A prototype movable fridge which can be summoned by voice command to users has been unveiled at the IFA tech fair in Berlin. Jim Drury reports.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you.....this fridge really is moving on its own. Developed by electronics giants Panasonic, it operates by voice command. SOUNDBITE (English) TOBIAS WOBBE, PANASONIC 'BETTER LIVING', SAYING: "All I have to do is say 'Hi Ku' and I can tell him 'Hi Ku, please come to the dining table', so when I do that Ku will move to the dining table and just to let you know how the technical thing works it has an embedded sensor technology, it maps out the room, continuously updates the map, it recognises itself within the map so it can move around safely without bumping into anything." It has an in-built LIDAR and depth sensor and is linked to a database that provides details about the bottles in your fridge. SOUNDBITE (English) TOBIAS WOBBE, PANASONIC 'BETTER LIVING', SAYING: "Just imagine there will be the world championships football, for example, and it's not already half time but your bottle is empty. So think about that. You just tell Ku to bring another beer, for example, or maybe if you're just together with family and friends, you don't want to interrupt any conversation with getting up and getting something from the kitchen. You can just call Ku and it will be all perfect." It isn't just aimed at the lazy, though. Panasonic says it could be useful for the elderly and infirm, saving them from difficult trips to the kitchen. The fridge could be made available within six years.