Most fridges are horribly inefficient, leaking loads of cold air every time you open them – particularly old refrigerator-and-freezer combinations with a single unified door. Not only is this design concept worlds less wasteful by comparison, but it maintains the classic all-in-one-space approach without sacrificing the ideal temperature of anything it contains.
Surface tension holds each piece of meat or produce suspended in place, but lets you access the products through a self-parting, non-sticking ‘smart surface’ the folds away as needed (all the while deflecting UV and other food-harming rays).
The design draws heat energy from the surrounding air, and converts it to cool what is contained within. Since the gel expands as it is filled, the fridge takes up relatively little space when not packed full and ‘shrinks’ against the wall instead.
Nanotechnology is at the heart of how the design works, with microscopic robots identifying the necessary temperatures for each item being stored and adjusting local heat and cold accordingly. Sound far-fetched? Try going back and time and telling people with old-fashioned ice boxes about refrigerators!
The design by Yuriy Dmitriev was chosen as one of eight Electrolux Design Lab finalists in 2010.
“Four times smaller than a conventional refrigerator, the Bio Robot cools biopolymer gel through luminescence. Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90% of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odours are contained, and items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable – it can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling. Different sizes and dimensions allow it to perfectly fit the accordant dwelling.”