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Digital kitchen assistant Mykie stands on a table while robot vacuum cleaner Roxxter maneuvers around an obstacle.
Connected Living

Digital household helpers with personality

Reading time: 7 minutes

A robot that cleans your apartment on command? A “digital elf” that helps you bake? Bosch gives you a personal approach to the internet of things.

A new age of technology is dawning for household appliances. Refrigerators are connected to the internet, smartphones communicate with cars, and you can regulate the central heating without leaving the sofa just by picking up your tablet. The internet of things (IoT) has become part of our everyday lives – along with a rising demand for sustainable, healthy, and individualized lifestyles.

But in order to be partners in this new way of life, household appliances need to become personalized and adapt to individual lifestyles. Digital assistants and robots are gradually giving the IoT a face as they provide new services and more direct means of operation. They are offering greater convenience, and more free time for people to enjoy their lives.

“This little kitchen helper responds to your voice and answers back.”

Mykie the connected kitchen helper

Digital kitchen assistant Mykie stands on a kitchen table and looks into the camera.

Mykie — which is short for “my kitchen elf” — is one example of the personalized IoT experience. Experts at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH have made the dream of a kitchen elf come true with this countertop assistant, which is just 30 centimeters tall. Mykie is controlled by your voice. As soon as you ask it something like what’s in the fridge, or what dishes can be cooked with those items, Mykie tells you. It can read out recipes step by step, play music, or give a weather report. Mykie can also control other Home Connect household appliances, and let you enjoy video chats with friends via a projection system.

“Roxxter is currently the world’s only robot vacuum cleaner that can be accurately activated and controlled by Amazon’s Alexa.”

Tell Roxxter the vacuum cleaner what to do

Robot vacuum cleaner Roxxter from Bosch identifies a no-go-zone with a children's toy and drives around it.

“Alexa, tell the Home Connect robot to vacuum the kitchen!” That sentence is enough to send Roxxter into action. It is currently the world’s only robot vacuum cleaner that can be accurately activated and controlled by Amazon’s Alexa. This smart helper scans its surroundings and generates a map on the Home Connect app which you can call up. If desired, you can specify no-go zones that Roxxter shouldn’t touch. If it is vacuuming the living room, example, it can move around areas with the children’s toys.

A user tells robot vacuum cleaner Roxxter via app on his smartphone where to clean.

Roxxter is a powerful little helper with intelligent navigation software. It thoroughly cleans every corner and effortlessly negotiates steps and thresholds of up to 2 cm in height. It can store several maps at the same time, so you can vacuum multi-story homes as well as second homes or summer apartments. You can activate it while still on the road, and even use it as a monitoring aid. Via your smartphone, you can send this multifunctional helper with its integrated streaming camera through the rooms to check on your home. You can make sure you’ve closed the balcony door, or see what the dog is up to. If not needed, the camera has a manually operable cover.

When refrigerators were still luxury items

With all these innovations, it’s hard to imagine that refrigerators were unaffordable luxury items in the early 1950s for many Germans. They only became common appliances — and therefore a focus for technical development – as a result of the post-war economic boom. BSH Hausgeräte GmbH was formed in 1967 from the merger of the Bosch and Siemens household appliance divisions. Its washing machines, refrigerators and freezers, vacuum cleaners, coffee machines, water heaters, electric irons, and many other products made everyday lives easier.

A Bosch refrigerator from 1933 in a drum's shape.
The first Bosch refrigerator came onto the market in 1933. Only a few households could afford this expensive appliance back then.
A Bosch sales assistant answers the questions of a housewife during the 1950s.
Germany’s economic boom in the 1950s made electric household appliances affordable for the middle class. In 1967 the household appliance divisions of Bosch and Siemens merged to form BSH Hausgeräte GmbH.
The ice maker "Eis-Fix" lies on a table between two cups of ice cream.
Italy became a popular vacation destination in the 1950s and 1960s. Bosch helped to bring la dolce vita back home: Its “Eis-Fix” appliance let people make their own ice cream in no time at all.
The electric mixer "Fix-Quirl" on a table.
The Bosch “Fix-Quirl” came onto the market in 1959. Kitchen appliances tended to be bulky steel constructions, but this electric mixer was small, lightweight, and plastic. It ushered in a new generation of household helpers.
A long train with several waggons.
The “Bosch Hausgeräte Express” was a special train that introduced new household appliances. It traveled through Germany, Belgium, and Austria, stopping in 90 cities in 1977.

Summary

Robots are bringing the internet of things up close and personal. These smart assistants are making home life more convenient and individualized.