Robot Sink Helps With The Dishes

The humble kitchen sink has remained relatively unchanged over the last century. While there are now fancier mixing taps and sleeker fittings available, for most of us, there’s a nozzle that squirts water of varying temperature, and a tub in which to soak dishes. Of course, this leaves plenty of room for improvement, as [Jake] found with his robot sink build.

The sink consists of a robotic nozzle, which he refers to as a “continuum manipulator”. In essence, it’s a nozzle that can be steered with a joystick to aim the flow of water throughout the sink. To move the nozzle, motors pull on steel cables attached to 3D printed collars fastened around the hose. Combined with an on/off switch for the water flow, the sink could be a useful assistive technology for those with disabilities, as demonstrated in the project’s demo video.

We could easily imagine such hardware being combined with a simple computer vision system to further automate the cleaning of dishes. The project actually serves as a proof of concept for work [Jake] is doing to explore 3D printing concrete with similar hardware, albeit scaled up to a more industrial level. We’ve featured similar technology before, too — in the form of a DIY tentacle build that’s perfect for Halloween. Video after the break.

17 thoughts on “Robot Sink Helps With The Dishes

    1. It is a modern adaptation of an ancient invention……we all saw it growing up…..Wilma Flintstone had one…..at least his didn’t require a Wolly Mammoth….. kinds hard to come by these days…😁

  1. Needs a drop down booth and high pressure + detergent spray – that sandblasting/part spraying experience for dishwashing, and robot part degreasing..
    Could use less water if you set it up right that way too.
    And still have a steerable tap for fresh normal water etc..

  2. I don’t understand why everyone is critiquing this design, he had an issue and he overcame it. Sure there are better ways to clean dishes (such as a dishwasher), but no one thinks about the improvement of technology. Maybe he just created an assistive sink for people with physical disabilities that will be rebound in 20 years, you can’t predict it.

    Let the man live his own life, and anyone that complains about this, I ask you: Could you build it better? (with the same resources and disabilities the guy had). IMO he did an excellent job (even if it could be considered a POC)

      1. “If what you build does not top what is already out there then stop”

        Now that’s a cool idea to stop progress, who decides what’s better or not?
        Just think about… 4500–3300 BC, somebody “invented” a circular devices to do all sorts of wonderful things (not sure what exactly, that has yet to be discovered). Then somebody else says: what is this “wheel” thingy, how is this better then a horse? I can do everything I want with a horse, and if what I need to carry doesn’t fit onto my horse… I just take two horses… And there stops the invention of the wheel.

        Electricity… why… AC is dangerous and we already have steam to power our factories and gas to light our homes.
        Television… it ruins the mind
        Laser… what a silly invention, it’s just light… we already have light.
        Internet… why exactly… I could write a letter or call and I already have an encyclopedia
        640K, nobody needs more than that.
        Space… why do we need to go out there, there is nothing out there?

        I have to agree… this project doesn’t have the wow factor for most of us. But progress comes in small steps, ideas never come out of the blue. And great inventions are mostly an improvement of slightly less great inventions.

        1. Not one of your examples was valid…
          People didn’t have horses before there were wheels
          Electricity is less dangerous than gas and steam
          Television doesn’t ruin the mind
          Laser isn’t ‘just light’
          Internet is more reliable than your examples
          More memory is obviously useful
          Everything is in space

          This invention however requires all the strength and dexterity required to do what the invention is doing, and doesn’t do anything better than other inventions we already have. That’s not to say that it couldn’t be improved in the future. Maybe it could automatically clean a plate that’s been put in the sink when a large button is pushed, that would be an improvement on existing inventions.

  3. Cool idea and implementation. Now it needs machine vision to always point at a point in between my two hands, and a gesture to switch the water on and off, and I’ll want one for my own kitchen.

  4. Neat and fun, I can’t help but feel that dishwashing is largely a solved problem, with dishwashers. That example cleaning the plate looked like the amazing easy to clean dishes in fairy liquid commercials. In reality, scrubbing is usually needed.

    Filling a glass etc is probably easier done with a well-positioned tap more like a water dispenser, but this is a more, ah, flexible alternative…

  5. This is a bit ridiculous as presented – he could clearly just clean the dishes, fill the pots, glasses etc, manually.

    But one still in the video shows a bidet spray head.

    That’s obviously the real use-case for this.

    1. Yep, it is a bit ridiculous. I think most good ideas start out with ridiculous implementations, then they’re made better and better and poof, the ridiculousness has vanished and brilliance is left in its place.

      Keep making the ridiculous, very few people get inspired by the mundane.

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