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

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.

Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Android Q: Everything we know so far about Google’s next mobile OS

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.