towel suffices for getting the wetest bits, then just a couple
minutes with the hair dryer, and back into a long t-shirt.
THat's why I liked my house's floor-plan - the laundry and my BR+closet
are only steps apart. With the largeish MBR closet, I even started
hanging up t-shirts because it's so much faster than folding, and I don't
want to have to buy a dresser just to store that sort of inane stuff.
There's a special being shown periodically now on either the History
Channel, or Nat.Geo., can't recall which, but it profilesseveral
architects in Tokyo and how they save space (given that square footage is
at such a premium there). One fellow set up *all* the walls as storage
cabinets, and then, for the subsequently-deep window openings, he brought
in light by lining the windowsills/openings wiht stailes steel polished
to almost a mirror-like reflectiveness. I liked that *alot* - the
cabinets were set up so that there wasn't space (or at least, only just
enough for clearance) between the doors, and they weren't covered with
all sorts of geegaws/molding, so teh did look like walls rather than
cabinets, and the simple lines wouldn't collect dust or crud, so it'd be
easy to clean.
What I'd add to that design would be an option for a way f mounting
artwork - either a glass/plexigalss box that'd go over teh work and
frame, or maybe a glass door that'd allow framed art to be mountd behind
it - not sure, haven't worked that out yet. But the idea would be to (1)
create a more controlled climate for the artwork and (2) easy cleaning
(even tho' damagning dust/dirt is kpet off artwork that has glass mounted
in front of it, frames still collect dust and have to be kept up with).
What I try to envision are ways to still have artwork (chachki's,
memorbilia, etc.) around to personalize and humanize one's space, but to
have convenient, well-designed, built-in options to *both* protect the
items from damage (dust, dirt, potential for dropping them while
cleanign...), and make the home *easy* to keep at least reasonably clean.
THe more bits of stuff thre are that stick out, the more time and work it
takes just to keep up with that, which means less time availabe to \\more
productive (or even merely fun ;) ) pursuits.
IMO, furniture is not very efficient...
OTOH, another thing that the above-mentioned program briefly touches upon
is "transformer" furniture. I've also seem soem innivative folding
furniture. HAve ot look into that more deeply, although "innovative"
unfortunately always ends up meaning "expensive as all bloody
hell"...same for "contemporary". Just go and try to buy a satin-neckel
(""silver"-color) towel bar - the less fromage that's on it, the more it
costs, and a plain metal rod ends up costing 4 times as much as something
covered in geegaws... Go figure...
Hey, there are worse ideas ;)
And heck, it'd also be a real incentive to lose weight <LOL!>
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