New & Notable: 10 High-Tech Gadgets to Make Housework Less Work

Remember Rosie, the congenial (and often hysterical) robot that flitted around the Jetsons' apartment in the sky, keeping things neat and tidy? When the cartoon first aired, in the 1960s, a robot housekeeper seemed as far-fetched as a TV that didn’t take up a quarter of the room or a giant interconnected web of information that we could access on phones thinner than a Mad Libs pad. Now that the technology of automation has become more advanced, we’re finding that machines can indeed help us around the house, making life easier and giving us more time to watch old reruns of "The Jetsons" on YouTube! If you'd like a little more screen time, check out our 10 favorite electronic home helpers.

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  1. iRobot Roomba 880


    iRobot is without a doubt the leader in the automation of home tasks. Their latest autonomous vacuum, the Roomba 880, is yet another improvement on that persistent little disc that zooms all over your house sucking up dirt from the floors. The new model uses a HEPA filter (as does the earlier 700 series) and superstrong suction that can help free your home from allergens. Like all Roombas, the 880 returns to its dock when it needs a recharge.


  2. iRobot Scooba 450


    The Scooba works much like its vacuuming counterpart, except it uses a series of brushes and a cleaning solution to all but eliminate the chore of mopping. The device works on tile, vinyl, or sealed hardwood floors and claims to vanquish up to 97 percent of household bacteria through a multipass, three-stage process: sweep and presoak; scrub and squeegee/vacuum, and squeegee/finish.


  3. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner


    Pools are supposed to be places where you can just relax. But how can you relax when the pool needs to be scrubbed and vacuumed? You can let this handy robot take over! It brushes, scrubs, vacuums, and filters your pool surfaces; it even climbs up the walls to get the job done. The Dolphin Supreme M5 can be operated with a remote or programmed to run on a schedule. 

    Related: 10 "Dream-Worthy" Swimming Pools

    Dolphin Pool Robot

  4. Winbot


    Among home cleaning chores, washing the windows zooms to the bottom of the list as quickly as a streak-leaving raindrop. But with the Winbot, you’ll never again have to get out the old newspapers, bucket, and vinegar. Just stick it on the window and the Winbot's three cleaning stages—washing with a solution-dampened cleaning pad, wiping with a squeegee, and drying with a second pad—will leave your glass surfaces sparkling.

    Related: How To Clean Blinds


  5. Looj


    If there’s anything on that home chore list that might fall below window cleaning, we’d put our money on gutter cleaning. iRobot comes to the rescue again with its hardworking Looj 330 gutter-cleaning robot. Looj uses an auger that spins at 500 RPMs to dislodge and remove leaves and other debris. According to the manufacturer, it  can clean a 30-foot section of gutter in just five minutes.

    Related: Gutter Basics


  6. Husqvarna Automower


    The Husqvarna Automower is like a Roomba for your lawn! Its sleek lines make it look like it was developed in Batman’s secret underground lair—which is fitting, because it will quickly become the superhero of your yard work. It’s powered by electricity, so it's relatively quiet and there are no emissions or smelly gas cans to deal with. When the mower needs more power, it automatically docks itself into the charger.

    Related: Top 5 Tips for a Greener Lawn


  7. Bissell Spotbot Pet Deep Cleaner


    Anything that offers hands-free cleaning for spots on carpets gets a thumbs-up from us. Well, truth be told, you do actually need your hands to place this cute domed device on top of a stain, but after you push the button, the Spotbot will do the scrubbing for you. It has two settings—one for fresh stains and one for older, set-in stains.

    Related: How To Clean EVERYTHING


  8. iRobot ConnectR


    We're back to those mad geniuses at iRobot for this one: a little red robot that can spy on—um, we mean visit—anyone in the house. But what chore does it help with? Checking up on the kids, of course! You can control it with your iPad, maneuvering it into the little ones’ rooms so you can see what they’re up to without even having to get up from the couch.


  9. Electric Rabbit Corkscrew


    Rabbit has long been known for its lickety-split wine bottle opener. Now the company has made the process even easier by adding electricity. Just put this corkscrew over your bottle of pinot, push the button on the side, and voilà—the cork comes out in six seconds. A second push releases the cork, and a digital readout on top lets you know how many pulls are left before the corkscrew needs recharging.

    Related: 5 Easy DIY Wine Racks You Can Make in an Afternoon


  10. Zyliss EasiCan Electric Can Opener


    Most can openers require you to hold either a lever on the opener or the can itself, or—horrors!—both. This nifty little device, however, just needs to be put on top of the can. Push a button and it gets to work munching its way around the lid, all by itself. A magnet under the device grabs the lid so it won't fall into the can, and the gadget leaves no sharp edges.


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