The Electrolux Design Lab 2009 Finalists have been announced, and here are four of our favorites:
Le Petit Prince (by Martin Miklica, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic) looks like something that chases you around the Death Star, but in fact it's a robotic greenhouse intended for Mars exploration. LPP scuttles around in search of nutrients for its guest plant, and beams whatever intel it picks up back to other LPP's.
Moleculaire (by Nico Klaber, Koln International School of Design, Germany) brings CNC to The Food Network. The 3D molecular food printer "prints" food, except the pixels and layers are made from spices and chow rather than inks and toners.
Renew (by Louis Filosa, Purdue University, USA) is a wall-mounted steam cleaner that reads information on special RFID clothing tags, then blasts the articles of clothing clean with the appropriate levels of steam.
Bifoliate (by Toma Brundzaite, Vilnius Academy of Art, Lithuania) is a clever wall-mounted combination dishwasher/cabinet. Instead of stooping and straightening to transfer dishes from a floor-level dishwasher to above-counter cabinets, the Bifoliate does it all: Stick dirty dishes in one side and hit the "clean" button. The cleaning compartment then serves as a cabinet, and you can clean the next batch of dirties in the other side.
Check out all of the finalists, with attendant video, here.