Welcome to CES 2021, Where Cleanliness Matters

Neat and tidy

Key Takeaways

  • Neat freaks will get their fill at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
  • Manufacturers are unveiling everything from a virus-killing refrigerator to a vacuum cleaner that cleans itself.
  • LG Electronics is developing an autonomous robot that will use ultraviolet light to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas.
Close-up shot of a robot vacuum cleaner in a modern living room.
imaginima / Getty Images

Germaphobes have a lot to look forward to at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Manufacturers are unveiling everything from a virus-killing refrigerator to a vacuum cleaner that cleans itself. Here’s a taste of what’s to come. 

Attack of the Germ-Killing Robots

Swimming pools are a big deal during the pandemic as people try to find a way to relax while social distancing, but keeping a pool clean takes a lot of work. Ariel is a robot that cleans pools using solar power and algorithms. Its manufacturer, Pivot-Solar Breeze, claims Ariel can maneuver itself to clean up to 95% of dirt, leaves, pollen, dust, hair, oil, and other icky things before the debris decays and sinks to the bottom.

"Ariel owners enjoy a net-free world, less bacteria and algae growth, less filtration and sanitization needs, and less pool pump runtime," according to a news release.

Another robot that cleans on land rather than water also is being announced at CES. LG Electronics says it's developing an autonomous robot that will use ultraviolet light to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas. It plans to sell the robot to businesses to use in public spaces. LG says the robot will be able to move easily around tables, chairs, and other furniture, generally irradiating a room’s touchable surfaces in 15-30 minutes, disinfecting multiple areas on a single battery charge.

"Whether it’s hotel guests, students in classrooms or patrons of restaurants and other businesses, they can rest assured that the LG autonomous UV robot will help reduce their exposure to harmful bacteria and germs," Michael Kosla, vice president of LG Business Solutions USA, said in a news release.

Chinese company Unipin also is getting into the robot game. It’s touting a robot that also uses ultraviolet light to clean surfaces in public areas. The manufacturer claims that its robot can disinfect about 3,000 square feet in 100 minutes.

Clean Those Surfaces

For those who don't want a robot crawling around, Targus has a light that sits on your desk and automatically disinfects your keyboard and mouse. The light turns on and runs for 5 minutes, every hour, to break down the DNA of microorganisms. 

The Targus UV-C LED Disinfection Light with a keyboard and mouse
Targus

When the automated disinfection cycle begins, the light emits a purple ambient hue indicating that it is in use. The UV-C LED is then activated and begins to break down the DNA of pathogens in the active disinfection area. Safety measures are built into the light, including an auto shut-off feature that uses motion sensors. If any motion is detected within the safety zone or directly outside of the active cleaning area, the UV-C LED is automatically disabled. 

There’s also an alarm clock from iHome featuring a compartment that claims to disinfect anything you put in it. It’s got 12 LED lights that the company says will perform a complete sanitization process on any items inside the compartment in 3 minutes. There’s also a countdown timer, so you know how long is left before your items are good to go.

Steri-Write is selling a countertop pen sanitizer that dispenses pens and cleans them with ultraviolet light. It’s promoting the sanitizer for schools or anywhere that people might share writing instruments. 

If you like tidy floors, but hate cleaning your vacuum, LG may have you covered with its new CordZeroThinQ A9 Kompressor+, which cleans itself. This model features a new charging station stand that automatically cleans out the dustbin and recharges the vacuum after use.

Concept image of LG's CordZero ThinQ Vacuum in a living room
LG Electronics

"With its interchangeable nozzles, LG CordZeroThinQ A9 Kompressor+ can be easily switched from a vacuum to a mop and back again in mere seconds by changing the attachments," the company claims

People stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic may be getting sick of cleaning. Just keep in mind that scientists say the novel coronavirus is airborne, and that cleaning surfaces won’t necessarily do much to protect you. But peace of mind can go a long way.

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