Home Household chores How many household chores can you automate right now?

How many household chores can you automate right now?


Ever since the first washing machine was invented over two centuries ago, we’ve been trying to stop doing our chores. And now, thanks to the lazy-turned-tech developers, we’re halfway there. Robot vacuums are sweeping through thousands of homes, and it looks like you’ll be able to skip almost all of your chores in a few years.

But it’s 2017 and the question is how many tasks can you automate right now? Here is the breakdown.

Chris Monroe/CNET


Robot vacuums have become popular in recent years. Sure, they’re more expensive than their hand-pushed brethren, but some, like the Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuumwork competitively with the best conventional vacuum cleaners on the market.

Here’s the only problem: robot vacuums, even smart ones those who map the layout of houses indeed – still suffer from limited mobility. They can’t get through stairs, they won’t snag crumbs your child left on the sofa, and they’ll sometimes get stuck or miss spots.

Can you automate vacuuming? Yes…ish. But you might need a handheld vacuum to finish stairs and furniture.

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To mow the lawn

The chore I hated the most as a kid was mowing the lawn. Okay, to be honest, I still hate him the most. But push and ride-on mowers may soon be a thing of the past. Last year, a CNET editor tried apart from Robomow RS612 — think: Roomba for your lawn — and really liked it. The robotic lawnmower has kept the lawn tidy over time, and it’s been a relatively hands-on experience.

Robomow wasn’t perfect, however. First, his efforts were upset by the rain and wet grass. Second, sites with steep slopes or large areas are not an option for the robot mower. Moreover, his going rate is $1,600 (about £1,250 or AU$2,134 – much more than push mowersand even certain riding mowers.

Can you automate lawn mowing? Surprisingly, yes. It even works quite well.


Dishes and linen

Dishwashers and washing machines have become quite common products these days, whether you live in a house or an apartment. Some of these major appliances add extra features, like self-ordering detergent pods using Amazon Dashboardand allowing users to check cycle status by asking Alexa.

Of course, we still haven’t seen a robot that can fold your laundry (well, not one available for purchase) or put the dishes clean, so you’ll still have some work to do.

Can you automate dishwashing and laundry? Sure. But the process hasn’t changed much in 50 years.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Feed the family

Whether you’re cooking dinner for yourself or cooking for the whole family, this chore can take up a lot of your time every day. But some cooking appliances try to help make this a more painless process. For anyone who wants their meal to cook itself while they catch up on “Bob’s Burgers”, sous vide immersion cookers and slow cookers could be your solutions. Both small devices are relatively hands-free once the preparations are complete, but you’ll need to plan ahead.

If you love baking, but hate burning your pancakes — oh, and you’ve got $650 to spend — the Hestan tail also adds automation to cooking. The smart pan and induction cooktop walks you through recipes step-by-step, adjusts the temperature for you, and tells you when to flip pancakes via the app. It’s a cool device, if flawed and expensive.

Can you automate dinner cooking? To a degree. Smart kitchenware is more like a sous chef than a personal chef.

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Feed the pets

I know, I know: pets are part of the family. But feeding them is different, which means automating this process is different.

The good news is that smart bowls for dogs and cats are finally available. The bad news is that they don’t work very well yet. When CNET tested the Petnet SmartFeeder, the device worked well for the most part – holding a few pounds of food and dispensing it on a schedule. The problem was that it clogged several times, delivering nothing or only part of the meal. And when it comes to feeding your pets, even one missed meal can seem like a pretty big deal.

Can you automate the feeding of your pets? Kind of. But you won’t want to trust your smart bowl this many.


i robot

Clean the gutters

Swinging on a ladder for hours cleaning your clogged gutters is annoying and can be dangerous. the iRobot Looj 330 claims to solve this problem, by dragging your gutters and removing fallen leaves and debris with its auger.

Although CNET hasn’t tested the Looj, users seem to have mixed feelings about it. Some report that the Looj has trouble with dense detritus, but others say it handles small hooves without too much trouble.

Can you automate gutter cleaning? Yes. Although the effectiveness of the Looj probably depends on your particular property.



Wash the windows

Spring cleaning gets intense when you start working on windows, especially if you have vaulted ceilings.

The good news is that a device designed exactly for cleaning windows is on the market. the winbot attaches to windows like a vertically inclined robot vacuum and cleans them using two cleaning pads and a squeegee.

The problem? According to many users, the Winbot leaves traces. Additionally, you have to move the device from window to window, so depending on the layout of your home, the Winbot might actually to add job. But it’s an interesting concept, especially for homeowners with larger windows.

Can you automate window cleaning? Sure. But you cannot automate the transport of the Winbot.



Water the lawn

If you’re serious about lawn care, you may already have an automated irrigation system with timed sprinklers. But a growth quota retrofit devices adds more intelligence and convenience to these systems. Devices like the Sprinkle Keep and Blossom Smart Sprinkler Controller will override watering schedules if it rains and allows users to control their sprinklers with an app. the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller even adds voice control via Amazon Echo.

The disadvantage of these devices is that they require an existing irrigation system. A few alternative options exist, such as Edyn water valve, a pipe-powered device.

Can you automate lawn watering? Yes.

Can you automate your tasks?

Technology has done a surprisingly good job of automating tasks, but as you can see with most of them, none of the solutions are perfect. Whether this automation actually adds work or just requires a bit of oversight depends on the chore. But in 10 years, maybe all chore robots will be as standard – and as reliable – as a washing machine.