Recently, Panasonic unveiled a new robot that looks like a washcloth—Except for the fact that it crawls along the floor, mopping up as it moves along.
The secret of the Fukitorimushi—which roughly translates to "wipe-up bug"—is its coat of nanofibers. Developed by Teijin Fibers, each individual strand is 7,500 times thinner than a human hair, which, according to Panasonic, allows the Fukitorimushi to wipe up dust and debris that would be left behind by a typical wipe-down. The robot itself works like a cross between a housepet and a Roomba—it wanders around the house looking for dirt. When it finds some, the blue light up front turns red until the clean-up job is done. As Gizmag says, the device is cute—but only, perhaps, if you've got a Japanese sensibility. Which I've apparently got in spades, because I'd love to try one of these out. Sadly, for now its only a concept, though the device was trolling the grounds of the brilliant Senseware exhibit.