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Move over, dogs — Panasonic's Movable Fridge robot is man's new best friend

Sake Cooler & Movable Fridge | Future Tech at #PanasonicIFA 2017
After a long day at work, it feels great plopping down onto a sofa, leaning back, and resting. It’s also the best time to enjoy a snack or a cold beverage, but no one wants to waste energy getting back out of their comfortable spot. What if a movable fridge could instead come to you?

Like something out of science fiction, the new Panasonic Movable Fridge responds to voice commands and makes its way around the house. Using built-in light detection and ranging (lidar), as well as a depth sensor, it would be able to scan a household so it can navigate the area with ease. When called, the Movable Fridge would pop out of its hole in the wall and scoot across the floor without bumping into any furniture or pets.

Panasonic revealed the Movable Fridge earlier this month during IFA 2017 in Berlin.

With such a smart refrigerator, users would be able to grab items from the fridge without missing an important play or interrupting a conversation with friends. In another scenario, imagine waking up thirsty in the middle of the night. Instead of leaving the comfortable sheets, the movable fridge could bring cold water to the bedroom. When people are done eating or drinking, it will even be able to carry the dirty dishes straight to the dishwasher.

This isn’t just for the lazy either. Panasonic told The Washington Post that it could also be useful for the elderly and anyone with mobility issues. This saves them from making unnecessary trips to the kitchen if it is something that causes discomfort.

Fridges have become smarter than ever in modern times. Adding cameras, Wi-Fi, or a tablet to a refrigerator has become more and more commonplace as new fridges adapt to an internet-connected world. Other fridge owners have taken to modding their existing units to better suit their needs. Why have ice dispenser when it could easily dispense candy, pizza rolls, or wine?

Panasonic suggests that the Movable Fridge could make it to market within the next six years. In less than a decade, people could own their very own robot butler that carries convenient snacks and drinks.

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