Panasonic (‘National’ in Japan) Robotic Cleaner was designed and prototyped in 2000 as a partner for human beings. Modern households already contain automated appliances such as a washing machine and a dishwasher that can be considered robotic. The autonomously moving robotic cleaner represents the next generation of household appliances that are closer to what people expect from the word “robot”. Although its functionality is still far from being satisfactory, the robotic cleaner can be an encouraging partner that can support people in their continuous and sometimes painful attempt to retain order. The design was kept simple and functional to avoid too much expectation while allowing trust to grow in the human-machine relationship.

MATERIALS: Plastic, Aluminum, Acrylic resin, Circuitry / DIMENSIONS: 345x323x137mm / PROJECT STARTED: August 2000 / COMPLETED: April 2001 / DESIGN AND DIRECTION: Shunji Yamanaka / DESIGN ENGINEERING: Jun Homma (FLX STYLE Co., Ltd.) / PROTOTYPE FABRICATION: Nichinan Corp. / CLIENT: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.