The perfect maid

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Mar 1 2012, 07:09am hrs
Next time when your domestic help doesnt turn up at your home, do not fret and fume. Simply bring home a robot. Not the R2-D2 kind of robot from the famous science fiction Star Wars movies of the early 1980s, or the andro-humanoid robot named Chitti played by south superstar Rajnikanthbut a circular-shaped, elegant-looking home cleaning robot from Gurgaon-based Milagrow Human Tech. Self-sufficient and packed with advanced features, this R16,990-a-piece intelligent machine called RedHawk gently scrubs, cleans and disinfects your floors, carpets, rugs and durries, all on its own! Just pre-programme the robot as per your needs. Thereafter, go wherever, do whatever, your home will be squeaky clean automatically. Put simply, vacuum cleaners and homes with germs are practically now history.

It is true that the lifestyle of urban India today is no different from that of the developed world. People have lesser time on their hands, more women are joining the workforce and domestic help is becoming

expensive. With unannounced absences, maids can really drive you up the wall. Their tantrums are hard to tolerate but its even harder to manage without them. Thats why finding the perfect maid is crucial.

Sensing a market opportunity, Rajeev Karwal-promoted Milagrow has introduced its

domestic robotic cleaners, thereby signalling the creation of a new product niche within the vacuum cleaner segment. There are three product offeringsRedHawk (R16,990), BlackCat (R15,990) and Robocop (R9,990). These robotic cleaners have been specially customised for the Indian consumer with higher suction power, all surface cleaning capability and larger dustbin trays.

We received the RedHawk for a product review and it came neatly packed in a large cardboard box, featuring specification information and product images on its sides. Installation was a seamless affair. I simply connected the robot to a power source and after a couple of beeps, it came alive. Simple to use, this powerful home cleaning robot is now ready to work hard to protect homes from germs and dust. I tested it for dust cleaning on all types of surfacesfrom marble to carpet to woodand it did a fantastic job. Not a single speck was behind on the carpet and floor.

While the cleaning took up a fair bit of time, good news is that the robot can easily go and re-charge itself in between cleaning cycles. When the battery falls below the 15% level, the robot will automatically go back to its charging dock, charge itself and then go back to cleaning.

Another interesting feature of RedHawk is the dirt detection capability. Metallic plates installed in the machine can measure the amount of dirt at a particular spot. In case of an excessively dirty area, a message is

relayed to the brain of the robot to clean that region for a slightly longer time period. This could very well prove to be tremendously useful in Indian circumstances.

RedHawk boasts of impressive obstacle and stair detection intelligence. The obstacle detection feature allows the robot to maneuver its way around objects that it may encounter while cleaning. The stair detection feature that is based on the infrared principle makes sure that the robot does not just fall off stairs, a balcony or even an elevated table. In addition, this elegant looking machine can be auto-scheduled to clean at a date and time in the future.

RedHawk can also go beyond the average floor sweeping as it comes packed with an in-built ultra-violet (UV) ray lamp. This lamp when turned on emits UV rays that break the DNA of virus and bacteria; thereby making sure your home remains absolutely hygienic and germ-free. Powered by as many as six cleaning modes such as spot, zigzag and wall-to-wall cleaning, RedHawk has been thoughtfully

designed to be compact so that it can easily navigate under beds, sofas and other furniture where cleaning is often neglected because of the physical discomfort that comes along. The infrared virtual wall can also be set up to prevent the robot from venturing to places a user may not want it tosuch as a small childs play area.

A human being serving another human for daily chores is not a good idea anyway. But machines serving humans is always welcome. Unlike your conventional vacuum cleaner, RedHawk has intelligence and the capacity of a human thinking in cleaning mode, looking for dirt to be cleaned. It works independently, while you can be doing more important things or even just relaxing. This little robot will surely be your new buddy in no time. Apt for working professionals!