Yes, you heard that right. Not one, not two, not three-hundred, but 908 robots that can assess what’s dirty in your home and…well, clean your house for you. 23-year-old industrial design student Adrian Perez Zapata recently took first place in Electrolux’s 2013 Design Lab competition in which his concept ‘Mab‘ explores the automation-network of bees and the future of effortless cleaning in the urban home environment.

MAB: Effortless Home Cleaning

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“Mab users are people who are always busy, their work is their passion and time governed their lives. Some users work from home and others spend all day at your workplace. These users do not have the time available to perform housekeeping activities and not want to do this activity. His life is too fast, always connected with the world and with your work anywhere. Although they love their work, they need free time, leisure time to do what they want and what makes them happy, time for reflection and to share with family and friends.”


The Mab is definitely not a cleaning solution for those suffering from Entomophobia, but for those who don’t mind a swarm of robotic helpers flying throughout their home at intervals throughout the day, this is definitely another way of taunting your cats since they’ve outsmarted your Roomba.

In his concept, Zapata explores a future in which 908 mini-robots fly around your home making assessments of various dirty surfaces. Once the assessments have been made, you can decide via a smartphone what you feel needs a good scrubbing, which is then performed by 908 little helpers who venture from their ‘hive’ with water and cleaning solution only to return back to their hive after cleaning the specific area and refreshing their scrubber-feet for the next round of cleaning. The entire 7-step cleaning process is as follows:

  • Mixes the water and the substance that gives greater surface tension
  • The mixture is distributed to subordinates – robots
  • The robots fly with the load. The robots use a propeller for flying
  • The robots cleaning by touching the surface with their droplet of fluid
  • The droplet captures the dirt and carries it back to the core
  • The core filters the dirt out
  • The core recovers the highest possible percentage of water to restart the cycle

“The thought behind Mab is to restore a sense of wonder in the everyday life, and to recapture the magic in simple processes, providing human shelters an autonomous purification.”




For the skeptics out there, the concept isn’t as far off as you would think…we’ve seen an increasing amount of similar (and working) projects from both Vijay Kumar and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the past year, among others:

Vijay Kumar’s ‘Robots that Fly…and Cooperate’ TED Talk:

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Robotic Insect Project:

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For more info on the other talented winners in the Electrolux Design Lab competition, head over to their Finalists and Winners page.

(Images via Mab/Electrolux Design Lab)


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.